Two Cardiac Arrests, One Medical Team
McIntyre, Kevin M.
Benfari, Robert C.
Battin, Margaret Pabst
Hastings Center Report. 1982 Apr; 12(2): 24-25.
A hypothetical case is presented in which the sole cardiac-arrest team on duty must decide which of two patients to resuscitate. One, an institutionalized, severely retarded adult, has survived two earlier attacks which have left him permanently physically disabled. The second is a married businessman recuperating from a mild stroke. The decision to treat is made on a "first come, first served" basis, but both men die. The authors comment on the case and discuss how a decision that took into account prognosis, social costs, and re-allocation of available resources might have resulted in the survival of both men. (KIE abstract)