ANH/ Surrogate Case Studies
Mrs. Frank is a 65-year-old woman with recurring medical problems as a result of many
years of anorexia. Mrs. Frank has mild dementia and she is having an increasingly difficult time
taking care of herself. One day she falls down the stairs in her home and breaks her hip. When
she is brought into the emergency room, it is clear that Mrs. Frank is malnourished, as her body
resembles that of a much older woman. Mrs. Frank refuses to eat, without any explanation.
Shortly into her ICU stay, Mrs. Frank has a stroke and she is quickly ventilated and given a PEG
tube. Mrs. Frank has two daughters who come to see her at the hospital. Mrs. Frank’s oldest
daughter says that Mrs. Frank hated hospitals and doctors because she had once been
institutionalized many years ago for her anorexia. She asks doctors to stop all treatment and let
her mother die in peace. Mrs. Frank’s other daughter, however, claims that Mrs. Frank never
wanted to eat and her earlier refusal is a symptom of her anorexia and not her wish to die. Mrs.
Frank has no advanced directives.