Tuesday, June 18, 2013

What Would You Do? What Would You Want?

Courtesy of CNN, here are a couple real-life scenarios I thought I'd share with you. Both of these videos represent the kind of cases that a psychiatrist confronts in an emergency room. I'd like you to put yourself first in the position of the patient: suppose you've been sick before, but never this sick (let's take it for granted none of this is due to drugs for now). You have an advance directive in place that says you absolutely don't want treatment even if you're a danger to yourself (again, for the sake of the exercise it's an enforceable advance directive). You never addressed danger to others in your advance directive because you never anticipated it could get this bad.

What would you want done?

If you were the doctor, what would you do?

Now for the second scenario. Is there anything about this situation that might make your wishes or opinions different from the first one? What's the difference? And if none, why not?

Thank you in advance for thinking about these problems. All of you who commented on my Emancipated Patient post have taught me something and I'm grateful. I'm putting this up to learn more about your ideas, opinions and wishes. Please keep talking.