She came into the hospital with her three year old child. Her child had a one inch laceration on the left side of her face. The child had fallen and cut her face. And her tetanus vaccination status was up to date.
As I cleaned the wound with peroxide, the mother stated that her husband was on the board of directors of the hospital and that the family had contributed over $1,000,000 to the hospital.
I said that is admirable. She then said that she wished a plastic surgeon to tend her child.
I said that I would ask the plastic surgeon on call to tend her. What would you have done?
The options are:
- Refuse to call the plastic surgeon?
- Call the plastic surgeon and not mention the high profile of this family in the community?
- Or call the plastic surgeon and mention the high profile of this family in the community?
When the plastic surgeon called back I explained the mother had asked for a plastic surgeon to treat her child’s superficial laceration. I did not mention the name of the family, because of patient-doctor confidentiality I would never do this for other patients either.
The surgeon refused stating that this was a routine problem and that I was competent to care for the patient.
I informed the patient that the surgeon did not see the reason for her expertise for this routine problem.
I sutured the laceration and discharged the child with follow-up care for the mother.
The mother was not pleased and told me that they would go to another city to see her plastic surgeon.
I never heard any more about the case.
What was the ethical response? I don’t know. What do you think?
Striving for aequanimitas,
John Mary Meagher
- Your Theory of Error Matters
- Meditate on death to live more fully.
- Tolstoy’s Ivan Illyich asks, “how have I lived?” A Cautionary Tale.
- Ivan Illyich’s Doctors treat his disease but neglect him.
- The Elephant in the Dark House
- “Needless” Mr. Lemond’s reflection on end of life gasping for breath.
- We see what we expect to see.
- The ageless conquest of oneself
- The Inner Game of Golf- of Medicine
- What advice would you give to a medical student?
- “That was a curious incident – the corneal abrasion did not pain.
- Poems to jolt when humanity has flat-lined in the hosptial
- Heard at a Journal Club On “the Difficult Encounter”
- Brochure for upcoming CME event: Staying Tuned La Malbaie, May 8th, 2016
- Staying Tuned CME May 8th at La Malbaie QC
- Percocet (oxycodone): This White Collar Heroin is a dog collar. Who will escape?
- Is Cynicism pernicious to your health?
- Should the privileged get privileged care?
- Antoine Saint de Exupery (or The Carpenter and his Block of Wood)
- Heartsink is a better term than Difficult Patient?
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