Monday, September 13, 2010

Doctor Power: WE Know What's Best For You, So Shut Up

I missed this when it first came out, but this is exactly why we need to be constantly vigilant. This article is an exemplar of what I call doctor power. Where doctors actually ignore the wishes of the patient and their families and legal proxies – just because. Douglas DeGuerre’s medical records absolutely stipulated that all measures be taken to keep him alive. Guess what? The doctors ignored that legal directive and let him die in front of his distraught daughter.
Lawsuit could set precedent about end-of-life decisions
Joy Wawrzyniak's face is reflected in a photograph of her father, Douglas (Dude) DeGuerre. She is suing Sunnybrook hospital and two doctors, alleging they failed to try to save DeGuerre's life despite the family's wishes.
As her father lay struggling for breath in a Toronto hospital bed, Joy Wawrzyniak pleaded with doctors to intervene and save his life.
Medical staff instead stood back and allowed the World War II veteran to die, against his wishes and to the shock of his daughter, Wawrzyniak claims in a stunning $1 million lawsuit filed this week against Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre and two doctors responsible for her father’s care.
While Wawrzyniak and her father, Douglas (Dude) DeGuerre, had repeatedly requested he receive life-saving treatment in case of a medical emergency, doctors unilaterally overruled those wishes without consent or consultation, the lawsuit claims. more

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