In cases where a patient decides to leave against the doctor's recommendations, the case will be labeled a discharge "against medical advice" (AMA). The AMA designation is used in part to legally shield the doctor and hospital from liability if a patient gets ill or dies as a result of the premature discharge.
Each hospital has its own discharge policy. You should be able to get a copy from the ward manager or the hospital's Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS). Once you're admitted to hospital, your treatment plan, including details for discharge or transfer, will be developed and discussed with you ...
Junior doctors are increasingly being asked to talk to patients who are looking to self-discharge. There are reports of rising numbers of self-discharges from hospital,1 and the ability to assess a patient requesting their own discharge from hospital is a necessary skill for all new doctors.
In the second audit, capacity was documented in 80%, 80% signed the new self discharge form, 41% were reviewed by a doctor prior to leaving, and 0% left the department without being reviewed. Discussion: Self discharge may be a significant risk to both the patient and the hospital trust.