The Patients Were Saved. That’s Why the Families Are Suing.

 In Advance Care Directives, Advance Directive, Advanced Care Planning, Caregivers, End of Life Care, Patient Care

What happened to Beatrice Weisman before dawn on Aug. 29, 2013, was not supposed to happen: The medical staff at Maryland General Hospital found her in cardiac arrest, resuscitated her and kept her alive.

The matriarch of a close-knit family on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, Ms. Weisman, then 83, had suffered a serious stroke in June and had spent weeks in two hospitals.

Fortunately, she and her husband had drafted advance directives; she named her husband, William, to make medical decisions if she became unable to.

In August, as her condition deteriorated, Mr. Weisman convened a wrenching family meeting at their Easton home. With the support of their four children, he authorized Medical Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment, known as a Molst form, stating that if his wife’s heart or lungs failed, she should be allowed to die.

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