Do physicians impose clinical care decisions with life and death implications on patients without their knowledge and consent?
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This case represents what may be an increasingly common problem: decision making by specialists (including hospitalists) who are less informed than the patient’s PCP regarding his/her overall clinical status, prognosis and personal wishes. Yet, such decisions may prove critical in future management, and may not be in the patient’s best interest. Even worse, this decision making process may reflect an insensitivity (if not cavalier attitude) by care providers toward these patients, who may be facing the most important decision of their lives.