Sunday, December 02, 2007
Things I Didn't Think I Would Need to Say
Sometimes discussions with a patient's family members don't go as planned. When there's a large group involved, no matter what gets said, someone will be unhappy. Here's a few lines I said the other night that I wish I hadn't had to:
"The face mask is helping him breathe, but I don't know if it is actually prolonging anything."
"No, I can't take the face mask off. He is awake, and is choosing to keep it on."
"I understand that you are his healthcare proxy, but as long as he is capable of making his own decisions, we go by what HE wants."
"No, I can't intentionally drug him into unconsciousness and then take the face mask off."
"I understand that you were told he had less than 24 hours left, and that it has now been several days. I really can't accurately tell you how much time he has left."
As life would have it, a few days after this, my parents tell me that they have just listed me as their healthcare proxy in the new revision of their will. I told them they have never been specific with me as to what their wishes are. To this my Dad said, "Just do whatever you think is reasonable." Argh.