Do hospitals have the right to refuse to treat patients without money and coins?

18 Aug 2020 | 0 comments

Leaving an injured person without care on the grounds that he does not have a piece of ID or cash on him is an explicit refusal of care. If in some cases a health facility or health care professional can legally refuse to provide care, in most cases the health care provider and the health care facility have an obligation to provide care.

Whatever its function or specialty, except in the case of force majeure alone, any doctor must bring emergency relief to a patient in immediate danger.

Denial of Care: A Breach of the Rules of Ethics
Indeed, in emergency situations, the health facility and the health professional have an obligation to act and the refusal of care constitutes an ethical misconduct punishable by disciplinary action for the health professional but also a guilty abstention punishable by penal sanction for the health professional and care facility.

On the ethical level, respect for life and the person is a primary duty for the doctor.

The Beninese Constitution enshrined the right to life and forbade any individual or any agent of the State to be guilty of inhuman treatment on pain of punishment provided for by law.

Thus, it is a flagrant violation of the Beninese Constitution and the Code of Medical Ethics by the doctor or doctors present in the emergency service who did nothing to treat Dama seriously injured and who left him under the pretext that he had no room identity to identify your identity.

Refusal of care: a disciplinary and criminal fault!
Contrary to the Bouvenet Penal Code formerly applicable in Benin which provided for the offence of non-assistance to persons in danger, the new penal code of our country unfortunately did not expressly provide for this offence.

Therefore, from a criminal point of view, one could think of the offence of deliberately endangering the person of another more difficult to prove.

Doctors and other hospital personnel, as well as the National Hospital and University Center have, so to speak, endangered the life of Dama, voluntarily refraining from treating him even though he was in danger of death if nothing was done for him immediately.

A deliberate endangerment of another’s person could therefore be considered in the case of physicians, other health care workers, the director of the hospital and the hospital itself.even, the penal code providing for the criminal liability of legal persons.

This refusal of care constitutes a disciplinary ethical misconduct for physicians.

Consequences of refusal of care
From a criminal point of view, the criminal liability of doctors, other hospital staff, the director of the hospital and the hospital may be incurred.

It should be noted that the civil liability which is the obligation to repair the damage caused to others will also be incurred for all persons at fault, including the Hospital Centre, in order to repair the damage resulting from the refusal of care.


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