Can I Refuse Medical Treatment
Can I Refuse Medical Treatment? There is a good bit of information on the web about what to do if the workers compensation insurance carrier refuses to authorize the medical treatment your treating physician says you need (we have written our fair share), but what about the situation where the doctor says you need a form of treatment which you do not wish to undergo?
It depends on (i) what the procedure is and (ii) the reason for your refusal. First, it you object to certain forms of medical treatment on religious grounds, no one can-or should-try to force you to do something against a tenet of your faith. If you have objections on other reasons, the law states that you may object to undergoing treatment if your objection is “reasonable.” Of course, what is reasonable is in the eye of the beholder, but since workers compensation is based on a set of laws, the trial judge will be the person who determines if your objection is reasonable. If you are scared of pain-that will most likely not be a sufficient reason, but there are probably some instances where, due to a mental condition, this may suffice.
If the surgery is experimental, you do not have to undergo the surgery. Suffering a job injury does not make you a guinea pig. If the chances that the surgery would likely cause other serious medical problems, you would be within your rights to refuse treatment. If there is no reasonably assurance that the procedure would correct your problem, you would not have to proceed. In cases such as where back surgery has been recommended, there is enough medical and anecdotal evidence to support a decision not to have surgery. If you have a torn meniscus, you would not be justified in refusing treatment.
If your refusal of treatment is found to be reasonable, then your case will proceed as though you had reached maximum medical improvement (mmi) after any other conservative treatment is exhausted. If your refusal is found to be unreasonable, then you right to benefits could be stopped until you relent.
If you have suffered a job injury and you have questions about your rights under the Alabama Workers Compensation laws, don’t hesitate to contact the Alabama Workers Comp Lawyers at Powell and Denny and speak with one of the experienced workers compensation lawyers and schedule a free consultation and let us see if we can help. Appointments are available in person, or virtually through Zoom for your convenience from wherever you live.
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Can I Refuse Medical Treatment