Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Clinical Ethics: Re-defining medicine and lives

A poignant article in the NY Times today illustrates tension the between patients, patients' advocates, and healthcare professionals, and the righteousness of all involved:

"About 15 years ago, I had a shy patient who ate nothing but white foods and who assaulted anyone who entered her air space on the hospital ward. She was mute but not uncommunicative, and with a little effort it was possible to learn her language.

Some of her problem was her psychosis. Most of it was her mother, who was her legal guardian, appointed by a court to monitor her medications. But the mother was also convinced that psychiatric medications were poison; the patient would go home on weekend passes and return with all her pills in bottles and without a shred of sanity.

This continued for months..." Rest of the article here.

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