May 1st 2006
In many situations, patients--even those who are acutely mentally ill--and physicians agree on a treatment regimen. In some cases, however, patients may disagree with the treatment after the fact or refuse treatment altogether. Although the physician's primary concerns are patient care and safety, the legalities of medicine are ever present and must be kept in mind. The following cases illustrate some of the medicolegal challenges that may arise in the emergency care setting.