Liver Disease Allegedly Impaires Patient’s Ability to Revise Will

Hepatology Expert WitnessThis case involves a patient with end stage liver disease and HCC, who had been prescribed Lactulose. The patient lived for more than a year after being diagnosed with HCC. Some months prior to death, the patient contacted a public notary to aid her in witnessing her revised estate and will planning, which removed one of her children from receiving an inheritance. The one who was removed from the will had no relationship with the patient, and did not visit her during the final years of her life. The person who was removed from the will disputes the changes and believes the woman was not of the capacity required to make these revisions. The attorney required review by a hepatologist to determine if this woman, who had been prescribed Lactulose, was more likely than not, coherent, cognizant and mindful of the revisions she had made to her will and estate plans. This woman continued, working and living independently for several months after revising her will.

Question(s) For Expert Witness

  • 1. How often do you prescribe Lactulose to patients with end stage liver disease?
  • 2. Are these patients generally capable of making informed decisions, so long as they are following their Lactulose regimen?
  • 3. Have you ever served as an expert witness on a case involving Lactulose / encephalopothy?

Expert Witness Response E-006792

Currently, over 200 of my patients are on lactulose. Whether a patient is capable of making informed decisions on lactulose depends on the specifics, but, based on the information provided here, I do not see why the patient wouldn’t be able to.

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