Conflict can happen every day; it is a part of life. No one likes conflict. Sometimes it happens when a patient is very sick. We respect the patient’s right to refuse treatment. However, sometimes a person requests to start or continue a treatment that the doctor does not believe will help the patient. This may cause conflict. If a conflict occurs, you and your doctor have several choices. These are some of the steps you can take to resolve the conflict.

  1. Talk to the doctor and ask why the treatment/intervention will not work. Are there other options?
  2. Tell your nurse that you would like to speak with someone from:
    1. Social Work/Case Management
    2. Nursing Care Coordinator
    3. Administration
  3. You can request a second opinion from another doctor. Your doctor does not have to follow the advice offered in the second opinion.
  4. Next, if you and your doctor still disagree, you can ask your nurse to request a consult with the Ethics Committee here at the hospital. The goal of the Committee is to promote open discussion about the problem. The Committee will not make the decision for you or your doctor. Neither you nor your doctor has to follow what the Committee suggests.
  5. Finally, you may request a transfer to another doctor at UNC Rockingham Health Care or to another facility willing to follow your wishes.