What if I want my doctor to make the decisions about my care, and I don’t want more information?

Some people prefer not to know a great deal about their diagnosis or treatment. Just as you have a right to informed consent, you have a right to refuse information. Or you can ask for only minimal information and trust your health provider to make decisions for you. At the same time, informed consent laws do not allow a health provider to keep a diagnosis from the patient, even at the family’s request. If you wish to refuse information in today’s legal environment, a wise health care provider may require you to put that in writing.

The American Cancer Society medical and editorial content team
Our team is made up of doctors and master’s-prepared nurses with deep knowledge of cancer care as well as journalists, editors, and translators with extensive experience in medical writing.

Last Medical Review: May 20, 2016 Last Revised: July 28, 2014

American Cancer Society medical information is copyrighted material. For reprint requests, please contact permissionrequest@cancer.org.