« HIPAA | Main | Religion in Health Science »

What would you do?

A true story: An elderly Vietnamese woman collapses and is rushed to the hospital. There she is told that she needs to have a blood work-up. She agrees to have her blood draw but after insists that they put it back into her after they run the tests. She speaks some English and so the nurses and doctors try to explain the situation. Some of the doctors jokingly allude there could be some sort of underlying psychiatric situation. Would you send the blood out for testing or not? What are the intercultural conflicts at work in this situation? We'll talk in class and you will learn what the real out come was.

Comments

I think they should ask the woman why she insists what she insist. Maybe there is a religious or underlying meaning as to why she wants the blood put back into her. There is a language conflict. The nurses and doctors are not able to fully understand or explain anything because they are not speaking the same language as she is. There is a social status conflict. The doctors are joking and assuming she has a psychiatric problem. They don't have any idea of the reason this women wants what she wants. I think the largest issue is communication. If the nurses, doctors, and women could efficiently communicate I think this situation would be very different. I wouldn't send the blood out for testing until I knew what was going on and why.

I personally would have the blood sent to have lab work done. The woman is elderly and probably doesn't understand the whole concept of what they're going to do with her blood. By not getting the blood work done, she could end up in a much worse situation because the doctors listened to her opinion. She is not properly educated on this matter and doesn't realize that the side effects of not getting blood work done can be a lot worse than getting them done. I would try to explain to the woman why they can't put the blood back in her body. If there is a true language barrier, then i would get a translator to talk to her. Whether she can't understand what the doctors are saying, or whether she can't understand that they can't put the blood back in, i would still say they should get the tests done. They've already drawn the blood anyways.

This is an instance that requires the doctor to do what is best for the patient's health, which means using the blood to run tests. There could be something threatening her well-being that can only be discovered through blood work. Although it is important for the doctor to make it clear to the patient the necessity and to make the patient understand it is vital to finding out the reason she collapsed before going along with the tests. Whether that requires a translator or finding other ways of communicating the purpose of the blood work, it is crucial to make it clear to the patient. It is inappropriate to joke around about a patient, especially in ignorance of the actual situation. This sort of behavior often results from misunderstandings. Effective communication is of the utmost importance in these situations. It is important for the doctors and the patient to communicate clearly in order for them both to understand the other. This is the only way a patient can be treated fairly and correctly.

I would not want to be the "bad guy" persay, but I think for the sake of the patient and her health, sending the blood out for testing is the best option. The blood is already out of her boy already and is likely about to get tested. The doctor would however, have to try to explain the reasoning to her or try and find a translator so she can get an idea of what is actually happening to her. Because she is elderly she may not understand anyways. I find it completely rude and disgusting that the doctors are in fact joking with one another about this situation. They need to be mature and understand that she in fact, does NOT have a mental comprhension of a doctor and english is her second language. The main intercultural conflict in the situation is that the elderly woman is Vietnamese that in itself is a cultural conflict because of not only the language, but her medicine could be practiced differently. Another intercultural issue is the age barrier. She obviously needs to be updated on how this situation is generally handled and maybe if the docotrs would stop joking and find someone to translate things might go more smoothly.

The doctors should go along with the blood test. They have already drawn the blood and if the patient had collapsed, it needs to be done. It is important for doctors to do whats right for the patient and discover what exactly caused her condition. The patient does not know exactly how to cure herself and, therefore, a blood test needs to be done so the doctor can successfully understand whats wrong with the patient and treat her correctly. Since there is a communication issue, just bring in a translator. They have translators on staff at hospitals and they will be able to determine why she wants the blood back into her body and have proper communication. It is important for doctors and patients to communicate with each other so that the patient can be successfully treated.

My first choice would be to have sent the blood out for testing. The woman's request to have the blood put back in her is not possible to achieve. Before testing the blood, I would make sure to explain to her that the process that goes on during blood work tests does not make it possible to replace it and replace it rather than sending it to be tested if she desires. Although with strong encouragement to get the tests done. The intercultural issues at play in this situation are the woman (patient) cannot speak fluent english so there is a translation barrier. Also, the woman may practice a different religion, one more uncommon to the doctors at this specific hospital, where removing blood from the body is not acceptable. One more factor is that the by-standing doctors may be ignorant to this woman's beliefs and suggest senility in the woman's choice. Overall, this sounds like a case of misunderstanding. The doctor on the case should get a translator in order to successfully meet the woman's requests and help her to get healthy.

I think it would be important to test the blood. If she is in serious condition, the doctors need to do everything possible to help her. The doctors also need to find someone to help her translate so she knows how important it is to get the blood drawn. There are many intercultural conflicts in this situation, including the language barrier. I don’t think it is fair that the doctors were making jokes about her, because they should respect her and think about how she would feel. I think they should also just ask her the reasons why she wants her blood to be put back into her. Maybe it’s because of religion, or maybe she is just confused about the medical situation, and maybe just explaining it to her in more depth could clear up the situation. With all this said, I think they should get the tests done to help her medically, and they have already drawn the blood anyways.

I'm responding to pretty much everyones' posts. I agree that it is important to get the blood tested. For safety i guess. They all just need to communicate. Also, they need to have respect for the woman. She obviously doesn't have very much education and cannot speak much English. It isn't her fault. Communicate. That's my response.

I personally think the doctors should try to respect the patient’s request. The doctors should first test other symptoms before drawing blood in case it is not necessary. If they still decided blood should be drawn they need to make sure the women is able to comprehend why it is essential that blood should be drawn. If she is unable to understand them completely, they should find a translator to explain the situation in Vietnamese to her. The doctors should also see why the women requested to put the blood back into her. If it is a cultural issue, the doctors should explain that she does not need the blood and the testing may make the blood not suitable to be put back into her veins. The conflict of the situation is mainly communication between the both medical staff and the patient, which could easily be solved with a translator.

First of all, I think that the lady has to right to whatever she wants and if she wants the blood to be put back into her then she should be able to have that upon her request. Alos, I think that it was very unprofesstional for the doctors to be joking around about such an issue. However, I think that the communication between the healthcare professionals and the patient wasn't good enough. I don't think that she fully understood what was going on and what her blood was being taken out for. The healthcare professionals should have tried harder to explain to her what exactly was happening. And then if she still insisted on the blood being put back inside her, then she should get to have the blood put back inside her. They should have tried communication to her through other means besides just talking. They could have drawn pictures or demonstrated what was going to happen. It was obvious that she wasn't understanding then from from talking alone. More patience should have been asserted.

This responsive post is to Erin. I totally agree with you. I think that the big issue in this doctor patient relationship is understanding. Whether it be on the patients side or the doctors side. The patient (the woman) may not understand why the healthcare professionals are taking her blood. But, on the other hand, the doctors may not understand that taking blood from the woman is against her religion. Communication is essential in these types of relationships and without communication it is impossible to get anything accomplished. A translator is definitely necessary in this situation. And if a translator cannot be provided then other forms of communication should be presented to her. In other words before the doctors do anything the woman should completely understand what is going on. I also agree with you that the doctors should be persuasive with allowing them to test her blood. After all, they need to know what is wrong with her in order to help her.

In regards to the situation involving the elderly woman, I would personally have the blood sent to the lab for testing. The woman is of a different ethnicity and may not understand the whole concept of what the doctors are going to do with her blood. She could end up in a worse predicament if she does not let the doctors perform the necessary tests. Seeing as though the woman is Vietnamese, she may not be properly educated regarding this matter and may not realize the side effects of not getting the blood tests done. Overall, blood tests usually have a better outcome than not getting the tests. If I was the doctor, I would try to explain to the woman that I would be unable to transfer the blood back into her body once it has been drawn. If the language barrier is too great, I would call in a translator to talk to her and explain the situation. If the woman has religious issues with the blood being drawn then the doctors should clarify that the tests are for her own good. The intercultural conflicts entail a language barrier and possible religious complications. In conclusion, I believe the doctors should send the blood to the lab whether or not the lady approves, and as long as she knows the reasoning behind it.


This is a response to Michelle Schultz’s post. I disagree with you regarding the statement about having the doctors respect the patient’s request. There is no need for the doctors to perform tests for other symptoms if the lady has already collapsed previous to being rushed to the hospital. Obviously something is wrong with the woman so blood tests should be the first thing done to diagnose her symptoms. I agree with you on the statement about making sure the woman is able to comprehend why it is essential that blood should be drawn. Also, the statement about bringing in a translator is a good idea. On the other hand, I disagree with you about the topic of asking the woman why she requests the blood to be put back into her body. The woman should understand that the tests are for her own good so that should be a good enough reason to get the tests done.

From the perspective of the doctor, I would do whatever is best for the Vietnamese woman’s health, no matter what her personal or religious beliefs are. As her doctor, I would enlist a Vietnamese translator to overcome the language barrier between us, and try my best to explain her options to her in a way that she could understand. It may be hard for her to listen to her options in her elderly state, and especially an unfamiliar cultural zone. With the aid of a Vietnamese translator, I would speak to her logically and empathetically, telling her that everything will be ok, and blood work must be done simply to see if there are any major problems with her health. I would tell her then that unfortunately the blood could not be re-injected into her system because the tests would alter the natural state of the blood. This is a choice she made the moment she consented to having her blood drawn. Even though this fact may conflict with her personal and/or religious beliefs, it must be done to save her life. I don’t feel that she would have the right to control the medical team and override their choices just because of her religious beliefs. The underlying question is: If she didn’t want any unnatural treatment done, then why would she have gone to the hospital in the first place, or consented to have her blood drawn?

After taking the blood, and hearing this request from the women I would try to put things on hold for a while given that her situation did not seem extremely urgent. I would then get a translator to further understand her unique request. I think as a doctor it is really important to respect a patients wishes given that it does not run the risk of harming them. Since language seems to be the biggest barrier in this situation, translation is necessary before testing the blood or putting it back in. It could potentially be very problematic to ignore her wishes and continue with lab work. There is a lot working in this situation, cultural practices, religion, phobia, etc. It could be more damaging in the long run for the patient and the doctor to not take the time and extra steps to understand each side, again given the severity of her condition.

In regards to the post from Erin, I agree that the main issue here is misunderstanding. I do think that the idea of her hospitalization is to get blood work and discover what caused her current condition, so it should be the responsibility of the doctor to do what will benefit her the most. Along with making decisions to her benefit it is also important like Erin said to explain the process of both options she has. Whatever it takes for the patient to understand her options to the same extent as other patients is crucial. I also agree with Erin that these doctors may not fully know her reasons, she may have religion conflicts occurring here and they need to respect that as well. Because communication barriers lead to misunderstandings, we both agree that translation is most likely the best action to take first.

In response to Kaitlyn Walsh's response, I agree that the doctors need to run the blood test. There could be something threatening her well-being especially if she had collapsed. The blood test would be very necessary to figure out what is wrong. I agree that it is very inappropriate for the doctors to be joking around. It is very unprofessional and should not be tolerated for they could have a misunderstanding. I also agree that there needs to be a translator to communicate. From there, the medical staff would be able to find out why she exactly wants the blood back into her body. It is very important for doctors and there patients to have good communication so that they can fully understand each other and have a successful treatment.

I personally think it would be best to send the blood out to get the work done on it. It could be a matter of saving her life. I would attempt to explain to her the best that I could that it needs to be done. I would also try to find out why she feels the way that she does. If it is because of a medical condition that she has, then it would be best to follow what she says, but if it's just because of how she feels about it, I think the blood should be sent out. She probably just does not know that much about the situation. There is not as much medical technology in Vietnam, and also she is old. This could mean that she is not properly educated. If it's because of her cultural beliefs, the doctor's should explain that she does not need that small amount of blood to go back into her system.

Wow, this is a toughy. First of all, an obvious language barrier was present in this situation. Instead of making fun of the elderly woman, I believe the doctors should have used their energy to find a Vietnamese translator. He or she could have explained to the patient in depth about what was happening, why blood was being taken, etc. Unfortunately, this was not the case. Even though I am torn on how I would handle this situation, I guess I believe that the reason for her wanting her blood put back into her is more than likely just a miscommunication, so I would go ahead and send the blood out to be tested. In a worst case scenario, this could be a life or death situation, and a simple blood test could be life saving. This being my decision, I would also make many attempts to explain to her why we were doing what we were doing. If for some reason the Vietnamese woman wanted the blood put back into her for religious/other reasons, I would express a deep respect, but would acknowledge that her life/health is of greater importance.

In response to Nik Sak's post, I definitely agree with many of his points. The fact that as a doctor he said he would ask and try to understand why she wanted her blood put back into her shows a very honest and genuine approach. If her reasons were because of cultural concerns, I believe it necessary for a doctor to be respectful. But again, as Nik said, a human life is much more important. Nik also brought up the fact that maybe her resistance to giving her blood away is because of a pre-existing medical condition. In that case, I would find it best not necessarily to listen to her idea of what to do, but using the information she gives you, to make the best decision from a doctors point of view or from his or her knowledge.

I'm responding to Michelle. I agree totally with everything she said. A translator would certainly solve the main issue. If the woman truly does want the blood put back into her body, then i also agree with Michelle in that the doctor should do further testing to see if the blood tests are truly necessary. So, if the communication issue is resolved, then go from there.

I would try to explain that her blood will not be able to be put back into her after drawn and tested. If she did not understand me I would find a translator to help her understand the situation better and that her request is not plausible. If she then did not want her blood drawn and tested I would tell her that is her right, explain the risks, and ask her to think about it and give me her final decision. Whatever she decides is her choice and if she did not want to be helped for whatever reason I would not force her to recieve it.

In response to Nik Sak's opinion I would not draw the blood. I think he is right by saying that it could be life or death and the results of the test could save someone. But, what if once they fully understand the situation they would rather die that actually disobey their religion. I wouldn't just take the test and send it to lab without my patient fully comprehending that I would not allow the blood to be put back into her and why we were taking blood tests, etc. I think I would rather be safe in the sense that I keep the patients cultural beliefs faithful because something I do may upset them and/or their beliefs if they don't understand what I am doing or why I am doing it.

I fully agree with Kaitlyn Walsh's post. I think that it is best to go ahead with the blood work in order to figure out what is wrong with the woman. It could end up saving her life. I also agree that they should find some way of communicating with her in order to fully explain what they need to do, and what the blood work is for. Kaitlyn was also very right that joking around about this situation was very unprofessional and should not have happened.

I think that in this situation, because of its seriousness, the blood needs to be tested. The blood test could save her life or it could just clear up what the problems with her are. This lady probably wants her blood put back into her because of a religious or a culture reason. I, also, think the doctors should have asked for a translator and should have tried to find a translator instead of assuming there was a psychiatric problem. Communication in any situation in a hospital is key and something has to be done to make it possible for translators to be readily available for these kinds of situations. And the other intercultural conflict is that the doctors and nurses have no clue what kinds of beliefs this culture has and they just didn't understand her wants and what she believed in.

I think being Asian, and specifically Vietnamese, I can relate to this woman. The older generation is very traditional and very unreceptive to change. Of course, I believe what she wants and intends for the doctors to do is preposterous, but I can understand why she wants to do it. As the doctor in charge, I would try and persuade her to get it done, and explain to her the difficulties and ridiculousness of pumping it back into her. The doctors giggling, I believe, is totally unprofessional and unnecessary. Because they don't understand the insecurities and lack of trust the patient may have, treatment may not always be as simple as they would like.

David--I think that is really interesting how you can connect to the woman through your Vietnamese background. Do you know what the spiritual meaning is behind having blood drawn and thus removed from the body? What is the reason why she would want the blood put back into her body? I agree with you, that unfortunately the blood could not be re-injected into her body because of the chemical alterations it would undergo through testing. In this situation, communication is vital. I feel if the doctor recruited a Vietnamese translator then both the woman and the medical team would have a better understanding of the situation. It would be nice if the woman had you as a doctor, because I’m sure you could explain her options to her very clearly! I’m sure that your knowledge of the Vietnamese language, customs, and beliefs would allow you to make the woman feel more comfortable in the strange cultural environment she was placed in.

I think that speaking on the health side of things, it would be smart the take the blood to the lab. I would use a translator to communicate with her and explain to her the situation and describe the difficulties of what she is asking. I do think it is completely unprofessional and absurd that the doctors are giggling. If the patient heard them I don't know how she could take them seriously/trust them. Also I would respect her decision and do what I could to make her feel comfortable. If you get her to understand the complications of putting the blood back in her and she still wants to do it, I think that is what should be done. I do, however, also feel that in order to make an educated decision you need to understand from the patients point of view and her religion as well. From her point of view, you telling her that she can't have the blood put back in her body could seem as strange as her asking for it to be. A good doctor is respectful and understanding in all situations.

I would definitely have the blood work done. If she gets upset when the blood is not put back in her, I would probably just lie to her and tell her that the blood was lost or something along those lines. I do not think this is as much an issue about cultural understanding than it is an issue about misunderstanding how the body works. If one thinks about it, she really is not being that unreasonable, yet if I as a doctor know that these blood tests are necessary and any emotional distress caused by taking blood from her would be dwarfed by the trauma of her actual death, I believe it would be my responsibility to act for the good of the patient. If the patient continued to be in extreme emotional distress, I would probably just arrange a procedure similar to a blood transfusion to essentially deceive the patient into believing that we were giving her blood back. The procedure would not actually be executed.

From my point of view I would put the blood out for testing because even if there are no signs of an odd thing occurring its still good to have a check up. The doctors should try and explain the situation as best they can to her and help her realize the potential effects if she wouldn't let her blood get tested. If the woman still doesn't understand the circumstances then a translator would be a good person to contact. As for putting the blood back in her, not a good idea. That is another situation that she needs to understand.

I agree with what Christine had to say. Having the woman's blood tested is the best option and could help her live a few more years in a healthy manner. A translator would be just another positive to add to the situation because they could help her understand how the times have changed and what will benefit her best. The doctors were very rude for joking about the fact that they think she might have a mental issue. Being elderly is not easy especially at the present time because things are constantly changing. I hope the situation worked out in favor of the old woman and she got her blood tested; that is what I believe would be the best for her.

In response to Matt Tracy's post I believe you were correct when saying, "..my responsibilty to for the good of the patient." Also, i agree to some extent that this situation is also a misunderstanding of how the body works. But, because the fact she is Vietnamese she might believe the body works in other ways, which then would in fact be a cultural difference she has. I, however, totally disagree with possibly telling a lie to the patient. As a professional, you should not have to lie, you should just try harder to persuade her to see the situation in your own eyes. I also think arranging a procedure to deceive her is completely unnecessary and also unprofessional. Overall, this situation should end with the best thing for her, regardless of how she feels.

In my opinion, I think that the doctors should have the blood sent to get checked. Before, however, they should get a translator and explain the situation to the Vietnamese woman. She has a right to know why the doctors are insisting that she needs a blood work-up. She obviously does not understand she may be very ill, and may have more serious issues with her health, which is why the doctors need to get her blood analyzed. I do not think it was very professional at all for the doctors to allude to a psychiatric problem. She is from a different culture, has different beliefs and practices, and just needs to be explained to that the doctors are doing what is best for her and her health. This is just an issue of miscommunication and can be solved very easily by respecting the rights of the woman and obtaining a translator.

I personally think this women does not understand the process of blood testing and the whole medical aspect of our culture. I think it is our job to educate her on the matter. I probably would send the blood out to have work done despite her beliefs. She is elderly and on top of being foreign she does not understand. Not getting the blood drawn could end up hurting her more. Since she is not familiar with modern techniques she does not know the effects of not getting the blood drawn. Communication is the biggest problem in this situation. This barrier is becoming more popular in the hospital and prohibiting doctors from doing their job. All patients deserve the assistance they came for, but they should also realize that doctors need to do what they have to do. They would not practice if they were not safe well educated practiced people.

In response to Christine, I totally agree that being the “bad guy? is not what anyone wants, but as a doctor, I think I would want what is best for the patient. I also agree that because the women does not understand the process and is not please with her aid, it is the hospitals responsibility to find someone to translate and explain the entire procedure. Joking about the procedure in front of the naïve women was about the lowest a group of well educated men/women could do. The fact of the elderly woman not understanding a procedure does not underestimate her intelligence. Again, like I said before this communication barrier we face is tragically becoming more and more prevalent.

In response to Stephanie, I think that her blog was totally right in how the situation should have tbeen handled. She said that the first thing the doctors should have done was that they should have got a translator for the woman. I fully agree with this statement, because this would give the woman information about what is going on and would clear up the miscommunications. The last point I want to hit in her blog is that she said that the doctors were unprofessional by alluding to a psychiatric problem. Like Stephanie said, she obviously was from a different culture, has different beliefs, and different practices, which is exactly why the doctors should have been less ignorant towards this woman's culture.

In response to Christina's post, I think she brought up a lot of good points. The woman is from a different culture and is probably not educated as to when you need blood drawn and analyzed in a medical situation, and does not understand everything that is going on around her, like she said. I agree with her that the blood should be drawn, but I think it should be in a way that she understands better why the doctors are doing it. I also agree that there is a large communication barrier in todays society. Like we discussed in class about having to translate over the cell phone in certain situations, it is important that we have translators to help with this problem and to help people who can not properly communicate their wishes.

In response to Stephanie's post, I agree that the woman should have been informed beforehand as to why the blood work needs to be done. Also, they need to tell her the health risks as well as all the other information she deserves to know as a patient. This should be conveyed through translator in respect of the woman. The doctors showed a lot of disrespect and ignorance by referring to an underlying psychiatric situation. I agree that the patient was treated very poorly in this situation.

Sorry about the two separate posts. From where I left off. The patient was treated poorly in the sense of communication. She deserves a translator in order to communicate efficiently with the doctors. There could be crucial information not being conveyed.

I believe communication is the key to this situation. Communication is key in any medical stand point from a simple procedure to the most complex one. Although communication becomes tough with someone who speaks a different language and believes in a different culture you must make an attempt to help the patient understand whatever procedure must be done. In this case, if the blood has already been drawn it should be sent in for tests. Someone should explain to the woman what is going on to the best of their capabilities and don't joke around with the situation. Any medical situation should be handled with care and safety. Even if it is a simple procedure as getting blood drawn to be sent into the lab.

In response to Christine Tzankis' post, which was a response to my original post, perhaps the idea of deceiving a patient is somewhat unpleasant but it would be a way of calming her down without using drugs to sedate her, which is what the doctors actually did. It's not a pleasant situation at all, and I think it is hard to determine the actual course of action we would take from just a paragraph long description of the situation. When I was younger, I was in the hospital for about two weeks because I could not move my right leg. The doctors were not entirely truthful with me, an eight year old boy, because they knew it would serve no purpose to tell me all the details of every test. It would just scare and confuse me. They told me that it was most likely a bad sprain, they told my parents that they thought it was cancer. In the end it wasn't either of them. I know it's anecdotal evidence that isn't entirely logically sound, but my point is that sometimes it is for the best to either not tell the patient the entire truth or outright lie to them if the situation requires it.

In response to Andrea's post, I completely agree with your course of action. Though waiting for a translator poses the problem of a possible time constraint. I really don't know what I would do differently. What you do is ultimately the wishes of the patient, but what do you do if they then did not want their blood drawn thinking they could somehow survive?

Responding to Nicks post, I agree that there was definitely a language barrier present in the situation. I also agree that there was no reason that they should of have made fun of her in any way. That was a really good point that they should use that energy to look for a Vietnamese translator, which would of really helped the situation instead of hurting it. I am glad you decided to have the blood be put back into her, because I also believe a lot of the problem was with a miss communication error. If she would have understood that the blood was already out and ready for testing, maybe she would have been more corporative. If this was a life or death situation I truly believe that they should of done everything they could to make her understand the severity of the problem. The doctors also need to learn how to handle different kinds of people, and make sure they never put people down.

I agree with Travis' post. Communication is the main problem in this situation. Also like Travis said, since the blood has already been drawn, the doctors should perform the tests on it, as long as the procedures have been clearly explained to the patient. Also in response to several other posts, I agree that the doctors who made joking remarks were very out of line. Making comments about a patient's mental health situation is inappropriate and very unprofessional. Overall, this sounds like a pretty awful situation for every party involved.

In response to Kate Nelson’s blog I agree that this situation is a tough decision. Many situations dealing with culture in health care is difficult because there is no true correct answer. I agree with Kate though, that the doctors had no right to laugh at the woman. Instead of poking fun, the doctors should have first understood the patient and made sure she understood exactly what they were discussing, which is why a translator would have been almost necessary. Because this is a life and death scenario, the blood should be tested in case the woman has a terminal illness. I can understand why the woman would have misunderstood the doctor’s intentions though. The woman probably grew up in a culture where health care was not as important and taken to the extremes they are today, especially comparing Vietnam to the United States. It is hard to say the exact right thing to do though, because every situation in health care is different and should be treated differently.

In this situation, I would take the blood to be tested. It was already drawn, and with her given condition, I feel it would be necessary to be tested. The miscommunication between patient and doctor was the major factor. Religious or psychiatric factors may have come into play, but I think that the patient did not know what was going on. Being elderly and Vietnamese, I feel the patient was flustered and may not be used to the procedure. There may not have been a translator, but the nurses and doctors could have tried to communicate with her in other ways instead. The doctors going off to the side and joking about psychiatric problems puts their seriousness in their profession in jeopardy. Obviously the lady didn't have a clear understanding of what was going on. Today, poeple look to doctors to help them in a time of traumatic situations and sickness. I believe the doctors would have been doing the right thing in taking a couple minutes to explain the situation as best they could and ship off the blood to testing.

Personally i feel that because there is an obvious medical problem that the woman's blood should be tested to see if she has something wrong with her. The blood cannot be returned to her body, but the doctors could use donated blood to make her feel like they were giving her her blood back. Because they cannot explain the situation to her fully this is the best option to make sure that she is safe. The last thing that the doctors should want is having a woman who just fainted low on blood. Overall, however, the doctors are really being immature jerks about it and making fun of her is unacceptable.

In response to Matt Tracy. I believe that Matt is right on with this question. The tests obviously need to be run and without them this woman could either die or could become very ill. There are ways around putting the blood back in, but I don't really think that lying to her is such a great option. Maybe telling her the truth about how it is unsafe to give her her blood back would be the best bet. Then again it is hard to communicate with the woman so I think that the best option is to give her someone elses donated blood to ease her mind and replace the blood that was taken.

In response to JT, I agree with him. I think that the blood should be taken to be tested. I don't think it can be returned into in her body, and if it can it would probably be pretty difficult. The blood is already out, and it would be in her benefit if it was tested. She collapsed so there is obviously something not right with her current situation. I think that if the whole situation was calmly explained to her in detail, she would be more relaxed about the process and go along with it. The way the doctor alluded to her having some sort of psychiatric problem is in no way necessary. I think communication should be better, and everything would be handled smoother.