Tuesday, July 19, 2005
This week's JAMA has another installment in its outstanding Clinician's Corner series about end of life issues. This one is about difficult issues surrounding advanced directives. The case is one of the more horrific unclear-advance-directive-leading-to-terrible-death situations I've ever heard of & frankly I appreciate the article just for putting this in print as most of us have seen situations like this. At one point the patient's wife tries to physically stop the code-blue resuscitation of the poor patient. It's that bad of a situation. The article describes some of the more complicated elements of advance directives, especially in hospitalized patients whose conditions are rapidly changing. It would make a great teaching article for med students & residents.