Bioethics Blogs

Dad Pulls Gun to Make Hospital Keep Son on Life Support

In January, George Pickering went to visit his son in the critical care unit of Tomball Regional Medical Center.  Clinicians announced that they were going to remove life sustaining treatment.  

George then pulled out a gun and stalled things for three hours.  During this time, his son recovered.  He is now alive, healthy, and doing well.  

While ultimately successful, there are better ways to resolve a dispute with a hospital.  Pulling is a gun is at the very bottom of that list.

  1. Negotiating with the treatment team
  2. Invoking an institutional process like the ethics committee
  3. Transferring to another facility
  4. Threatening to go to the media
  5. Threatening a lawsuit 
  6. Threatening to go to the QIO, medical board, hospital board
  7. Actually obtaining a TRO or court injunction
  8. Waving a gun

The views, opinions and positions expressed by these authors and blogs are theirs and do not necessarily represent that of the Bioethics Research Library and Kennedy Institute of Ethics or Georgetown University.