You don't have to proceed with a test or treatment if you don't want to - you can say "no".
Granting permission to proceed to any medical test or treatment is one of the most important decisions you will ever make.
Healthcare professionals must secure your permission before initiating any treatment or test AND at every appointment. Just because you underwent the same treatment yesterday doesn't mean your healthcare professional can repeat it without asking for your permission to do so again.
If you're uncertain about whether a given test or treatment is helpful, you can say "no" to further treatments and all licensed healthcare professionals must respect your decision.
All licensed healthcare professionals are required to make every effort to make sure that you are fully educated and understand the following information at every appointment and before performing any test or treatment;
(1) the purpose and goals of a given test or treatment,
(2) current evidence on the benefits and risks of a given test or treatment,
(3) current evidence on the benefits and risks of other tests or treatments that are available for their condition.
If you aren't 100% comfortable with the risks and benefits you're provided with, you can always say "no" to proceeding to any test or treatment.
Don't be afraid to ask these questions.
Everyday new research evidence is published on tests and treatments that can improve the accuracy of a diagnosis or the effectiveness of a treatment.
Regrettably not all healthcare professionals stay up to date and consequently;
- Can continue to offer outdated tests and treatments or
- Use new treatments that are unproven in published independent research.
Before agreeing to undergo a treatment, here are five questions your healthcare professional should be able to answer for you first.
- What is the purpose or goal of this treatment?
- Is there independent and published research that this treatment works for everyone with my condition?
- Are there risks that this treatment could make my condition worse or cause other health problems?
- Are there other treatments available for my condition?
- How does this treatment compare to other treatments in terms of benefits, risks and costs?
Do your own research.
You deserve the highest standard of diagnostics and evidence-based care for your injury or condition.
In order to help you make the most informed decision about a treatment, it's important to access to unbiased and independent research / evidence.
Cochrane Reviews are used by healthcare professionals around the world and are considered one of the most respected resources on evidence-based diagnostics and clinical care.
To perform a search into any test or treatment, just click the link to Cochrane Reviews and enter your injury or symptom to see what the research says.