Key messages

• The patient may exercise his or her right to refuse treatment on grounds which can be entirely personal and which, in the case of the competent adult, do not need to be explained to, or understood by, the doctor.

• In the unconscious patient consent to treatment may be impossible. In most countries, treatment in this situation would not be unlawful if there were a need to undertake therapy.

• The older child may well have opinions about treatment which conflict with those of parents and doctors. The capacity to make binding decisions is based on the child's maturity and capacity to understand the information about the treatment and also what would happen if the therapy were refused.

• Therefore discussion protects both patient and doctor and will most likely enhance the relationship of trust between the parties which is so essential to the 'good' practice of medicine.

Sleep Apnea

Sleep Apnea

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