Can A Nursing Home Evict A Resident for Refusing Medical Treatment?

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Is your loved one being threatened with eviction for refusing medical treatment? The fact is that simply refusing treatment, in and of itself, is not grounds for a nursing home to evict someone. Nursing homes may say that someone who refuses medical treatment that is recommended by a doctor is too difficult for the nursing home to handle and they may say that it is against their policies that residents refuse care.

A nursing home resident has the constitutional right to refuse any medical treatment, like any other individual. Just because they are currently residing in a nursing home does not strip them of their rights. Federal nursing home guidelines say that the “refusal of treatment would not constitute grounds for transfer, unless the nursing home is unable to meet the needs of the resident or protect the health and safety of others.” If the refusal of medical treatment puts the health and safety of the resident or other residents at risk, then the nursing home has the right to evict that resident.

If a resident chooses not to undergo treatment because they are terminally ill and do not wish to try to extend their life, it is their right to make that decision and a nursing home cannot evict them for this reason. There are a few nursing homes that are religiously affiliated that have policies that require that all steps that can be taken to keep the resident alive must be taken. A nursing home can only follow this policy if the state allows it and if they tell the resident specifically about this policy before admission. A resident or their representative should appeal an eviction if it is because of refusal of treatment. At the eviction hearing, the resident or their representative should tell the state official in detail how the refusal of the medical treatment does not endanger others.

If you or your loved one are dealing with an eviction on the grounds of refusing medical treatment, you may need guidance and a hand to hold through this stressful time. The Dan Pruitt Law Firm is experienced in nursing home abuse and neglect cases and knows how to help you and your loved one get through this hard time. Call us today!


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