i posted earlier about how doctors are sometimes accused of playing God (read here). here's one with a twist......
72-year-old Mr O was admitted a few days ago with chronic obstructive airway disease & acute renal failure. after he had gone for a CT scan & then connected to a ventilator to assist breathing in the ICU, his daughter then dropped a bomb - she wanted to take her father home.
WHAT?? we were stumped!
if a patient is incapacitated, we often respect the wishes of the family as to how they want treatment to proceed, within reason, of course. so while Mr O will benefit from a few rounds of haemodialysis & a few days on ventilator to tide him over this difficult period, there is still no certainty that he will be back to normal after that. he could remain in critical condition, or even get worse. perhaps it's the lack of a guaranteed outcome that the family chose to defer further treatment. both my colleague & i don't know for sure why the family took this course of action.
however, having to make many difficult decisions each day, it does lighten our burden just a bit when the patient or the family make their own decision & boldly adhere to it.
it's out of our hands now.