Decisions about Medical Treatment

Your Right to Make Decisions About Medical Treatment

Madera Community Hospital

When it comes to medical treatment, you always have the final say in how your care proceeds. Any treatment or procedure prescribed by a doctor is a recommendation based on their professional opinion, and you have a right to refuse any of their treatment recommendations.

Many treatments, surgeries, and medications require the patient to make lifestyle adjustments and the treatment may result in certain side effects. Your doctor has a responsibility to inform you of any potential side effects or complications that may arise from treatment, as well as the possible benefits, so you can make informed decisions in your care.

Healthcare “Surrogates” & Advance Directives

If you are uncomfortable making healthcare decisions for yourself, you can tell your doctor you would like to have a friend or family member designated as your healthcare “surrogate”. This person will be responsible for making medical decisions on your behalf, while you are receiving treatment.

The surrogate’s authority only applies to the specific condition for which you requested assistance. Should you recover from your condition and face another health problem, at a later date, your doctor will need to designate your surrogate again, if you wish.

You can also designate someone to make healthcare decisions for you in the event that you become incapacitated by creating an Advance Directive. An Advance Directive is a set of instructions created by you to guide their medical care team if you are unable to communicate. For example, if you are heavily sedated during surgery and a complication arises, the medical team will defer to your Advance Directives when deciding how to proceed. These may include specific instructions written by you or contact information for an individual you have entrusted to make decisions for you.

Talk to your doctor or nurse about setting up an Advance Directive or a surrogate,
or call us (559) 675-5555.