Guidelines: Discharge of a Patient Against Medical Advice

When a patient decides to leave against medical advice 
the following process will take place: 

When a patient leaves against medical advice (AMA) it unfortunately does not absolve the physician of 
responsibility. Careful documentation is of paramount importance.
The responsible provider will take the time to discuss the patient's concerns; why they feel the need to leave before 
being officially discharged from the facility. If the patient still chooses to leave after the discussion, 
documentation in the patient's chart should include that the patient understands the risks and benefits of leaving against 
medical advice.
The patient will then be discharged with documentation that the discharge is occurring against medical advice; i.e. the 
provider opposes the decision by the patient to leave. However, the patient should be discharged like any other 
patient, with documentation of vital signs, discharge instructions, any needed prescriptions, and emergency 
Approved By Governing Board    
Control #380.0