Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Ethics Debate

I received a call from our second - choice pedi's nurse this morning (Friday). I had requested David's neb meds and machine from her as she has seen us a number of times over the winter and was the host of our most recent visit. The response to my med request wasn't exactly what I was expecting... (for the record, I was expecting either a flat "no" or that our secondary policy was not as accommodating as the first). The nurse informed me, however that the doctor felt my request was "unethical". (Please note - this was NOT our primary pedi)

Now, for those that might be in the medical field, budding doctors, nurses, practicing already. Please, I beg you, never tell a micro preemie mother that she is unethical. Brent and I, over the past 4 years, have had more ethics conversations than I care to count. We've been faced with "greater good" scenarios and "quality of life" moments with our children than either of us can handle thinking about. Let's face it, everyday in the dark back corners of the NICU is, in itself, an ethical dilemma. It's unbelievable to me that a pediatrician (of all specialties) would display such an utter lack of empathy and resort to such a degrading low in an obvious effort to exert control and self importance.

Instead of pointing out what I thought was obvious: that allowing David to suffer to the point of audible wheezing would in fact be unethical when there is, in existence, a perfectly acceptable medication schedule suitable to keep him out of office, hospital and safe at home, I asked to be transferred to the front desk and immediately scheduled an afternoon appointment with our primary pediatrician.

For the 5th time in 2 weeks, David and I took the trip and waited, and waited in the office.

Our primary pedi walked in - happy to see sweet David. He adores her and she is unbelievably patient with him. I requested that David have his own nebulizer and medications and explained that he has not displayed the seasonal component of asthma symptoms like Mary Louise, but I was uncomfortable with the other MD's requirement that he come in wheezing. I also told her I'd talked to our ins. company already and they had approved the script as a preventative measure. She understood and agreed immediately and there was no more issue. Literally. That was it.

I dropped off the neb script with the specialty pharmacy on the way home and picked that and the medications up the very next day. We are stocked and ready - and though I hope all of the meds expire before we need them, it's nice to really feel prepared.

Now, if I could only make David understand the "Sammy the Seal" nebulizer is not, in fact, a toy...


No comments:

Post a Comment