Expert advice

Legal advice: Can I refuse to care for a patient?

As long as your reasons are not based on discrimination, and it is not an emergency, you can refuse to care for a patient provided you follow your employer’s policy and keep your line manager informed, advises legal expert Marc Cornock.
refuse

As long as your reasons are not based on discrimination, and it is not an emergency, you can refuse to care for a patient provided you follow your employer’s policy and keep your line manager informed, advises legal expert Marc Cornock

If the professional relationship between a nurse and a patient has broken down through no fault of either party, it is often more appropriate for the patient’s care and treatment to be provided by another nurse. This could be initiated by the nurse or the patient.

However, in an emergency situation there is no option but to provide the care and treatment the patient requires. This is a professional obligation that only ends when either your skills are no longer required or

...

Want to read more?

Unlock full access to RCNi Plus today

Save over 50% on your first three months:

  • Customisable clinical dashboard featuring 200+ topics
  • Unlimited online access to all 10 RCNi Journals including Nursing Standard
  • RCNi Learning featuring 180+ RCN accredited learning modules
  • NMC-compliant RCNi Portfolio to build evidence for revalidation
  • Personalised newsletters tailored to your interests

This article is not available as part of an institutional subscription. Why is this?

Jobs