Something feels very wrong with my situation at Rush Hospital in Chicago, IL, I'm looking for any advice or suggestions.
My father was admitted to the Rush hospital in Oak Park, Il on 6/11/2020. The initial reports and brain scans showed no issues. A few hour later my father began vomiting and they performed another brain scan that showed bleeding in his brain. They transferred him to the ICU at Rush Hospital in Chicago.
Upon my arrival, the neurologists said there was nothing to be done and that I should let my father die. As his POA, I directed them to honor his wishes and perform all life saving measures. The doctor gave me a look of disgust and said "fine". The treating physician in the morning of 6/12, was a lot more optimistic, until he spoke with attending physician. The first thing the attending physician said to me was "Your father is going to die today with or without treatment". I asked for a second opinion, but they have been avoiding giving me a direct answer and said it is my responsibility to find a physician that would help him. I reached out to a few different hospitals and they said they need his brain image report before they could do anything. Rush said they cannot release the information until 24 hours after the patient has been discharged, but they would help try to get the information needed for a second opinion.
Due to the visitor restrictions related to COVID19, they gave me 2 options, stop treatment and let your father die and you can stay with him or continue treatment, but you have to leave and your father is going to die alone. I asked to continue treatment and some of his condition improved slightly, but I was still required to leave. They said if there was ANY change in his condition I would be notified immediately and allowed to return.
Yesterday morning 6/13, I received a call from the attending physician that my father's condition worsened overnight and their assessment was that he is brain dead. The assessment is based on his reaction to certain stimuli without doing further scans. They said they wanted to perform a brain dead test to make it official, in which they would be able to pull him off of life support. I stated that my father's wishes and direction under the POA is to perform any life saving measures and this test was not one of them and I did not approve it. They said they do not need my approval since the test is a formality, but as a courtesy they would wait till today 6/14 to perform the test. The unit director as well as the head of patient relations said they made an exception for me to visit today, in email and without conditions. But when I called the staff said my visiting is dependent on the time of the brain dead test and they would call me to let me know.
The timing is very strange. They said they would help with his brain imaging scans, but waited till the weekend until all administrative offices were closed and could not assist. We were originally told he was on sedatives which could be the reason why he was not responsive to stimuli, then another doctor said he was not given any sedatives, if he was given any, then it must have been at the other hospital but they didn't know for sure. I called the other hospital and they were confused and said they are all on the same system. They questioned, why I wanted a second opinion. I cited a report from Yale neurology stating its common for misdiagnosis of brain death and many causes of spontaneous recovery of patients that were previously said to be brain dead. I really just wanted to get my dad through the critical 48 hours first. They have been very hostile since and have not gotten back to us with promises of case workers, administrative management, etc. to come speak to us with further options. I've been told they have been giving us lip service in hopes that something will happen so that they can wash their hands of this.
Every medical professional, legal expert, and law enforcement official I spoke with said there seems to be something very wrong here and do not understand why they are rushing to pull him off of life support. We think that his condition might have worsened at the hospital due to a fall or he may have been given the wrong medication. There was a $6 million dollar lawsuit with similar fact patterns against the hospital, so I am concerned the rush is to let my father die is to avoid any legal liability. I understand the likelihood of recovery, but I just want a second opinion to ensure the rush to let my father die is not to avoid a lawsuit. But they are not giving me the scans that all the other hospitals have requested and am very concerned they are going to proceed today with pulling my father off of life support. All the courts, law offices, other hospitals that can help are closed because of the weekend. It feels like am being punished for loving my father and I will miss the final moments with my father as a result.
Is there anyone out there that can help, please?