Professional Representation for Patients Who Were Treated against their Wishes
West Virginia medical malpractice lawyers fight for patient rights
Doctors and hospitals do not have a right to operate on a patient who refuses medical treatment. Patients may refuse treatment because of cost factors, because they weighed the pros and cons of the procedure, because they think they can live with the pain, or for many other reasons.
Paulson & Nace, PLLC is a family owned and managed law firm. Our West Virginia medical malpractice lawyers know that patients have many rights. We know their constitutional and West Virginia legal rights, as well as the complex area of rights for minors and for people who are mentally incompetent. If you or someone you love had a medical procedure against their will, even if the procedure made them better, our West Virginia lawyers hold the medical providers accountable. We do not give up on our clients. We fight for everything they deserve.
Our West Virginia lawyers are knowledgeable about the state laws on medical refusals
In West Virginia, there are certain scenarios where patients may legally deny treatment. A mentally competent adult can refuse any medical treatment, including one that would save his or her life. While parents can refuse treatment for themselves, parents who withhold treatment on behalf of a child may be in violation of the law, unless the reason for refusing treatment was religious. For example, some religious sects do not allow blood transfusions, so a parent may deny a blood transfusion on behalf of his or her child. A parent may not, however, refuse to have a child immunized.
The situation also changes when dealing with:
- Medical directives. These are legal documents prepared by West Virginia residents before a procedure. Many residents prepare them when they have a lawyer prepare their wills. Directives often include how the person should be treated at the end of his or her life or before a surgery.
- Conflicting directives. Some patients may have express directives, may sign a doctor order form that covers the scope of medical treatment, and may have given someone a medical power of attorney. If the express directive is clear, it should be followed.
- Incapacitated adults. If a person has the legal authority to make decisions for the incapacitated adult, the person must go by the wishes of the adult who is incapacitated if those wishes are known. Otherwise, the person with legal authority must consider the best interests of the patient. The person with legal authority is usually the legal guardian. The lawyers at Paulson & Nace review this complicated area with their West Virginia clients.
- Do Not Resuscitate orders (DNRs). Doctors do need to obey patients’ formal request to not be brought back to life if breathing, or other vital functions, ceases.
Many of these issues are very complex. The laws on powers of attorney, medical directives, DROs, how to appoint a guardian, and other refusal issues should be reviewed with experienced legal counsel. The Paulson & Nace West Virginia medical malpractice lawyers know these complications in the law. We work to make sure patients’ rights are respected and honored by health care providers.
Medical treatment refusal explained by caring West Virginia lawyers
Paulson & Nace, PLLC’s distinguished family of medical malpractice attorneys offers the compassionate, personal, and professional attention you deserve. We are widely recognized throughout West Virginia for both our comprehensive legal services and our aggressive advocacy for patients who have been treated against their wishes. When you choose a qualified medical malpractice lawyer from our practice to represent you, you are choosing a team that values families and family relationships. Please call 304-741-8079 or fill out our contact form to tell us your story in a no-obligation consultation. Our office is located at 3501 Maccorkle Ave SE, Charleston, WV 25304.
We have dedicated our lives to helping medical malpractice victims and their families. Now, let our family help you and yours.