June 2004, Volume 34 Number 6 , p 66 - 67
© 2004 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc. Volume 34(6) June 2004 p 66–67 Nothing in writing [ETHICAL PROBLEMS: REFUSING TREATMENT]
SALLADAY, SUSAN A. RN, PHD
A 59-year-old, unconscious patient with end-stage chronic obstructive pulmonary disease was rushed by helicopter to the ED, where he was intubated and placed on a ventilator. By the time his 83-year-old mother arrived, he'd been transferred to the ICU where I work.
This patient had no written advance medical directive. But his mother clearly stated that she and her son had spoken several times about their medical wishes, and that he'd firmly told her he wouldn't want to be kept alive by a machine.
After speaking with her, the consulting pulmonologist persuaded her to agree to a diagnostic work-up, which showed acute respiratory distress syndrome and a large lung mass. He scheduled ...