In April 2012, my wife Janelle Madigan was denied the basic rights of other patients because she had been diagnosed as a 'terminal cancer' patient. Specifically, she was denied up front the right to intensive care and resuscitation in the case of cardiac arrest. Instead of giving our family the choice of these services, they were denied up front even prior to determining whether or not there would be a need for them. Although the management team at the hospital agreed that the % chance of survival without these services was less than with these services, they still denied them on the basis that Janelle was considered a 'terminal cancer' patient. Although Janelle did not require resuscitation whilst at the hospital, we are of the belief that the intensive care unit may have helped my wife, who had a low blood count, fluid on the lungs, poor kidney function and infection. Instead my wife was transported to the general oncology ward, given some basic treatment (blood transfusion, antibiotics & fluid) and was then sent home. She passed away two days later. We want all hospitals under the umbrella of Eastern Health to offer all patients the right to intensive care and resuscitation in the case of cardiac arrest, regardless of the prognosis of the patient. We believe that everybody should be given the right to lifesaving hospital services regardless of the life expectancy of the patient. It should be individual and/or the families choice of whether or not to give up on the patient, not the hospital - they are there to provide every opportunity to help the patient
- Eastern Health
Director Acute Health
Give terminal cancer patients the right to intensive care and resuscitation
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