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Can a physician refuse to treat me for "personal" reasons and tell another physician not to treat me either?

Pocatello, ID |
Filed under: Civil rights

My neurologist referred me to a pain management specialist (anethesiologist) in the medical practice where she works. It is a small community and the anethesiologist refused to treat me for "personal" reasons. I had not even made an appointment with him, but another anethesiologist at the practice. I was engaged to the first anethesiologist's ex brother-in-law in the past. The first anethesiologist told the other one not to see me either. Neither dr. will treat me now. Is this discrimination? Why are they discussing my personal choices? I realize dr.s can choose who to treat but only when they are not discriminating, in non-emergencies, or not contracted to provide services by an agency (insurance, hospital). What can I do? This is very humiliating to be treated like this.

Attorney Answers 1


You seem to understand accurately that, except in the instance of medical emergency, the doctor-patient relationship is entirely voluntary. It is impossible to know, of course, what was meant by "personal" reasons, but you must be aware that in the pain-management care every doctor is alert to drug habituation problems with narcotic pain medications. The answer to your case will be to travel a little farther for treatment.

Best wishes for an outcome you can accept, and please remember to designate a best answer.

This answer is offered as a public service for general information only and may not be relied upon as legal advice.

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