Treatment refusal is a common encounter in clinical practice. The process of deciding to refuse treatment is often complex. It is our responsibility to try and understand this process of decision making and the underlying reasons for treatment refusal. Many of these reasons are often rational in the context where the decision is made. The patients could be making the best decision for themselves even if these decisions are not necessarily the best in our mind. We should at all times discuss our treatment options and assess their ability to make decisions in achieving common goals. These goals should balance our best treatment strategies and the patients' best interest. This article discusses the reasons underlying treatment refusal and how we can achieve a common goal with our patients.
* Title and MeSH Headings from MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.