Semin Med Pract
The dilemma of the patient who wishes to leave the hospital against medical advice
Dostal KU, Schmidt MJ
When faced with a patient who wishes to leave the hospital against medical advice (AMA), a physician is challenged to reconcile the conflict between preserving patient welfare and respecting patient autonomy. By recognizing patients at risk for leaving AMA and understanding the steps to be taken when a patient resists or refuses care, the physician will be better prepared to act in the best way to minimize adverse patient outcomes. This article uses 3 scenarios to examine the conflict that arises when a patient wishes to leave AMA and offers recommendations for addressing this conflict.
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Updated 9/01/09 nvf