Bioethics News

My Patient Insisted on Checking Out. I Knew She Should Stay. But She Held All the Power.

December 28, 2016

(STAT News) – With few exceptions, patients can leave the hospital against medical advice — what we refer to as AMA —whenever they want. It’s their right. But they often don’t do well. In a recent study of 150,000 hospital discharges, about 2 percent of people left AMA. Within 30 days, however, the AMA group was twice as likely to be readmitted — about 25 percent, compared to about 11 percent of patients who were properly discharged. Worse, they had a twofold increased chance of death compared to patients who were properly discharged by their doctors.

The views, opinions and positions expressed by these authors and blogs are theirs and do not necessarily represent that of the Bioethics Research Library and Kennedy Institute of Ethics or Georgetown University.