The workers compensation doctor says that I should have surgery, but I am frightened and not sure if I should go forward? If I refuse to have the surgery, do I lose my compensation?
Answer: The answer to this question really depends on the type of surgery, the risks involved, and how certain the doctor is that the surgery it would sure or alleviate your condition. No doctor can guarantee a result from any surgery, and all surgery carries a certain amount of risk, even the risk of death; however, if it is a simple procedure, your failure to follow the doctor’s advice could constitute an unjustifiable refusal of medical treatment and your employer could seek to cut off your benefits.
That being said, the Commission will not cut off benefits for refusal to undergo a risky procedure such as spinal fusion surgery. Everyone knows that such procedures carry with them the risk of paralysis and even death.
Because there are so many options and factors playing into any such decision, we urge you to contact us if you are facing this situation. You may need to obtain a second opinion from a private physician, at your expense or through your private health insurance.