Five Situations you are Entitled to Refuse to Treat a Patient

As a dentist, you must adhere to regulations and reduce or avoid patient complaints. You’ve got more problems to take care of than you think if those complaints reach the General Dental Council (GDC). But, this doesn’t mean you can never refuse to treat a patient. Experts at Blackfords cite some situations you are entitled to do such refusal. These include:

In case a Patient Expresses a Lack of Confidence in your Clinical Abilities

If you come across a patient who questions your judgment, it is best to stop the treatment or refuse it altogether. Make sure you let the patient know that they have to trust your abilities to treat them and that it is not ethical to question your clinical judgment. But, make sure you don’t do this in an arrogant way as the patient may end up filing complaints against you.

In Case your Patient is No Longer Serious about Getting the Treatment

This can be shown if the patient fails to pay their bill or stops attending their appointments. Give that patient a warning that what they are doing will have them removed from the practice. Make sure your website contains information on situations in which dental treatment is likely to be withdrawn.

In Case of a Conflict of Interest

This situation is rare in the dental practice. This usually happens when a patient files a complaint against your colleague and the patient comes to you to get the treatment. If you are aware of this claim, it is appropriate to just refuse the patient for a possible conflict of interest. But, if you just learned about the conflict after you have started the treatment, tell the patient about the possible conflict and let them decide whether or not they continue to get the treatment.

In Case a Patient Shows Aggression

Violent or aggressive patients should be refused. You will want to call the authorities to handle the aggression. In case they will come to you in the future for treatment, evaluate the situation and the reason it happened. Determine if you can manage the patient if they become violent again while in your office. If you there is a serious reason for their aggression, it might be appropriate to just inform the patient in writing that you are not treating them anymore.

In Case you Can’t Go to Work

You can refuse treatment if you cannot be on duty because of an emergency situation or a suspension. It is appropriate to keep your patient updated.