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View Diary: Yes, Actually, I CAN Judge The Chemo Kid (647 comments)

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  •  I disagree (5+ / 0-)
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    snakelass, offred, J Rae, Turkana, virgomusic

    and I'll give you an example that drove me nuts recently.

    We had a patient who was a chronic schizophrenic who came in with an acute problem that was potentially life threatening. Because of this problem, the patient was unable to eat. The patient kept pulling out IV lines, and we never put down an NG tube because of the risks that she'd pull that out.

    She was deemed incompetent to make medical decisions. Her surrogate made a decision for nutrition options. And we had to chemically and physically restrain her in order to implement that treatment.

    Was that the right thing to do? Doing nothing meant serious complications, possibly death. Is that the right thing to do for a chronically mentally ill patient?

    And believe it or not, a week later we had another patient in almost the same kind of situation.

    It's not a clear cut situation.

    Diversity may be the hardest thing for a society to live with, and perhaps the most dangerous thing for a society to be without - W S Coffin

    by stitchmd on Fri May 22, 2009 at 04:57:26 PM PDT

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    •  asdf (2+ / 0-)
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      Turkana, khereva

      My son has chronic schizophrenic but his is stable and controlled with medication.
      We were "lucky" if you can call it that. He was diagnosed at age 14 which meant that as his mother I got to decide that he was going to take his medication.
      By the time he got to make his own decisions he was well enough to know that he needed to continue with it.
      I cannot image where he would be right now if he had been able to refuse treatment.
      13 years of relative stability for him and the ability for him to function in the world has been priceless.

      •  that's truly wonderful (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        snakelass, offred, Turkana

        the patient I am talking about spent years in the state mental hospital. She is not just a chronic schizophrenic, she is chronically psychotic and not attuned to reality. And no amount of meds would get her there. Believe me, we tried that first.

        I am truly happy for you and for your son that he is able to be controlled with meds. Unfortunately that's not true for everyone, and it wasn't the case with this very unfortunate patient.

        It was one of the most difficult ethical dilemmas I've found myself in. There are cases you remember all your life. This will be one for me.

        And I'm sure you know how it goes with some chronically mentally ill patients and their "right" to refuse meds. That was what led to the situation with the second patient. Apparently, however, she did much better after getting a few good doses of parenteral antipsychotics.

        Diversity may be the hardest thing for a society to live with, and perhaps the most dangerous thing for a society to be without - W S Coffin

        by stitchmd on Fri May 22, 2009 at 05:55:10 PM PDT

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        •  yes (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Turkana, Esjaydee, virginwoolf

          I know about the right to refuse.
          My nephew also had chronic schizophrenic but his was diagnosed at a later age and he refused to take medication.
          He was in and out of hospitals and the courts refused to conserve him even though he was psychotic.
          He committed suicide 18 months ago during a really bad episode.
          That was a really hard time for my son, he has never been able to process why no one could step in and make him take his medication.
          My nephew was 28.

          •  A dear childhood friend lived (2+ / 0-)
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            J Rae, Turkana

            a nearly identical life as your nephew.
            Her parents tried everything to save her.
            My friend starved herself to death believing all food was poisoned. She was 25.

            Her folks and siblings work tirelessly for legislation change to protect the ill from themselves.

            My condolences for your nephew.

            YES WE DID! November 4th, 2008

            by Esjaydee on Fri May 22, 2009 at 07:39:49 PM PDT

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      •  and then, imagine where he would be if you (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        J Rae, Turkana

        had refused to allow him to be treated -- if you had persuaded him that the medicine was not only bad, but unnecessary?

        it blows my mind that there are people so libertariany that they'll argue in favor of parents' right to murder their children.

        To put the torture behind us is, inevitably, to put it in front of us.

        by UntimelyRippd on Fri May 22, 2009 at 10:31:12 PM PDT

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        •  would never have refused to treat (1+ / 0-)
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          Turkana

          But his medical bills ran into the thousands every month and insurance didn't cover more than 50% of it.
          Our local pharmacy was really great though about "lending" enough medication until payday some months.
          It was a relief though when he turned 18 and went on SSI/medical.

          Alot of family's like ours (single parent with kids) just wear down though. I call it tired parent syndrome.

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