The subtle art of telling patients 'no'

Having difficulty refusing patient requests? Stick to the code

The doctor on the other end of the phone says, “But, what if the patient insists?” It’s a common response when we suggest a doctor says ‘no’ to a patient. 

sign says no

Doctors face various patient requests every day.

These may include asking the doctor to prescribe a drug, administer a substance, provide a certificate or sign a form.

No matter the request, a doctor should always be mindful of their clinical, ethical and legal responsibilities, and that their overarching responsibility is always to act in the best interests of the patient.