The Legal Right to Refuse Medical Treatment in the U.S.A.

by Toby Rogers Mar 20, 2022

I want to draw your attention to an extraordinary legal resource that I just discovered (hat tip to the brilliant @blueivyrose_ on Instagram). It’s a document prepared by Massachusetts lawyer Ronald B. Standler titled Legal Right to Refuse Medical Treatment in the U.S.A.

It summarizes all of the key court cases (up until 2012 when it was published) that establish the legal right to refuse medical treatment. He writes,

This essay discusses the history of judicial opinions that hold a mentally competent adult patient has the legal right in the USA to refuse continuing medical treatment for any reason, even if that refusal will hasten his/her death.

His summaries are excellent and really zoom in on the key quotes from the decisions:

Basis for Right to Refuse Treatment


The history of the right to refuse medical treatment in the USA is often traced back to two judicial opinions:

• Union Pacific Railway Co. v. Botsford, 141 U.S. 250, 251 (1891) Botsford sued railroad for concussion resulting from alleged negligence of railroad. Railroad wanted surgical examination of her injuries. Request of railroad denied. “No right is held more sacred, or is more carefully guarded by the common law, than the right of every individual to the possession and control of his own person, free from all restraint or interference of others, unless by clear and unquestionable authority of law.”

• Schloendorff v. Society of New York Hospital, 105 N.E. 92, 93 (N.Y. 1914) “Every human being of adult years and sound mind has a right to determine what shall be done with his own body; and a surgeon who performs an operation without his patient’s consent commits an assault, for which he is liable in damages.”

It goes on like this for 57 pages with summaries of key cases, discussion of the major issues raised by each case, and important insights into how the courts have interpreted these precedents over the years.

I imagine this will be a helpful resource for warrior mamas in child custody cases trying to keep their kids from being poisoned by vengeful spouses. I also think it may be helpful for our warrior litigators fighting against a wide range of Pharma fascist policies at the federal, state, and local level.

One bummer about the document is that it is a locked PDF — which makes it difficult to copy and paste. I imagine that clever people will find a way around that.

To recap where we are at in the legal fight against vaccine mandates:

There are four broad sets of legal doctrines that clearly support bodily autonomy:

1. The U.S. Constitution, including the right to freedom of speech and freedom of religion (1st Amendment), the right of people to be secure in their person (4th Amendment), the prohibition on involuntary servitude (13th Amendment), and the right to equal protection under the law (14th Amendment) — all support personal sovereignty.

2. International law and medical norms including:

• The Universal Declaration of Human Rights
• The Nuremberg Code and
• The Declaration of Helsinki

support the absolute right to refuse medical treatment.

3. The mountain of case law cited in Legal Right to Refuse Medical Treatment in the USA shows that the courts have long-supported medical autonomy.

4. The recent Supreme Court decision in the OSHA case and 5 other federal cases establish that federal agencies do not have the power to mandate a medical product.

Meanwhile, all that Team Pharma has going for it is the wrongly decided 1905 Jacobson v. Massachusetts case that is now completely discredited because it was used as a justification for forced sterilization in the Buck v. Bell case in 1927 that was struck down as unconstitutional in 1978 (see Holland, 2010, p. 42, footnote 300). Jacobson is a product of eugenic thinking and it must be repudiated as such and permanently relegated to the dustbin of history.

Were it not for that fact that Pharma pumps billions of dollars into our political and regulatory system every year we would not even be having this conversation because the courts have been clear at least since World War II that bodily autonomy is sacrosanct and that all medical decision reside with the individual — not the state, not doctors, and not the public health system.

The real story here is that progressives just cannot seem to quit eugenics. They loved eugenics in the 1900s when Jacobson was decided. They loved eugenics in the 1920s when Buck v. Bell was decided. And now progressives have once again embraced eugenics with their fanatical support for junk science mRNA shots that are killing and maiming hundreds of thousands of people in the U.S. and around the world.

All decent and sane people must reject eugenics and reject Pharma junk science and return to the bedrock legal principles of individual autonomy and personal sovereignty.

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