Best interest decisions - case study

Supporting information

  • You’re working as a Foundation Year 1 (FY1) doctor on a busy part of the elderly ward in Manchester, England. 
  • One of the patients under your care is Mrs Sarah Watt.
  • Mrs Watt is an 85 year-old lady with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, type two diabetes and dementia.
  • She was admitted several days ago with pneumonia. She required intravenous antibiotics and has not responded well to treatment. 
  • She continues to have an intermittent fever and is breathless at rest.
  • Mrs Watt lives in sheltered accommodation where carers visit twice a day to help her dress and make her meals. 
  • Her son’s family visited her regularly. 
  • Mrs Watt’s short-term memory is very poor. Since contracting the chest infection, she has been increasingly confused. 
  • She currently doesn’t have the capacity to make a decision about her treatment.