Absage an die Medizintechnologie

Wie es sich für jeden Patienten empfiehlt, verfasste DeBakey eine Patientenverfügung: Darin legte er – noch bei guter Gesundheit – fest, welche medizinische Betreuung er wünscht, wenn er im Krankheitsfall nicht mehr in der Lage sein sollte, dies zu kommunizieren. Im Speziellen sprach er sich in dieser Verfügung gegen große Operationen aus.

Ein Kardinalprinzip in der modernen Medizinethik lautet, dass Patienten das Recht haben, derartige Entscheidungen zu treffen und Ärzte verpflichtet sind, diesen Wünschen Folge zu leisten. Diesem Patientenwillen nicht zu entsprechen, wenn dieser seine Fähigkeit der Entscheidungsfindung eingebüßt hat – wie es geschah, als DeBakeys Ehefrau angeblich mitten in der Nacht in eine Sitzung des Ethikkomitees hineinplatzte und die unverzügliche Operation ihres Gatten verlangte - dieses Ignorieren des Patientenwunsches also, steht im Widerspruch zu dem in den letzten 20 Jahren hart erkämpften Respekt vor der Autonomie des Patienten.

Ein Schwerpunkt bei den Diskussionen rund um diesen Fall war, ob man sich über die Wünsche eines Patienten hinwegsetzen darf, wenn Angehörige dies verlangen. Nicht angesprochen wurde in dieser Diskussion, ob es überhaupt angemessen ist, invasive, gefährliche und kostspielige Operationen an 97-jährigen Patienten vorzunehmen – auch wenn diese das selbst so wollen.

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