I just had an interesting conversation with Rob Stein of the Washington Post about the issues of right of conscience and right of refusal among health care professionals. He is researching an upcoming story on situations in which family members and health care providers don't see eye to eye about discontinuing life-prolonging care. In particular, he would like to interview family members who experienced difficultly in discontinuing a treatment because health care providers had an ethical concern about withdrawl of care.
If you can help Rob with this story please contact him directly at:
The Washington Post
202-334-7338 ext. 47338
You may say you were referred by Growth House if you choose to contact him. Right now he is looking for family members to interview, not providers. He will be doing his research until mid-July, 2006, at which point he will begin to put the story to bed.
Of course, the opposite case can arise in which family members insist that "everything be done" despite the futile nature of the intervertion. Dealing with medical futility issues is a very common problem. But is the reverse situation of health care workers insisting on futile or unwanted treatment really a big issue? Have you dealt with this in your practice? Is this likely to come up in some settings more than others, such as the ICU?