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The American Journal of Nursing

7777 Pyramid Lane

PinaColata, CA 33133


Dear Editor,

It is inevitable to note the controversial debate that has existed for decades about healthcare practitioners’ obligation to accepting their patients’ wishes in regards to patients’ right to refuse treatment. Even though nurses among other healthcare practitioners are tasked with warranting the healthcare wellbeing of their patients, it important to note that there are laws that give patients the option to refuse treatment(Sheikhtaheri, Jabali, &Dehaghi, 2016). However, nursing practitioners are tasked with ensuring that patients are adequately aware of what they are turning down and the adverse outcomes of rejecting the treatment in question(Sheikhtaheri et al., 2016). Since there are nurses who are keen on turning down patients request to decline treatment, it is essential that they are educated about this right (Sheikhtaheri et al., 2016).

Educating nurses of the patients’ right to refuse care, they will incorporate diverse strategies essential in warranting that they understand the patients who refuse treatment point of view. The first step would be establishing what they think the procedure entails since misconceptions are prone to influence irrational decisions(Sheikhtaheri et al., 2016). Looking into other external factors that could be affecting the decision to refuse treatment will also have a substantial impact in increasing the possibility of continued care(Sheikhtaheri et al., 2016). Once all issues that could be hindering the continuity of care are aired, healthcare practitioners are tasked with negotiating acceptable solution aimed at overcoming any fears.

Even though there is limited information that elaborates the significance of nursing practices in healthcare provision, it is essential that the public is made aware of their crucial role(Sheikhtaheri et al., 2016). By doing so, patients will be at ease raising any issues that they may have with nurses since it is nurses that spend more time with patients(Sheikhtaheri et al., 2016). If the diverse factors highlighted are incorporated, it will be possible to not only reduce the number of patients refusing treatment but also improve the quality of care for those who have turned down treatment.

Sheikhtaheri, A., Jabali, M. S., &Dehaghi, Z. H. (2016). Nurses’ knowledge and performance of the patients’ bill of rights. Nursing Ethics, 23(8), 866-876.




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