In my last post, Hope or Letting Go, I shared the story of a physician, Dr. Youn, still troubled by an incident that happened ten years ago. Since reading it, I've been bothered by some of the questions he posed.
For example, Dr. Youn asked if concern for the needs of the patient's loved ones ever take precedence over the patients' needs?
In a word: No.
Am I missing something? I hope I'm not alone in thinking this issue poses no dilemma. To accept someone as a patient under their care is to agree to advocate for this patient through thick and thin.
Patients and their caregivers should be able to trust that their physicians' words and actions are always said and done with the patients' welfare in mind.
Another topic that Dr. Youn raised has to do with hope. The story suggests that family members feel more hopeful for recovery if their loved one looks peaceful on a ventilator than if their loved one is awake and not on a ventilator, but writhing in pain.
In my next post I'll address this and other factors that affect family members' sense of hope.