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Avatar universal

Can a doctor refuse treatment if I refuse a urine analysis?

Located in Canada.

I went to outpatients to seek mental health assistance. I have struggled with anxiety, depression, suicide ideation, and self harm for roughly 11 years. In this time, I have sought help from councillors, mental health workers, and my GP. Each time, I feel I’ve been dismissed, maybe because I was not clearly presenting the severity of my symptoms. This time, I wanted to make it abundantly clear that I am struggling and I don’t know how much longer I can go on. I told the attending doctor about my history, my current suicide ideation and plans. The doctor was sympathetic, but said I need to submit to a urine analysis to detect for alcohol, nicotine, and marijuana before I can see a psychiatrist. During the exam, I reported no to using these substances, and alcohol, nicotine, and marijuana are all legal in my country. My other alternative, if I refuse, would be to self-refer to mental health which typically takes months. I’m just wondering if an outpatient/emergency doctor can really refuse treatment to me if I refuse a urine analysis.
3 Responses
Avatar universal
Most of us on here don't live in Canada, and you'd need to find out what Canadian law is to find out.  I will say it doesn't sound right to me since none of those three substances are addictive and, as you say, are legal in Canada.  It is also odd given that the reason most people abuse drugs, rather than use them occasionally, is due to mental illness.  But again, Canada has socialized medicine, and so if you need a referral there to see a psychiatrist you have to find out what the law about that is.  I can see how use of alcohol or weed can make a mental illness worse, but weed can also make some mental illnesses better, so again, odd to choose those three and not, say, heroin or meth.  I mean, there are a ton of drugs people take that can have an impact on mental health.  Here's what I would want to find out:  first, do you want to see a psychiatrist or a psychologist?  The latter do therapy and while some psychiatrists do therapy, most don't and you really want to see one if you are in need of medication.  Now, if you're indeed suicidal, you probably will be sent for medication, but here again, if you are in fact indicating to a doctor you are suicidal and the doctor doesn't get you very prompt help that is also weird.  Again, that's from a US perspective, where we don't have socialized medicine and we have to follow the rules of our insurance policies.  Some require referrals and some don't.  Here's again what I recommend:  talk to someone at your gov't run services center and find out the law and the rules.  If this doctor is not following them, find a different doctor.  If you don't need a referral, and I'm guessing you don't to see a psychologist, then bypass the general docs altogether and see the people who specialize in mental health treatment.  A psychologist will refer you to a psychiatrist if you need medication because you are suicidal, and if you are imminently suicidal, you should have been immediately sent to a facility.  Hopefully someone here will know Canadian health care law, but I wouldn't wait for that as there are no experts on here, just folks helping folks.  Given how you explain your situation you need help now, so get right on it.  And if I might ask, given those substances are not illegal, what happens if you take a test and test positive?  Does it still affect employment there if your boss finds out?  Can your boss find out or are your protected as you would be in the US by health care secrecy laws?
I'm sorry, I didn't mean to say none of those substances are addictive, obviously two of them are.  I meant to say if you're an alcoholic or use pot a lot, it can be part of your problem.  I don't think smoking is ever part of a mental health problem.  And recreational occasional use of any of them wouldn't pose a mental health problem either unless you react badly to them, such as them making you more depressed or more anxious if you use them.  Sorry.
Avatar universal
I would think an emergency room Dr. would seem to be appropriate in this situation.  I have the same issues as you and have been admitted to a mental hospital 2 time through the ER.  Like Paxiled said you need to find out the laws in your country.  If you self admit you basically can get out in 3 day and is likely that you stay a week.  If you are what we call 302ed meaning you are committed involuntarily and they have to hold you for 72 hrs and most likely to be found incompetent to make your own decisions any will keep you as long as they see fit!  But the way you are talking you really need the help and want the help!  I am so sorry you have been dealing with this for 11 years with no relief and no one to help u out or that you serious!  Here I have never been pissed tested to get mental heath intervention!!!   Please keep us updated on your situation!   Julie
Avatar universal
I have experianced the same problem, although it was when I was in hospital. I was refused the dentist unless I gave a urine test. Luckily I passed it, but I had been smoking weed the night before! haha
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