Signing against medical advice: is it in the best interest of minors? - A case report.

Dabota Yvonne Buowari1*, Edward Ikpae1
1Department of Accident and Emergency, University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital, Rivers State.
*Correspondence: Dr. Dabota Yvonne Buowari; +234 803 732 4401; dabotabuowari@yahoo.com

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Abstract

Background: Hospitalized patients leaving the hospital before being certified fit to go occur in many countries and its prevalence varies globally. There are several reasons why patients discharge themselves against medical advice. Some hospitals ensure that the patient signs a form designed for this purpose to prevent any legal action of negligence.
Case Summary: A three-year-old boy sustained an injury while playing with resultant pain in the right forearm. He was taken to a traditional bone setter who applied some herbs and tied sticks around the affected forearm. The patient developed gangrene when the sick was removed. He was taken to the hospital; but his caregivers then took a decision and signed against medical advice.
Conclusion: Discharge against medical advice is a global public health problem that needs to be addressed. It is worse when the decision is taken by a parent, guardian or relative/caregiver on behalf of a patient that cannot make a decision e.g., minors, unconscious patients and the mentally ill.

Keywords: Signing against medical advice, Caregivers.

Cite this article: Buowari DY, Ikpae E. Signing against medical advice: is it in the best interest of minors? – A case report. Yen Med J. 2020;2(1):186–189.

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