I appreciate your response to my post. I very much appreciate your sensitivity. I understand where you're coming from. And the only Expert Witness authority I can offer is in achitecture -- a far cry from the human body. But this isn't about attempting to pursue a malpractice claim; it never was. My point was only what I perceive as the gross injustice of the system...and I am trying to reconcile at least some of this.
Let me fill in a couple of gaps in my previous post... then tell me if you're still in exactly the same place, please:
This individual, this pulmonogist, saw and examined my mother at least once a week AFTER she dismissed him as her chief pulmonologist. He WAS part of the same group until very recently. My mother spent the bulk of her final three years here in acute care on the pulmonary floor, and he was on call often. She had no choice. He knew her case well. And I now know being on call to him meant making rounds, but NOT taking telephone calls for true emergencies after hours. (?)
After he hung up on her, I tried calling back myself, through the service. The operator said he was not allowed to connect ANYONE, not even other physicians. It made sense when he phoned and explained himself the day I was getting dressed for her funeral. Should I have immediately turned around and phoned 911? ABSOLUTELY! But I didn't, and I'll never be able to forgive myself for that. I turned her concentrator up as high as it would go, and didn't think to call for a couple of hours... by which time she was anoxic, I suspect....now.
But the physicians she knew ammd she trusted ALSO convinced her NOT to listen to the specialists at the Cleveland Clinic, [B]who had reviewed her medical records, and were encouraging me to bring her for in-person evaluation for the lung transplant program.[B] I've went to the Cleveland Clinc with the records -- they don't have time to play games there. They have a small city to run, as I'm sure you know better than me.
I may not be able to forgive myself, may have no legal recourse against the individual "physician" who hung up on her instead of admitting her... but HE chose when she died, and I would like to make some sense of it. I cannot understand how what he did was okay... like I said, it is not about legal recourse.
But look at some of the other posts here. Should this pulmologist, or any human being, have the right to decide when another person's life ends... or how? (non-rhetorical)
We place both our trust, but our very lives, in our physicians hands. The only ones that have ever trusted me have been related to me. Most people are afraid of their docs.... this goes beyond biomedical ethics, to the simple matter of pragmatics and moment-to-moment choices. Do you disagree?