Can l legally refuse to take medication


l have been diagnosed with A.S in my 20’s and am not going to be 60 this year. l am no longer able to maintain a job although lm struggling through in order to survive .until l can get disability. l was told by a Rhmuotologist l should try a vaccine that may help with pain but will not cure A.S. There is no cure for it and lm at my end with work. Will refusing to take a medication be a qualification to receive CPP disability.l will not be able to go back to work. Thank you


Hi Beth, every person has the right to control what happens to their own body. So, legally you can always refuse any treatment. Sometimes refusing treatment can result in a denial of disability benefits. In order to receive disability benefits you have to undergo reasonable treatment. What is “reasonable” will vary from situation to situation depending on the circumstances. A judge would look at a number of things, including whether the recommended treatment is best practice, what are the chances of success, what are the risks, etc.


Thank you for your reply. l’m opting for a program in pain management and also seeing a chiropractor and massage therapist as well as any exercise program that may help me manage the pain instead of the vaccine that can cause other serious issues in some cases.lm also on pain medication at this time. lm going on light duties at work and if that doesn’t help then l will have to go on sick leave in hopes l can get disability to help me.lf you have any other suggestions that may help me, l would appreciate it. Do l need to see a disability lawyer now or wait to see what the Disability say? Thank you


Hypothetical situation: a patient who is on disability gets a permanent damage to his health as a result of side effects of medications or treatments that were pushed on him by an insurance provider or a doctor. For example, liver damage as an adverse effect of medications or permanent cognitive impairments from a psychiatric treatment.

Who would assume the responsibility? Will it be an addition to one’s current medical condition on file?


You are on the right path Beth. If you feel that work is getting unmanageable then an increase in healthcare visits, trying lighter work will all work in your favor if you do have to try for disability. Given all that you are doing to get better opting out of a vaccine maybe reasonable. If there are side effects or risk of permanent damage there will be scholarly reviews or risks listed from credible sources that can back you up in not trying a course of treatment.
Since you are struggling at work, make sure your doctor/provider is aware and documents.
You could get a pain/symptom diary to track each day how your illness is affecting you. Use the pain scale.
You want to note the pain characteristics and pain score 0-10 level. Also how it is affecting your life, cancelled dates, unable to do house work. Also how it affects you mentally-trouble concentrating, bursts of anger…
Good luck and hope you find a treatment that works.


Hi Beth, I don’t think you need to see a lawyer now. Wait and see how things play out.


Elaine, not sure what you are asking here? Are you asking can you sue either the doctor or insurer for compensation? If so, it would be a situation where the insurer would bear no fault here. It would come down to the doctors who oversaw the treatment and whether such treatment was reasonable in the circumstances and the extent to which the patient gave informed consent. It would be a medical negligence situation. From a legal point of view, the only potential legal action would be against the doctor involved…but only if the doctor was negligent. Keep in mind a doctor can follow accepted practice and there can still be bad results.


Thanks so much for your advice. l will wait and see what happens with the disability. l’m not sure how long it will take to hear back from them but lm getting to the point where l may have to go on sick leave. Regards Beth


Thank you, David, for your response.