Medical Informed Consent > Refusal of Consent > Case Study 3

Case Study 3

CASE #3:

28 year old woman presents to the emergency department with malaise and fever. She is accompanied by her 4 year old son and her 30 year old sister. In the ER, patient is found to be febrile and initial diagnosis is sepsis of uncertain etiology. Plan is to begin intravenous antibiotics. Prior to beginning treatment the patient refuses, stating that she does not want antibiotics because god will heal her. She is known to be deeply spiritual. The physician fully explains to the patient the risk of death if not treated, yet the patient still refuses. During further discussion, it is discovered that the patient's sister has agreed to care for the son given death or incapacitation of the patient. In this situation, the appropriate next step is:

Provide treatment to the patient because she has a child who requires her care
Respect the patient's wishes

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