Can Health Care Rationing Ever Be Rational?

Journal of Law, Medicine and Ethics 40 (1):17-25 (2012)
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Mr. M. was a 77-year-old decisionally incapacitated long-term nursing home resident with chronic schizophrenia who was admitted to the hospital with a bacterial pneumonia. His past medical history was notable for deteriorating functional status over the past 2-3 years, urinary retention requiring chronic indwelling bladder catheterization, and two recent hospitalizations for urinary tract infections leading to sepsis. He developed respiratory failure soon after admission and was intubated and placed on mechanical ventilation. Follow-up studies suggested worsening pneumonia and acute respiratory distress syndrome, as well as worsening kidney function.



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