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Comparing Physician EOL Recommendations with Attorney Recommendations

Posted Aug 28 2010 3:47pm
Connecticut criminal defense attorney Norm Pattis compares physician prognostication with lawyer prognostication. Just as chronically critically ill patients might expect a miracle, some apparently guilty criminal defendants might expect to be the O.J. Simpson.  Sure, there may be a 1 in 100 chance that the defendant will be acquitted.   But there is a 99% chance that he faces 35 years in prison.  Shouldn't the defense attorney strongly push a plea offer for 10 years?  Yes, he should.  But some prisoners want to "go down swinging" and are prepared to do the time even if they lose.  They are happy to have "given it a shot."  Analogously, physicians should push palliative care where there is a 99% chance that additional aggressive interventions can offer nothing but suffering.  Still, some patients will want to suffer through to "take a shot" at that 1%.
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