Can father refuse medical treatment?

Q: Can my father, who is 95, in end stage renal failure but of sound mind, request that his pacemaker be deactivated. The cardiologist has refused. Can he be compelled?

A: He can request, but I doubt if a cardiologist would open himself up to potential litigation by doing so. The doctor took a Hippocratic Oath to sustain life. If such a move is likely to result in death to the patient it is doubtful the physician would put himself in an almost Dr. Kevorkian situation. Is there a Living Will in place? Did your father execute one in the past? If this documents exists, get a copy to the doctor and discuss life sustaining treatment with him.

If you feel like this issue relates to you, or a problem that you are experiencing, please contact me so that we can discuss your situation.