MAY YOU REFUSE TO TREAT?
There is no duty to treat a patient. The duty to treat a patient arises out of the initial development of the doctor–patient relationship, as discussed previously. Every dentist has the right to treat those patients he or she chooses. However, that choice must not be based on color, creed, race, religion, national origin, or disability, including HIV or AIDS. Discrimination does not attach when referring a patient for needed treatment that is beyond one’s skill level or competence. However, in a decision to refuse treatment based on treatment needs, be sure that the decision is equally based for all of one’s patients and not due to some underlying bias. As was pointed out previously, employees also cannot refuse to treat a patient based on the aforementioned protected classes or groups. In the event that an employee refuses to treat such a patient, that employee must be fired or risk the effects of a lawsuit based on respondeat superior/vica/>