Hi, it’s Patrik from intensive care hotline to improve the lives for families of critically ill patients in intensive care so that you can make informed decisions, get peace of mind, control, power and influence, even if you’re not a doctor or a nurse in intensive care.
This is another quick tip for families in intensive care.
So many families in intensive care come to us and they ask questions like, can the ICU team switch off life support for my critically ill loved one?
So, to answer this question, it’s a simple no. So why is it a simple no? So ICU teams and ICU doctors in particular always claim they operate in a vacuum and they can make decisions in a vacuum. And you think about it, end of life decisions cannot be made in a vacuum. And what you need to ask for in a situation like that is, you need to ask for the hospital policy for withdrawal of treatment or for end of life.
That is what you will need to ask for and you will find that in this hospital policy, about end of life situation in intensive care. You will find that the ICU policy will say, you as a family member, next of kin or medical power of attorney, you have to give them consent. And again, they can’t operate in a vacuum. If they do stop life support and your loved one is dying without your consent, it’s murder.
Furthermore, and on top of that, there are also state laws wherever you are, whether you’re in the United States, whether you’re in the United Kingdom or in Australia, there are state laws around end of life making decisions and they all say that you as a medical power of attorney or next of kin have to give consent.
So it’s as simple as that and you should ask for your rights and you need to exercise your rights in fact. Now the challenge here is, you know, doctors are always claiming they are operating in a vacuum. And I’ve also seen with our clients, sometimes the ICU or the hospital is withholding the policy. They don’t want to show you the policy.
Well, under the freedom of information, they have to give you the policy. And you also have to ask yourself, why are they not giving you the policy? What do they have to hide? If they are claiming that they can make that decision, they can show you the policy, and they would have the evidence for that, but they don’t. That’s why they don’t want to give you the policy. So you’re on the safe side by knowing that the ICU can’t just withdraw treatment or stop life support without your consent.
So that’s my tip for today.
This is Patrik Hutzel from intensivecarehotline.com. Check out our website with our case studies. And if you have a loved one in intensive care and you need help, give us a call on one of the numbers on the top of the website at intensivecarehotline.com or send us an email to [email protected].
Take care for now.