ï»¿As medicine continues to grow and become more advanced, we as a country are forced to address many issues as they pertain to our future within healthcare as a whole. A few of these issues include healthcare reform, stem-cell research, abortion, and Medicare and Medicaid coverage. These topics are all controversial to say the least. While these issues are important ones, before continuing to advance, I feel we must address and figure out a solution to controversial topics that have been an issue within medicine for quite some time. The act of negligence and the use, or misuse, of living wills, advanced directives, and do not resuscitate (DNR) orders have been the topic of many ethical debates for years. While on the surface they may not seem related, over the years negligence by healthcare providers have led to situations that resulted in ones end of life wishes to be questioned. An example of this can be found in the court case, Myrna Wheelock, et al. v. Jesse Thomas Doers, M.D., et al., filed in Knoxville, Tennessee in 2010.
Overview of Case.
Gene Wheelock (Decedent) was a resident of NHC Farragut nursing home. After complaining of shortness of breath, he was brought to Parkwest Memorial Hospital for evaluation. While at Parkwest, Mr. Wheelock as assessed, his medical records were reviewed, and further diagnostic test were ordered. A chest CT scan showed extensive blood clotting in Mr. Wheelock's lungs that affected the flow of blood to his left leg. The scan also revealed Mr. Wheelock was in heart failure. .
As a result of the extensive blood clots in the Decedent's lungs, Dr. Doers was consulted to see him. Dr. Doers concluded that the Decedent had massive pulmonary emboli (blood clots in lungs). The medical team concluded that the cause was most likely related to the fact the Decedent had been taken off of his blood-thinning medication due to his recent intracranial hemorrhage.