Treating yourself or your family members
Priority Health concurs with the recommendation of the American Medical Association (AMA) that practitioners should not treat themselves or their immediate family members, in order to avoid the potential for ethical conflicts.
See the full AMA policy 8.19, Self Treatment or Treatment of Immediate Family Members, by going to the AMA website and downloading their PolicyFinder application.
Priority Health policy statements on self/family treatment
- General. Priority Health practitioners should generally not treat themselves or members of their immediate families (immediate family is defined as spouse and natural or step parents, siblings or children) or admit immediate family members to the hospital.
- Mid-level practitioners. Priority Health mid-level practitioners (including but not limited to CRNA, PA, NP, CNM, DC) should not be directly involved with care of their family members.
- Emergencies. In the case of medical emergencies, a Priority Health practitioner can begin stabilization of acute medical issues of a family member with communication to the practitioner of record, until an equally or greater qualified practitioner is available.
- Orders, written or verbal. Priority Health practitioners shall not write orders or dictate verbal orders for the care of themselves. Any suggestions for care should be communicated to the practitioner of record or consulting physician involved in the care.
- Prescriptions. Except in emergencies, it is not appropriate for Priority Health practitioners to write prescriptions for controlled substances for themselves or immediate family members. Any suggestions for care should be communicated to the practitioner of record or consulting physician involved in care.
- Inpatient admissions/hospitalizations. Priority Health practitioners should generally not treat immediate family members during inpatient hospital admissions or perform treatments, procedures, surgery or obstetrical delivery on family members during hospitalizations. Any suggestions for care should be communicated to the practitioner of record.
In addition, Priority Health practitioners must comply with HIPAA regulations protecting patient information, regardless of whether the patient is a family member.