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Ethical Medical Case Study Call the Wife? or Not to Call the Wife?

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Submitted By pammyzenmed
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Ethical Medical Case Study
Call the wife? Or not to call the wife?

Mr. Cooper is 53 years old. He has his own business and works a lot. He enjoys the work and has become quite successful. He’s been smoking, on and off, for more than 20 years. He realizes it’s a bad habit and understands the damage it can do but he hasn’t been able to quit. Recently, he has become fatigued easily and sometimes has chest pains when he’s got a lot on his plate at work or when he’s at the gym. He finds it difficult to breathe when he climbs stairs. These things have been happening for about six months. He doesn’t think his wife has noticed. About a week ago, he got into a shouting match with his teenage son. The chest pains began again and the side of his neck hurt, too. He had to go lie down. Afterwards, his wife insisted that he see a doctor.

Mr. Cooper went to see Dr. Fleming and told him that his chest pains lasted about 5 minutes and regularly went away when he rested. He didn’t think the symptoms were getting better; nor did he think they were getting worse. Dr. Fleming got an EKG in the office. It was normal. However, Mr. Cooper could not complete a stress test since he began to feel tired and he had some mild chest pains. Dr. Fleming told Mr. Cooper that the tests indicated some ischemia. In addition, the EKG showed notable ST changes. Dr. Fleming recommended that Mr. Cooper get an angiogram soon.

Mr. Cooper scheduled the angiogram without telling his wife about it. He didn’t want her to worry. The test shows that the three main arteries to his heart are severely blocked. Dr. Fleming says the good news is that he has not had a heart attack. There is, however, bad news. Dr. Fleming recommends a triple bypass, ASAP.

In response, Mr. Cooper expresses surprise. He thinks Dr. Fleming is exaggerating the seriousness of his heart problem. Mr.…...

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