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Intoxication Policy

The Boucher Naturopathic Medical Clinic will not provide care to any clients under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol if their intoxication is disruptive or could impede patient care.

The Clinic Supervisor will use his/her discretion in enforcing the above policy, keeping in mind the following principles:

  1. The potential behaviour problem posed by an intoxicated patient should be used to assess whether he/she can be seen, as we are concerned with safety, rather than moral judgment;
  2. Our goal is to offer patients health, not deny them;
  3. An intoxicated patient may be difficult to evaluate accurately;
  4. Intoxication may interfere with the energetic principles of such treatments as Traditional Asian Medicine, homeopathy etc.
  5. Intoxication may increase risk of liability to the Boucher Institute.
  6. We should maintain a consistent protocol with all patients. This may conflict with the first and second principles, and the Clinic Supervisors must use discretion in balancing these goals.

Any patient who appears to the Clinic Supervisor to be under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs, and who is seen at the Clinic, must be:

  1. Informed of our stated policy against seeing patients under the influence;
  2. Warned that his/her condition may interfere with assessment;
  3. Told that an exception is being made for him/her;
  4. Prohibited from acupuncture treatments, blood draws, injections, physical manipulations and any other treatment that the Clinic Supervisor believes could be compromised by the patient’s intoxication. 

The Clinic Supervisor must complete a case form for each patient turned away under the Intoxication Protocol, including a description of the patient’s reaction to the denial of services. This form will be included in the patient’s record, and the incident should be reported at debriefing and the next Planning Committee meeting.

The Clinic does not discriminate against clients based on lifestyle, addiction etc. Drug use outside of the Clinic is not grounds for denying services to individuals. All social information is confidential. Any patient seen by a clinic intern who discusses recreational use of alcohol, tobacco or drugs must be advised that these substances are harmful to their health. The patient must also be asked if they would like any information on health effects or quitting, unless the clinic intern feels that this discussion would jeopardize their relationship with the patient. This discussion should take place in a non-judgmental, serious manner as a part of the patient’s interview.

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