After all the body chemistries are normalized and the body itself is warm to the point that it looks physiologically normal, the patient is taken off the ventilator. This is called an apnea test. If in 10 minutes there is no respiratory effort, this confirms whole brain death. Additionally, there are reflex tests that ascertain if even the lowest and most primitive part of the brain are working. ICe water is shot into the ears, looking for a response of the eyes (ice calorimetrics).
If the brain does not trigger the most rudimentary of reflexes which is to say to provide oxygenation by breathing, the only think that is happening to this child is that he heart is being kept alive in some bizarre and sick popular play. No doubt the parents are seeking retribution and milking this for all they are worth.
This is absolutely no different than how an organ may be kept alive outside the body by oxygenating it, etc. but it is independent of the body. Sadly, this child is dead, and I support the hospital as a matter of ETHICS for not contributing to this facade any further.
Do you know if all those tests were done or is that simply standard procedure?
If her brain is dead, does the body absorb the dead tissue?
If she is brain dead, is it still possible for her to breathe without a ventilator?
Like probably most, I was initially outraged by the media stories. I have researched it to some extent, as you have, and I agree with you.
This is NOT Terri Schiavo redux. This little girl is not in a “permanent vegetative condition,” able to swallow, eye reflexes intact, etc. She is DEAD.
Sad but true. Short of a literal miracle of God, she isn’t coming back. Meanwhile, this cadaver is taking up an ICU bed that might save an actual living human being’s actual life.
What is the hospital trying to hide?
How did this “simple” procedure get F’d up?
Your bedside manner must be amazing.
I obviously have no way of knowing if you are a real doctor, or just play one on the internet -- but what you wrote is what I have been thinking for quite some time. If a person is truly brain dead and being kept alive by some machines that keep her breathing and her heart beating -- then it is time to admit that she is dead. This is different from the Shavio (sp?) case, who was truly brain damaged - but only needed the machines to swallow. Forcing her to die by starvation and dehydration, was wicked.
This young girl, on the other hand, just seems to have her dead body kept in a somewhat animated condition due to Media distortions of the facts. It is time to mourn, and move on.
You may or not be completely correct.
Yet what you wrote is beside the point.
Can a heart beat on its own, unassisted, in a dead body, if other organs are mechanically maintained? From what I’ve read, she is on a feeding tube and a ventilator. Nothing else. Some reports claim the ventilator maintains the heart and lungs. Could you clear up this confusion for me?
Can the body maintain life independent of the machines? In this case, the answer appears to be a definitive no.
My wife knows, were I to be in this situation, please pull the plugs and allow my body to rest. Just because a machine can pump air through my lungs and stimulate my heart through electrical impulses, does not mean I am alive. If my body cannot survive independent of these machines and there is no hope of living otherwise, let the natural order, death, take place. Although painful for a time to those grieving, I believe it to be more merciful to not extend the unresolved emotional trauma.
People should be smart enough to understand that all medical procedures have risk, no matter how small. Something may go wrong and you may be injured or die. Is the risk greater than the benefit? In most cases, no. But on occasion, absent malpractice, accidents happen or risk exposes itself at no demonstrable fault of any party. All humans are different, why should we expect all bodies to react in the same manner? It’s unreasonable, IMO. But I know I’m in a minority because everyone wants someone to blame.
No doubt this situation is sad, but I guess I’m a heartless cracker because I don’t think there should be a payout unless malpractice can be proven.
Thanks for your posts/point of view/insight on this sensitive subject.
IT’S GREAT TO GET A PROFESSIONAL TAKE ON THIS ‘OUT OF CONTROL’ SITUATION .....SCIENCE TRIUMPHS OVER EMOTION ..JUST AS IT OUGHT TO.....I SALUTE YOU DR. PROFESSIONAL... CLARITY COMES TO THE FREEREPUBLIC AS IT MOST TIMES DOES COMPLIMENTS OF THE PROS...! IT’S WHAT MAKES THIS PLACE SO VALUABLE..!
Thank you for a very reasoned and educated response.
beyond the brain dead issue, this hospital wanted to get this over with asap because they wanted to do their best to cover up their own potential negligence in this case.
they are also very anxious to get donor organs.
I have family in NICUs and have worked in hospitals. Some are hell bent at declaring people legally deadand then going after family to aloow them to harvest organs.
They would have destroyed any evidence of negligence on their part during organ removal and just said it occurred taking out organs.
I do not doubt it for one second.
That's pretty standard...........
Ice water is shot into the ears, looking for a
response of the eyes.
This young girl should never have ended up in this position after undergoing a relatively routine surgery. Of course her mother is going to fight hard to give her child every chance possible, no matter what the doctors or the "ethics committee" says.
There are too many mistakes happening in hospitals today. Many of us have had experience with hospital staff that does not care, does not pay close attention, brushes off concerns too easily, etc., and then a loved one ends up in this position because a family's concerns were not heeded. It's a parent's instinct to protect a child, and this mother does not trust the hospital now, as she has every reason not to.
Thank you for this post it is what I was searching for when clicking on this thread.
How sad for her mother. It is as I feared: it seems she is in denial.
We should all keep her and her daughter in our prayers.
One of the problems with the brain death/organ donation issue is the definition of brain dead that varies by location. If there were agreement among various countries and states in the criteria used I think there might be more acceptance. In some locations the committee that decides not he criteria to be used is also the committee that handles organ transplants. It’s a slippery slope from there.