Chapman Law Review


"A man was diagnosed with lung cancer. 1 His oncologists discovered the cancer metastasized, meaning it spread to his brain and bones. 2 The patient received chemotherapy treatments. 3 Chemotherapy has numerous side effects, one of which is febrile neutropenia, a fever resulting from a patient lacking in a type of white blood cells. 4 Unfortunately, the patient developed febrile neutropenia approximately six months after his diagnosis. 5 He was admitted to the hospital, where he was treated by the inpatient physicians. 6 The inpatient physicians prescribed and administered broad spectrum antibiotics, which resolved the patient’s fever. 7 Concerned the patient’s immunocompromised condition subjected him to greater risk of infection, the inpatient physicians discharged the patient to continue the course of antibiotics at home with daily follow-ups from a home health nurse. 8 Two days later, the patient’s fever spiked, and he was readmitted to the hospital through the emergency department. 9 At this point, the inpatient physicians reviewed the patient’s medical records and discovered the patient had spent more than half of the past six months in the hospital for treatment of complications from the chemotherapy. 10 They consulted the patient’s oncologist, who insisted that aggressive chemotherapy remained the appropriate course of action for the patient. 11 The inpatient team disagreed, and felt the chemotherapy not only diminished the patient’s quality of life, but was further shortening his already expected six-month prognosis. 12"



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