Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Too Young To Die

(Disputes between physicians and patients over medical care have tended towards resolution in both courts and ethics committees, with each of these bodies ultimately deciding that the informed, competent patient must be the final decision maker)

TYTD wants the internal defibrillator TAKEN OUT. I spent an hour earlier this morning arguing with her about how I would “highly prefer” if she find a way to live with it. She is a young lady and, as stated earlier, too young to die (TYTD). It discharged while she was holding her baby and she nearly dropped the little girl, it scared her, it should. I don’t blame her but I know that those wires are the only thing standing between us and her funeral.

I told her I refuse to take it out. I won’t even talk about it with my Attending. I refuse. She told me she’s having it taken out. Period.

Murder by proxy and the proxy is I. A highly intelligent woman who now decides she would rather not live at all than have to constantly live under the threat of an electrical shock, even if she knows it was an angel in disguise. Is this ethical? Is this what they had in mind?

Tomorrow will come and I will watch TYTD walk out of my CCU, defibrillator free as she requested. And I will know that she will be lucky if I ever watch her being wheeled back in.