* * Anonymous Doc: Ethical Dilemma of the Week

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Ethical Dilemma of the Week

"Hi, I think my brother-in-law, [Patient], told you I'd be calling."

"Yes, he said you were a doctor and wanted to discuss his condition."

"Yeah, I want to know if we're at the end yet."

"Excuse me?"

"I want to know how close we are to the end."

"Um, your brother-in-law is not in great shape, that's absolutely correct.  But I don't believe he is actively dying.  We're having him come in for surgery next week, and while I don't think he's going to be playing golf anytime soon, with rehab and probably a wheelchair at least for the short term, I think he'll be okay."

"I don't think my sister is capable of taking care of him."

"She seems to be doing okay, from what I've seen."

"Well, what I want to know is whether it's time for her to just leave him in the emergency room and let the state take care of him."

"I'm sorry, what?"

"You know, they're not legally married.  So I told her, she has no legal responsibility for him.  If she gets tired of dealing with him, I told her she can just drop him off at the hospital and never come back."

"She seems to be doing okay.  I'm sure they'd love the situation to be better, but we're hopeful he can have some kind of recovery and even if it's a limited quality of life, mentally he's okay, and whether or not they're married, she doesn't seem like she would want to just leave him to die on his own."

"I know, and I'm trying to convince her otherwise.  I was hoping you might be able to talk some sense into her."

"Wait, you want me to convince her to leave him in the ER and walk away?"

"Yes, exactly.  I appreciate it, thanks."

"No, I don't think that's the best option given his situation."

"For him or for her?"

"For either of them!"

"You know you'd still get paid by insurance, right?"


  1. such an a**hole, what kind of feak would convince people to that horrible things...
    bad things should happen to him/her.
    i dont usually curse, but that freak doctor definitely deserves that...

  2. What a jackass! I seriously hope he's not practicing.

  3. After all the long drawn out conversations about goals of care and trying to convince a family that DNR might be the most compassionate thing to do, it's always shocking when you meet someone who's itching to "pull the plug" on a patient with no life threatening conditions. (I'm sure there are a few out there who would like to pull the plug on me from time to time.)
    -the DME

  4. And he is a doctor... sigh

  5. I know this has nothing to do with this post, but have you ever wtinessed something like this at your hospital?

    "Organs taken from patients that doctors were pressured to declare brain dead"


    It seems like nurses are the only ones looking out for the patients.

  6. Hooo, not a good doc for sure , maybe he just hates him

  7. You know he's doing this because he wants to boink her, right?

    1. ...you think he wants to boink his own sister?

  8. peaople like this...leave me speechless.

  9. Coming from a family with real POS in-laws...I would refrain from judging BUT will say the fact that this person, a doctor no less, voiced his opinions, sure does make him sound like a first class creep. I've got to tell you though...I know some people whom this type of conversation would NOT be out of the question. Regardless, I hope the patient gets better---or do I?

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