Can I Sue if My Doctor Refuses to Treat Me?

doctor saying no

As an ailing patient, you may trust that any doctor would not hesitate to use every tool at their disposal to help you reach a full recovery. So you may be left blindsided when a certain doctor refuses to meet your healthcare needs. You may even be left wondering whether this is legal. Follow along to find out whether you can sue your doctor who refuses to treat you and how a proficient New York City medical malpractice attorney at Mark L. Bodner, P.C. can work to ensure you receive the right aid.

Can I sue for medical malpractice if my doctor refuses to treat me?

First of all, you must understand that there are certain conditions in which it is legal for a doctor to refuse treatment. For example, a doctor may find it against their personal religious belief to perform an abortion or prescribe narcotics for pain relief. Or, a doctor may find it outside of their umbrella of specialties or certifications to offer certain treatments; and may instead point you to a doctor who may better meet the medical standard. However, below are examples of circumstances in which you may be eligible to sue your doctor for treatment refusal:

  • Your doctor stops your treatment in an emergency situation after discovering your inability to pay.
  • Your doctor prematurely discharges you from the emergency room after discovering your inability to produce insurance information.
  • Your doctor withholds information regarding your medical diagnosis because you have not yet paid your last bill.
  • Your doctor terminates your doctor-patient relationship even while you are in the middle of a series of treatments (i.e., chemotherapy).
  • Your doctor refused to treat you because you are of a certain protected class (i.e., race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, age, disability, etc).

What proof do I need to legitimize my right to sue?

Unfortunately, your word is not enough to validate your grounds for a medical malpractice lawsuit. Rather, if you wish to be the plaintiff of such a suit, then you must satisfy a burden of proof. That is, you must gather enough evidence that solidifies that your doctor’s refusal to treat you was based on negligent, illegal reasonings.

For example, say your stance is that your doctor refused treatment because you are of a certain protected class. Well, you may want to collect testimonies from other patients, of your same protected class, who have also been made victims of similar discriminatory actions.

On the other hand, say you claim that your doctor withheld disclosing your diagnosis because you were late on your payment. In this case, you may want to obtain medical records that indicate the severe progression of your injury or illness due to this delay or failure to diagnose; along with a receipt of payment of your last medical bill.

Undoubtedly, there is much to consider before filing a medical malpractice complaint. This is why your next order of business should be to initiate a conversation with a talented New York City medical malpractice attorney. Someone at Mark L. Bodner, P.C. will await your phone call.