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David Drummond was injured in May 2007 after a fall. He was diagnosed with a high tetraplegia requiring mechanical ventilation (artificial breathing by machine) for the remainder of his life. Over a 4-month period after his injury, David came to the decision to withdraw life sustaining ventilation, exercising his right to be free of unwanted medical interventions. Before the removal of his ventilator and death, he worked with Dr. Richard Martinez, a forensic psychiatrist from the University of Colorado Denver Medical School and Denver Health Medical Center, in examining his decision over several months. It was David’s wish to record a videotaped interview with Dr. Martinez, so that his reasoning for his decision could be shared with others after his death and to emphasize the importance of having a living will.

Pamela D. Wilson of The Care Navigator, thanks Dr. Richard Martinez for sharing the story of David Drummond. Dr. Richard Martinez is the Robert D. Miller Professor of Psychiatry and Law at the University of Colorado Denver School of Medicine and is adjunct Professor at the University of Denver Sturm School of Law. He is Director of Psychiatric Forensic Services at Denver Health Medical Center and Director of the Forensic Fellowship Training Program at Univ. of Colorado Denver.

 

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