When does a patient become "incapable"
More on the same patient I mentioned in the last post (with the crazy family).
She needs a Mitral Valve replacement. Hers isn't working sufficiently to move blood through the heart. Clotting has already developed on it and had caused a Stroke/CVA already.
The problem is....she doesn't want to be treated. Sick all her life, she's says she's done. Now diagnosed in the past as Bipolar and Schizoaffective, the family and the doctors have deemed her "mildly retarded" and incapable of making her own medical decisions. It took 3 ethics committee meetings to determine this.
Personally, I disagree. She's been my patient for an entire week and I think she is completely of sound mind. (Albeit an emotional and sometimes kind of hostile mind) But they determined that this patient will get the open heart surgery she doesn't want.
This patient with a history of pulling out tubes, thrashing against restraints until undone, and throwing things across the room at the staff with be tied up in ICU for a week and then probably sent back to us with a healing open chest.
Yeah, If anything goes wrong....Who does the crazy family sue? Is it right to make a patient go through that kind of recovery without their permission?
I just find it odd that the "mildly retarded" diagnosis wasn't spoken until after she needed heart surgery.