Fit to be tried


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Abstract

I'm an RN working in an obstetric/gynecologic clinic. Last week a woman—also a nurse—came in for a tubal ligation. She told me beforehand that she didn't really want to have her tubes tied but was doing it because her husband refused to have a vasectomy and they already had five children. Because she seemed very anxious and the physician was planning to use only a local anesthetic, I gave her 1 mg of lorazepam. Then she told me that she'd driven to the clinic alone because her husband was staying with their children.After the procedure, she stayed in recovery for over an hour. Although she appeared depressed, she insisted she was fine and wanted to drive herself home. Normally I wouldn't let someone drive after a tubal ligation, especially after she'd been given lorazepam, but because she was a nurse I figured she was capable of judging her limits.On the way home, her car hit a guardrail and she had to be treated at the local ED. Now she's suing the physician and me for allowing her to drive. I think she's partially responsible because she insisted on driving despite her emotional state and the fact that she received lorazepam. Do I have a valid point?—R.B., N.H.

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