A Cardiac Arrest and a Second-Hand Report
Lammers, Stephen E.
Childs, Alan W.
Mernick, Mitchel H.
Hastings Center Report. 1986 Dec; 16(6): 15-17.
A resident was ordered to discontinue resuscitation procedures on a 65-year-old man who had suffered cardiac arrest. A chaplain's assistant and a nurse had alerted the primary physician to the spouse's statements that her husband did not want his life prolonged by extraordinary means. A lack of communication among all the parties aggravated the conflicts in this case in which the patient was unable to state his desires, the resident and physician found out about his wishes second-hand, and only the chaplain's assistant spoke about the issue with the wife. Physicians are urged to take the initiative in discussing resuscitation with patients and/or family members as soon as potentially terminal situations arise. Other health personnel should participate in decisions about emergency care. In cases where such communication has not occurred, a resident should not stop resuscitative efforts without more information about the patient's wishes. (KIE abstract)
Aged; Case Studies; Communication; Consent; Decision Making; Emergency Care; Family Members; Health; Health Personnel; Heart Diseases; Hospitals; Internship and Residency; Life; Patient Care; Patient Care Team; Patients; Physicians; Resuscitation; Resuscitation Orders; Residency; Third Party Consent; Treatment Refusal;
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