I think that under the assumption that Mrs. Jones’ cardiologist made a correct prediction concerning the patient’s survival chances and there are no alternative treatments available, the latter can agree to have a bypass operation. Indeed, without the surgery, Mrs. Jones can only live for a maximum of eight years, whereas after the procedure, there is a 17% probability that the patient would live for more than ten years.
Additionally, the mortality rate during the first year of operation (45%) and during the operation (5%) is equal to the risk of death during the next year without surgical interference (50%). Therefore, while opting for or refusing to have a bypass operation shares almost equal risks, the former is associated with greater chances of living a longer life.
Still, in my opinion, it is crucial that Mrs. Jones sees more specialists who can double-check the primary diagnosis. Unlike the cardiologist from the University of Illinois, other specialists may have access to the statistics in their institution, which would allow making more accurate medical predictions.
Moreover, it is possible that professionals from other institutions may suggest other treatment methods that would not necessitate difficult decision-making. For instance, probably, Mrs. Jones can select such options as angioplasty, treatment with medicines, or transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR).
Nevertheless, none of the professional or non-professional opinions should be decisive, and the patient should decide which option is more suitable for her. In this regard, Mrs. Jones can consider whether she is ready to face the risks and inconveniences related to having the surgery, including death and long recovery.
At the same time, the patient should understand that without a bypass operation, her pains may remain for the rest of her life, while after the surgical interference, there will be less physical discomfort.