A patient with a history of methamphetamine abuse has been brought into the emergency department after receiving a laceration from a broken window. After treating the injury, the physician orders the patient to be admitted for inpatient treatment in the mental health unit. The patient becomes very angry and tells the nurse that he wants to leave. Which response from the nurse is accurate?


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- You have the right to leave if you wish; you do not have to be admitted.

- You will not get the help you need if you do not go into the hospital now.

- You have to be admitted because you are a danger to yourself.

- You need to be admitted. I can not let you leave.


Despite the potential dangers associated with methamphetamine abuse, the patient in this situation does not have to be admitted to the hospital for inpatient treatment. Every patient has a right to refuse care unless there is a court order that requires him to receive inpatient treatment. If the nurse or doctor felt the patient is a danger to himself or to others then that patient needs to be petitioned. If the patient is petitioned he legally cannot leave. But since this patient has not been petitioned he has the right to refuse inpatient treatment.

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