Bioethics Blogs

Involuntary Discharge from Dialysis

Robert Allan Bear

Health law students studying rules on the formation and termination of treatment relationships know the case of Brenda Payton.  

Her nephrologist had a long, long list of reasons to involuntarily discharge her.  But what made the termination of the treatment relationship legitimate (and not abandonment) was the fact that he gave her lots of advance notice.  

I was reminded of this case by a recent post at KevinMD.  The post indicates that involuntary discharge from dialysis is common.  I presume that this is because, unlike ICU treatment, the outpatient has some opportunity to seek alternative care.  But I need to investigate further.  

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.