The Ethical Debate Over a Dying Child

Discussion in 'Off-topic' started by Rammstein, Apr 25, 2007.

  1. Rammstein

    Rammstein New Member

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    Source
     
  2. ptsmith24

    ptsmith24 New Member

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    Dying while on a ventilator is a more "natural" way of dying than without? :sly:
     

  3. Rammstein

    Rammstein New Member

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    My immediate reaction is that while I want people to be able to make their own decisions, this mother is evil.

    She is needlessly keeping this child alive for her own personal enjoyment. Not that she enjoys seeing the child in pain, just that she wants to keep the child alive because to do it. And her argument of wanting to let the child die naturally like god intended obviously should not involve a device that breathes for the child.

    If the child is suffering it needs to be taken off life support.
     
  4. Adam5

    Adam5 Atlanta Overwatch

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    I've been trying to avaid the "serious" threads lately, due to stress, but I have to way in on this one. I almost lost my first wife and daughter. I'll try keep this short (din' think I can though), but Cynthia had a trouble plagued pregnancy. She spend the last 3 weeks of her pregnancy in intensive care and Lexxy was delivered by emergency c-section, 3 months premature. I got a call from the hospital at 1:00am stating that I had to decide whether to risk my wifes life, and not deliver the baby early, or risk my daughters life by delivering her that early. I had already been thinking about how to answer that question. I told the doctor to prep my wife for surgery and that I was on my way. My daughter was less than 2 lbs at birth and her lungs were not quite fully developed. My wife stabilized and came home after another week, my daughter was in nenatal intensive care for almost three months. We tols th doctors to do what they could to help our daughter, but, not to leave her on a respirator if there was no hope of her breathing on her own. Luckily God was smiling on me, both my wife and daughter survived to be healthy.

    If this child has no chance of surviving off of a respirator, he should be taken off it, an dlet nature take its course. I know how this mother feels. It's a VERY hard decision to make, but it has to be done. If the child has a chance of survival take it, if not.......... let him die in peace.

    This is exactly what we told my brothers doctors last fall. We told them that if he had a chance of survival to keep the respirator on, but if they felt that the situation was hopeless, to let us know, and we would have life support stopped.

    My family feels blessed to have my now 11yr old daughter healthy and my brither as healthy as can be expexted with only 1 lung. Decisions like this are EXREEMELY hard to make, but must be made. I wish that family all the best and good luck.
     
  5. glockgirl

    glockgirl New Member

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    being in veterinary medicine I see animals humanely euthanized everyday and I wish humans had that option... of course we still have owners that will keep even their dogs on ventilators for weeks but it breaks my heart...

    If I am ever on a ventilator with no hope someone should euthanize me... It is the humane thing to do.
     
  6. Taler

    Taler New Member

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    Same church, different pew.

    I've faced situations similar to the one quoted in the article and to that described by Adam5.

    $0.02 - I thought I was prepared for the decision(s), and in a sense, I was, in that I was able to take action consistent with my feelings and consistent with really caring for and loving someone. What I was unprepared for, in each case, was the aftermath, and frankly, emotional wreckage, that I experienced, and that's really the point of this post.

    Certainly, many, if not everyone, on the board, would do "the right thing." It really surprised me though, that in the midst of grieving, I was also overwhelmed by a sense of responsibility, the feeling that I had caused or allowed someone I loved, to die.

    When i read something like the article that was posted, I can't help but wonder whether there's some subliminal sense of foreboding, some subliminal self-preservation, that keeps everyone around the event in emotional pain, but prevents, or at least postpones, a different and deeper pain that frankly, does not seem to be equally shared.

    Sorry if this is convoluted, but like Adam5, the emotions surrounding my experienced are still very raw, many, many years later. Knowing what i know, i can understand how a person might do what the mother in the article is doing, letting "nature" do what she hasn't the strength to do herself.
     
  7. ahlongslide

    ahlongslide New Member

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    What would the kid want?

    I don't think it should be up to the mother at this point.

    If I were that kid, then I would want to die NATURALLY without the ventilator... probably 99% of others would too... So, doesn't it make sense to assume this kid wouldn't want to live like this for a prolonged amount of time when all is completely hopeless? I know he can't speak, but we can assume can't we...

    On the other hand, it really really sucks when you have to let go of a loved one that is dying prematurely. But when they are in pain and it is hopeless, then it seems selfish to hold on.

    Ramm, it looks like you started a one sided debate... maybe someone will join the other team... soon.
     
  8. GeorgiaGlocker

    GeorgiaGlocker Romans 1:16

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    I've been through this with my mother a couple of years ago and it is one of the most difficult decisions you will ever make although my mother had a living will. My mother was diabetic and eventually had 4 strokes. The 3rd one basically did her in. She was unable to move, eat, or talk. She was moved to a nursing home (thats another thread) and was hosptialized 4 times during this 3 month period. Her diabetes really hampered her recovery. My sister could not see what was coming. I could. She had power of attorney over her medical care. My mothers doctor and myself finally convinced my sister to place a DNR in my mothers chart. Believe me she did not want to. My mother was taken to surgery to clean out a bed sore that she had on her back. While in surgery the plastic surgeon, placed her on a ventilator which was against her wishes.

    A few days later my brothers and sister and myself made the decision to take my mother off the ventilator. My sister told me that I would have to tell the doctor to do it because she could not. So I did. It took 3 hours and 5 minutes for my mother to take her last breath. During this time my sister wanted me to place our mother back on the ventilator. I told her we couldn't. With tears rollling down her face she asked me why? I said because mom wouldn't want us to. I can't begin to tell you what this was like. No words to describe it. But I know it my heart that we did the right thing.
     
  9. luke0927

    luke0927 New Member

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    I have my first child due in July and this is a very tragic story and it would be the hardest thing in the world to do but, i would not want him to suffer like that. He will never be able to have a life, and she is just prolonging his pain and suffering by keeping him on life support.
     
  10. Macktee

    Macktee New Member

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    This is such an incredably difficult decision. Eventhough we think we know how we'll react, it's different when we actually have to do something. I truly feel sorry for the mother.

    This is much like the case in Florida a year or two ago where the husband wanted to end his wife's suffering and her parents ( plus both Bush brothers, the Fla legislature and the US congress ) opposed him.

    If that were my kid, I know I'd convince myself everything was fine and he was going to be OK and the hospital was trying to murder him and he really was smiling at me and all that. It's just human nature to do everything we can to protect our children even, like here, if we're harming them...

    Tough situation with no good resolution available.
     
  11. AV8R

    AV8R Banned

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    I think going so far as to call this mother evil is immature. When you have children Ramm I'm sure you will think about this and other things a lot differently. I would have said the same thing years ago before I was a pappy, but perspectives change a lot when your first born takes his/her first breath of air.

    I feel sorry for the mother and child here. The child cannot express his wishes, and the mother has the huge obstacle of her emotions getting in the way.

    Without knowing all the details, I think that if he is terminally ill, in pain, and will die soon regardless of treatment then IMHO removing the ventilator is the right thing to do. I don't see the need in prolonging his suffering an extra few months. Of course it is easy for me to say this without having all the feelings and emotions that this mother has. Who really knows until they are in this situation?
     
  12. HannitizedRushBaby

    HannitizedRushBaby New Member

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    Yes, it is slightly similar. But... Terri Schiavo was not on a venilator. They removed her feeding tube! That is a totally different argument in itself!

    I can't imagine having to make such a decision.
     
  13. HannitizedRushBaby

    HannitizedRushBaby New Member

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    Exactly! I get so tired of all the "they should have" - "they could have" - "why didn't they" stuff. (Not just with this issue... another one that comes to mind is the VT shootings.)
     
  14. Tinkerhell

    Tinkerhell Active Member

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    pretty much a +1 from here.

    I've not been in this situation and I pray that I never am and that none of you ever are.

    The only thing I will say is that everyone MUST think about this for their own self. They MUST let their loved ones know what their wishes are in the event that it happens to them and they MUST get a will, power of attny, and a living will.
    DO NOT just let this hang around as one of those thing you keep meaning to do but just never get around to. You can do this stuff online for little or nothing.

    This case is certainly different than what I'm talking about but do everything you can so that you don't end up in a situation where your loved ones have to make this decision for you when you are unable. And if you are smart you will break you neck to make sure your loved ones do the same thing. Everyone should have something in writting expressing how they want things handled given situation X. It doesn't really make for apleasant dinner conversation but better to have a sad night discussing it & know how mom or dad wants things handled rather than have an anguishing decision to make at the hospital...

    God bless.
     
  15. GeorgiaGlocker

    GeorgiaGlocker Romans 1:16

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    Exactly. A living will tells you what your love one wants. Even though none of us wanted to do what we had to do, it was what our mother wanted after much discussion with her doctors. My family knows exactly what I want should I ever be placed in that kind of a situation. I know it will break their heart but they know my wishes.
     
  16. Rammstein

    Rammstein New Member

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    That's why I told my family that if they ever kept me alive artificially when I was a vegetable, I would haunt them when I died.


    But seriously, I told them I do not want to be in that state. If it comes to that...just pull the plug and be done with me.
     
  17. Tinkerhell

    Tinkerhell Active Member

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    And that helps, but seriously PUT IT IN WRITTING. Its possible to get yourself in a situation where the docs won't or can't do what family members say. If it's in writting it's a lot harder for that to happen.