Can nurses ever refuse to treat or care for a patient?
Risk of violence or practising outside your competence may be your reason – but it’s a step that can affect your NMC registration, so here’s what you need to know
Nurses have a duty of care to patients. But there may be circumstances where you will able able to justify refusing to treat a patient. What are the grounds you would need in such cases, and what might the implications be ?
When can treatment be refused?
There are a number of situations where nurses may be able to refuse to treat a patient, according to RCN guidance . They include:
• Physical violence and the fear of it. • Health and safety hazards. • Where the