Can I sue my dentist if he wouldn’t treat fir a life threatening condition because I couldn’t afford the procedure?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Can I sue my dentist if he wouldn’t treat fir a life threatening condition because I couldn’t afford the procedure?

I went to a dentist because I had an abscess tooth they took an X-ray and the doctor came in and looked at my X-rays and my mouth. He told me that I was 12 hours away from my throat swelling up and that I needed to get my tooth pulled that it was a life-or-death situation. Once the nurse came in and told me that it was going to cost me $412 and I told him that I couldn’t afford it they sent me home

Asked on August 25, 2016 under Malpractice Law, Kansas


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

You dentist is not a charity: he is not required to treat patients, even for the most serious conditions for free. If a patient says that he/she cannot or will not pay, the dentist does not need to treat him or her. If the condition is urgent, the patient can go to an emergency room, which will not turn emergencies away.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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