What are my rights when I did not get the medical help I needed

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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What are my rights when I did not get the medical help I needed

I am passing a kidney stone. I have gone to 3
different doctors. No one gave me the help I
needed. On top of the pain I have very high
blood pressure, because if the pain. One
doctor even said the high blood pressure was
because of the pain but would not treat either
the pain or the high blood pressure. I have had
stones before and have always passed them. I
was told by all 3 to go get a CT scan. We do
not have insurance and can not afford one. I
have told the doctors this and still no one will
help. My only other option is to go to the ER
but cant afford that. I am worried about my
blood pressure being so high. Do I have any
grounds being turned away with high blood
pressure and them knowing that and the
reason and not helping?

Asked on February 14, 2019 under Malpractice Law, Utah


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

Doctors are not required to treat people if they feel those people need different help or treatment than what the doctor recommends. You write that all three doctors said you should get a CT scan: if three doctors all agreed as to that, that's almost certainly the right, or at least a very logical and reasonable, course of treatment. You refused their medical advice; that is not not providing you the help you needed, that is providing advice which you ignored. A doctor is not liable because you will not do what they tell you to do.
You say that you "know the cause of the high blood pressure," but you don't know that--you are not a doctor and you have not had necessary tests done. It is your opinion, nothing more, and doctors do not need to substitute your opinion for their own medical judgement.
Finally, it is not the doctor's issue if you don't have insurance and can't afford an ER or CT scan: they did not cause your financial situation, and are not required to treat you for free (which is what they would have needed to do, if you don't have insurance and can't afford medical treatment).

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