Friday, July 11, 2003

Good piece by Daniel Henninger in todays Opinion Journal. The story of the Bijani sisters is one of great courage. They knew the risk that they faced, but their desire to live apart was greater than any fear of death they had. The old paternalistic model of medicine is (for the most part) no longer applicable. My method has been to always lay out the options for treatment, carefully explaining the risks and benefits of each. The choice is theirs. If they ask which I would choose I state if they were my wife/child/mother/brother that I would do X or Y, and explain. However, obliging the patient's wishes in high risk procedures, even when the alternative to surgery is death, can be harmful to your liabilty carrier's health. I mean this patient certianly had to know the risk of the procedure. But, on the other hand, what sort of choice does on have when the alternative to surgery is death.

UPDATE: The suit has been settled.
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