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Should Physicians Provide Futile Care? Print E-mail
Written by MD Whistleblower   
Tuesday, 09 May 2017 17:04

I was covering for my partner over the weekend and saw his patient with end stage liver disease, a consequence of decades of alcohol abuse. He was one of the most deeply jaundiced individuals I have ever seen. His mental status was still preserved. He could converse and responded appropriately to my routine inquiries, although he was somewhat sluggish in his thinking. It's amazing that even after the majority of a liver is dead, that a person can still live.

When I do my hospital rounds, it is rare that one of my patients is not suffering some complication of chronic alcoholism. In the hospital, the disease is rampant. In my office, this addiction is much more easily disguised. I know that many of the high functioning alcoholics whom I see there have kept their addiction a secret. Some lie and others deny.

There was a dispute with regard to the jaundiced patient referenced above. There was no disagreement among the medical professionals on treatment options. At this point, there was no medical treatment to offer beyond his current medications. A palliative care specialist advised that hospice care was the most appropriate option.

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Last Updated on Saturday, 20 May 2017 10:48

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