Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Medical Realities

Grand Rounds 2:28 is educational, as usual. As usual, there's some discussion of economic realities, but I was struck by one story in which an elderly patient, suffering complications from a procedure, exclaimed "Well, you tell those doctors that they have another thing coming if they think that I'm going to pay for this implant!" The blogger chalked it up to "a sense of humor. I love patients like that!" That's a pretty typical reaction to outspoken women, or elderly, both of whom get patronized on a regular basis by such "professionals", but what if she was serious? In the case as described, the complication was predictable and it was allowed to persist well after it was noted: why should a patient, or her insurance, pay for a botched procedure when the doctors can't be bothered to correct their own mistakes in a timely fashion?

In other moral dilemmas, this discussion of medical involvement in executions is quite a challenge. Both to liberals and conservatives, in different ways. Lively stuff.

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