can hospitals drug test you without your permission?

6 Answers

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Generally, no. Sometimes, yes.

    They CAN drug test you if you are unconscious, and drug testing (tox screen) is necessary to make sure whatever they do doesn't interfere with current drugs or medications in your system; or is necessary to make a diagnosis, rule out drug abuse, etc.

    They CAN drug test you if you've signed yourself into psychiatric care; you are generally then required to submit to any required tests/procedures.

    They CAN drug test you if there's a suspected drug overdose; without a tox screen they can't treat the overdose.

    They TYPICALLY cannot drug test you without a signed consent form from you for any other reason, but you may lose certain privileges if you refuse the drug test.

    For example, if the hospital or outside physician is prescribing any type of controlled substances or narcotic meds (for depression, anxiety, pain, or other problems) they are required by law to drug test you to make sure you don't have too much or too little of the narcotic in your system, to prove that you are taking it exactly as prescribed, and are not selling or abusing the meds. Also to prove that you are not dangerously combining them with other street drugs. This is standard, as right now narcotic meds are given out on a "guilty until proven innocent" basis when it comes to abuse, selling, and drug combining. If you refuse a drug test that is ordered for this reason, they can take away any prescriptions they've given you, and/or refuse to prescribe more.

    If you have a history of drug abuse, they can request you submit to a drug test before they give you any new medications, to make sure what you're already taking won't interfere with current treatment. However, if you refuse the test, they may refuse to treat you.

    HOWEVER; some hospitals have a "blanket" consent form when you first are admitted that you sign, and it states (in the fine print) that you already consent to any testing the doctors deem necessary to diagnose or treat your condition; so it's always helpful to obtain copies of consent forms you signed upon check-in at the hospital. If you did sign one of those, they have the right to test for anything they want. But HIPAA will still cover you as far as privacy - they can't release your information or results to anyone but you without your consent.

    If a hospital runs a test without your knowledge, obtain copies of all consent forms you signed and inquire as to the reason they felt it necessary to perform the test. If they did it as a "routine" procedure on a fairly healthy patient (i.e., you weren't in a state of medical emergency) and you did not sign a consent form allowing the test, I would pursue this matter a bit further.

    Source(s): RN
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  • 4 years ago

    Strictly speaking, no. But there are a lot of exceptions. One is the general permission you sign when you register. Another is the "reasonable man rule" that assumes the incompetent would give permission if they were competent. This has broad application: if you're acting strange, for instance, the hospital has an obligation to make sure you aren't a danger to yourself or to the public, and that might involve quite a few things done against your will. The courts, realizing the hospital's difficult position, generally give wide latitude for a short period of time for hospitals to act in this regard.

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  • 4 years ago

    Contact your state's DoH (dept. of health) policy. They take consent extremely seriously.

    "Drug testing is based on specific criteria and medical indicators, not open-ended criteria such as “clinical suspicion” that invite discriminatory testing." - Guidelines for Testing and Reporting Drug Exposed Newborns in Washington State

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  • 3 years ago

    Do Hospitals Drug Test Patients

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  • no but even if they did, you are protect under the laws of HIPPA. any information they obtain for or from you can only be used for medical purposes. the one single only time that a doctor may release your information is if you were involved in a murder case. nothing else. only murder.

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  • 1 decade ago

    If there are indications of a drug over dose they will check yes or if your pupils are dialated ,yes.

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