Wednesday, January 4, 2012

How doctors think

One of my readers asked if I read the book "How Doctors Think." I have and that is how I recognized these thought processes and the mistakes I am prone to making. It was an enormously helpful and insightful book. I might read it again soon.

It seems to be divided 50/50 as to whether people would want to know or not. For what it's worth, the final radiologist decision was aspiration pneumonia. After reviewing the rads again, I had come to this conclusion, but I sent the xrays for professional review just to be sure. So, aspiration pneumonia and an abdominal mass. This was coupled with a pretty serious anemia. All told, in a dog that old, it wasn't good.

After much soul-searching and discussing the situation with fellow, scrupulous veterinarians, I have decided there is nothing to be gained from telling the owner. I do not want to make her question her final decision, as I still think it was the right thing. She was anguished when euthanizing the dog, and I think introducing any uncertainty into her decision would be selfish of me. I don't want to unburden my guilt onto her - relieving myself but hurting her further.

It's not an easy decision, but I hope it is the right one.

1 comment:

Fi from Four Paws and Whiskers said...

Very interesting. Something learned and can be used in future. Let the owner grieve with out extra complication feels right.
Thank you for letting us know.