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Why do I need a person's permission before giving emergency care?

Diana K. Blythe, MD
Pediatrics

You need to ask a person's permission before giving emergency care because they have the right to say "No". If a person is conscious and capable of making the decision themselves, it is their decision to make. If your care is refused, you need to respect their wishes. You may call 911 or the local emergency number, but you cannot touch a person who refuses your help.

People have the legal right to accept or refuse emergency care. Therefore, before giving care to an injured or ill person, you must obtain the person’s permission. 

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.