Game Playing Families
The husband of a 35 year old insulin-dependent (type 1 ) diabetic nursing supervisor insists that the severity of his wife’s kidney failure be hidden. In his view, the patient is too fragile to bear the news that she is at risk of near-term loss of vision, dialysis and/or kidney transplantation, with a substantive probability of dying. Despite presentation of the argument that his wife will be better able to bear the stresses ahead if she is informed rather than distanced from the truth, the husband warns that “under no circumstance are you to tell my wife this terrible news.” A resident states that he is not bound by unreasonable requests and will, indeed, discuss the patient’s illness with the patient and family.
KeywordsEthical Concern Kidney Failure Substantive Probability Treatment Decisionmaking Process Therapeutic Privilege
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