Second Opinions

You may want a second opinion if you feel there is uncertainty about your diagnosis or treatment. After a second opinion you may feel that there is some healthy debate about what options may be best for you, or the second doctor may agree about the best way forward.

Some people ask for a second opinion because they would like a particular diagnosis or treatment. The most important thing is to give your doctor the most accurate information so they can make the best decision for you. The diagnosis or treatment you want may not be the one best suited to you.

It is important to remember that having a second opinion may not lead to a different opinion.

  • If you disagree with your doctor about your diagnosis or treatment, tell them why. Give the doctor more information to see if they will change their mind. An advocate might be able to help you with this.
  • Doctors can have different opinions, particularly in mental health. Second opinions can help you feel more certain about the right diagnosis and treatment for you.
  • You can ask for a second opinion, but you have no legal right to one.
  • If your GP or psychiatrist agrees that a second opinion will help, they will try to arrange one for you.
  • If you ask for a second opinion but get turned down, you can complain.