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DWP stance on refusal of treatment? 7 years 6 months ago #98382

Hi

Does anyone have any knowledge or experience of how the DWP/ATOS view patients/claimants not consenting to operations or taking medication or going for tests offered by the claimants' doctors, when there is reasonable/good reason for refusal?

I appreciate that no one can advise specifically about my particular case, but I would be grateful to hear of others' experiences in similar circumstances to those of mine:

For my urinary urge incontinence, I was told by my specialist that it would be likely that the treatment would be a drug that is, unfortunately, to be used 'with caution' for patients that have a rare neurological condition from which I also suffer...

I was also offered urodynamics testing which might have showed that an operation was called for, instead of or as well as the aforementioned drug therapy, but as urodynamics is invasive (and there is risk, albeit minimal, of damage to the bladder and infection) I chose not to go through with the testing and am not prepared to risk an operation if one were offered nor would I be prepared to risk taking the drugs. So, for at least the time being, I have decided to put up with my incontinence...

My feeling though is, from the ESA descriptors I might, in my current state, in fact be eligible to be put in the ESA support group (but, as explained, that isn't my motivation for refusing treatment - I just don't want to suffer any more than I already do; I don't want to have any treatment that might add to my woes). I would be grateful for any thoughts on this.

Many thanks.

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Last edit: by Gordon.

DWP stance on refusal of treatment? 7 years 6 months ago #98401

nofuss

First, let me state the DWP's official position in regard to ESA

ESA Regulations 2008
157(b) fails without good cause to attend for or submit to medical or other treatment (excluding vaccination, inoculation or major surgery) recommended by a doctor with whom, or a hospital or similar institution with which, the claimant is undergoing medical treatment, which would be likely to remove the limitation on the claimant’s capability for work;

However, in over three years of moderating I have never seen a case of this regulation being applied, on this forum or any other.

The DWP would need to prove that the refusal was not reasonable. Concern over the side effects of taking a medicine or the risk associated with an operation, would constitute Good Cause for refusing.

Finally, it may well be illegal under the Human Rights Act to enforce treatment, where the patient refuses. There may be exceptions to this under the Mental Health Act, but this is not relevant in regard to ESA.

However, Monday's changes to the ESA Regulations may make the situation less clear, where the assumption of benefit from prescribed medication has been added to the Exceptional Circumstances for the WRAG. It is important to note that the medication must have been prescribed, if it was not then it is not relevant, and it is specific to medication, not any form or treatment including an operation.

So to summarise, with the exclusion of the Regulation 29 (WRAG Exceptional Circumstances), there should no issue with regard a claimant refusing treatement. In the specific circumstances of Reg.29, it is too early to say how this will be applied and it may well required to be tested at appeal.

I hope this explains it.

Gordon
The following user(s) said Thank You: nofuss , Bearer

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