Skip to comments.Hospital agrees to let Jahi McMath family take girl
Posted on 01/03/2014 4:17:39 PM PST by Drew68Edited on 01/03/2014 4:20:22 PM PST by Admin Moderator. [history]
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No, in the old days, we called it being brain dead, just as we’re calling it now. We didn’t equate being braindead to being in a coma.
See Post 38
Decomposition does not necessarily have to occur through bacterial action. As a medical researcher, I have studied cell death in a sterile environment. Dead cells break down in various ways, depending on the type of cell death that occurred. With the type of death I suspect has occurred, I would think that the cell membranes would disintegrate and organelles would lose their structural integrity, releasing enzymes that digest cellular biomolecules. I will refrain from describing any further, out of respect for people's sensibilities. I am very curious to know what is actually happening, if breakdown products from a dead organ can penetrate into the circulatory system and so forth. I am also curious as to how long a semblance of life can be maintained in a dead body. Yes, I know this is morbid (but I'm a scientist).
I have read about young children who have had half of their brains removed because of a seizure disorder. They seem to do fine with half a brain... although I wonder if some sort of prosthetic is stuffed into their skull to keep the remaining half in place. The plasticity of a young brain is truly amazing.
Sorry, but lifesitenews.com has a political axe to grind and engages in seriously misleading journalism. All these cases are easily explained.
You assume too much. The hospital did not treat the family poorly. On the contrary, they’ve made inarguably generous accomodations including that Jahi be allowed to have up o 8 visitors at a time, an area for the family to congregate, counselors for her siblings, many other accomodations.
At the time there was no diagnosis for brain death for Karen Ann Quinlan. Her autopsy supports what you are saying in that much of the brain was not severely damaged or “ dead” but some areas were.
Until there is an autopsy on Jahi McMath your statements Comparing the extent of brain damage between the two the are a matter of speculation. And zero details of the examination have been released, so you are overstepping in making any detailed comments. You are inferring things based on the conclusion that she is brain dead and that is fair and reasonable.
I personally believe she is brain dead because I trust the professionalism of the medical staff and their sincerity and know that the advances in understanding and diagnosing brain damage and brain have become quite sophisticated, in no small part due to the Quinlan case.
As far as your Quinlan comments, her brain was irreversibly damaged and was not “fully alive” and had regions that were dead, hence her state.
This article helps to explain some of the differences, as well as the criteria used to establish brain death.
I would bet that none of those articles you linked were bona fide brain death cases where the patient was examined by two physicians separately as is legally required before the patient can be pronounced dead. Given that they were published in the mainstream news, they probably contain a pretty thick helping of sensationalism. One article even says that the teen was put into a drug-induced coma--meaning that no one ever believed he was dead (even though they did not think he would survive). The woman in another article was never examined for brain death. The boy in the Today article supposedly had a PET scan that showed no activity--but that is not the type of examination that would establish brain death.
As far as I am aware, only one person has come back from the dead, and that happened about 2,000 years ago. It was also clearly a case of Divine Intervention.
I’d she is “dead” they cannot be legally responsible for her dying or the continued maintenance of “the body.”
Don’t mean to sound sarcastic, but that’s your answer.
Normally, in these cases, the hospital’s insurance will settle. Quickly. And without a huge fight.
Any detailed comments I have made are based on the definition of brain death. They do not have to be specific to this case.
One of Jahi’s doctors does not agree with the diagnosis. For an innocent life, I’ll side with the dissenting vote.
You and I have no idea what the hospital said and did. We have no idea of the conversation between the parties.
The hospital cannot legally discuss this publicly.
I know from relatives who work for a hospital and witness this thing every other year or so. These parents are distraught. I can understand that. But there is a time to accept what has happened, and move to the next steps.
Interesting, don’t you think, since her body didn’t turn to mush or anything like it. This young girl is not dead, she is on a ventilator as was Christopher Reeve until he died and Karen Quinlan for 10 years after the ventilator was removed. The hospital is looking out for their financial interest, period, IMHO.
Young children who are gravely injured - for that matter, adults who are gravely injured - sometimes recover. My Mom, for example, was put on a respirator because she was dying of a massive cerebral hemmorhage (sp). 3 hours later she woke up, noticed my brother had changed his shirt, and was sent home 3 days later alert and oriented. She ended up with no physical and minimal mental affects. Both physicians and nurses said it was a miracle.
This girl may recover some or not at all, but the hospital and freepers aren’t helping the discussion by saying she is dead.
In the old days, we called this 'brain dead'. We still do. With a coma there is still brain activity.
How ‘bout we differ to the medical community?
“Brain death” wasn’t even a thing until 1968 and (I know for a fact) that it wasn’t widely accepted in 1970.
That’s when I was born. I was in worse condition than Jahi and I was called a ‘vegetable’.
I was in a coma for a month in February. You aren’t dead, you can hear everything, you just can’t answer.
I am going to pray for our Lord to bring her back.
Everybody forgets poor old Lazarus.....
You are probably right and this family is not picking up any of the humungous hospital bills for keeping a body with a dead brain on life support. Which is a contradiction anyway. How long until the lawsuit over this mess that the family is part responsible for>
What you don’t understand is that malpractice cases are settled every day. Usually in a compassionate manner—especially if there WAS malpractice. (By that I mean the damage was due to negligence, and not by some allergic reaction or other “no fault” sh!t happens type of incidents.)
You seem to be focused on the hospitals finances. Believe me when I tell you that is not the issue. There is enough insurance to take care of this.
If I recall correctly, other articles have described the "dissenting" doctor as one who has not been personally involved with the case, has not actually examined her for brain death, and is a bit of a crackpot.
We aren't talking about life and death here. We are really discussing a family that is unable to accept their daughter's death. Yes, it is tragic, but postponing removing the body from a ventilator is only making the situation worse for the family.
If my daughter’s heart is beating and you call her ‘the body’ and threaten to kill her, I’ll pop you in the nose.
What *mother* wouldn’t?
Okay, I will have to crack open the Bible and do a bit more studying. I thought Lazarus had only become incredibly old...
What *mother* wouldnt?
Actually, if I were talking to you about your dead daughter, regardless of whether her body is on a respirator, I would call her by name. But I also wouldn't mince words--I would say that she has died.
I once had to sit with the mother of a brain dead boy and collect information for his death certificate. It was totally heart-wrenching. All I could think of is what if I had to deal with the death of my son like that... I really feel for people in that situation, but I am also a realist. I think that the longer this situation is prolonged, the worse it is for the family's psychological health.
Knowing that everything *truly* had been done, helps alleviate grief.
This is going to cultivate anger and guilt and make recovery impossible.
I distinctly recall “raising the dead” on Jesus’ resume.
(That little bit of humor is going to get me in Dutch with the zealots!)
Thanks Drew, I appreciate it. I was wondering when he would crawl out under the rock from whence he came. I see you have already been called a liar by this individual. You are in good company. Apparently you are dishonest for speaking the truth. Don’t bother with him. Pretty soon he will say you are agreeing with him.
I was wondering if you were calling me a troll :-)
No worries my FRiend
Save your breath, this has been explained several times to this poster. No chance of comprehension. You cannot reason with the unreasonable.
Not one of us who knows and have dealt with these issues professionally many times is diminishing the awful tragedy that has struck. But the emotional argument not withstanding, this child is dead. The corpse is being maintained for the edification of the mother -- indeed a very astute feature of MBP, and secondary gain is happening. No emotional argument can change the ***REALITY*** of the situation. And Yes, before you spout of, I can stand on 12 years of posting on this site and a purely pro-life record.
Thanks, DR., I've learned quite a lot from reading your posts on this subject. One of the reasons that FR remains a great resource of information, despite all the "white noise" of trolls. I only wish the subject matter were not so sad. Nonetheless, thanks for all the posts you've taken the time to make. It's good to hear from a professional on these matters.
That's assuming that you are dealing with rational folks, or at least an experienced ambulance chaser who can control his clients.
The insurer is probably prepared to deal with a wrongful death suit. They are just trying to bring the parents to that position.
Thank you for your kind words. It truly helps especially when the trolls just attack the person. It is funny, the socratic preconditions or debate are candor, honesty, and good will. I must confess that I was taken back by the lack of honesty and good will from some on this site. But I agree with you that the tragedy of this case is horrifying. I continue to pray for her parents. I also deeply appreciate people like you willing to defend someone else. I hope to return the favor for you some day.
Based on what the hospital pr person said and what the Family said in news reports the tone of the hospital to the parents has been hostile and inconsiderate.
By your argument, it’s hopeless and there’s nothing to be done. She’s going to die soon no matter what.
That means that she’s not suffering and in no discomfort. So there’s no harm in putting in a feeding tube, keeping her breathing, and some basic medical care? (Antibiotics, etc)
Oh, and her heart is beating on it’s own. That was a big part of the plaintiff’s court case. The only support she’s getting is a vent and fluids.
Please don’t forget that parents and families should have some say in these matters. In the end, they’re the ones that have to live with it. (Until very recently, this was considered a basic right.)
Let the parents be able to say, “Everything was done that could be done.” Then everyone can rest with the outcome.
But in this case, this young sweet child is dead. It is not that she is going to die soon, she had met the legal and medical definition of death as defined by the standard of care by which physicians are compelled to practice. I must respectfully reject your statement that she is going to die soon no matter what -- in fact she died on the 12th of December. I will not go into the harm that giving antibiotics that are unwarranted can bring to an individual or the population (resistant bacteria, etc) But it is fair to say that her heart is beating only as a function of a ventilator. It is not beating on its own per se. Her heart could be removed from her chest in this state with the lungs and still beat with the ventilator and extracorporeal circulation. That does not change the fact she is dead.
What many do not realize is that to be declared brain dead, it is the WHOLE brain that must be examined, not just parts. Part of brain death criteria is something called an apnea test. All the chemistries of the body are balanced, and the body is warmed and oxygenated at 100%, and then the ventilator is held (mechanical ventilation mode). If there is no breath for 10 minutes or if the pH falls to a certain threshold, then the brain stem is destroyed and the whole brain is dead.
Can the brain stem be harmed without the rest of the brain? Certainly, but this leaves EEG with waveform. What is certain is that 5 physicians have independently confirmed the death of this sweet young girl. I agree that the parents should have a say and rights for the living child. But in this case, unlike all the other cases that have been cited, there is no brain activity and this has been confirmed over and over and over again.
In the final analysis, some argue that if the parents want to take this body home on a ventilator and continue to ventilate the corpse, is that their right? I am not sure, but if a court says this is ok, then I would think the parents should be responsible for this decision and it would be their physical as well as financial burden. In other words, if they choose to act against the proven opinions and standards of medical care, then they are on their own for it. Solicit private donations, or pay for it themselves. But I will point out as a matter of law, in my state, I would have no option short of a court order as it is illegal to assault a corpse, and that is in fact what is occurring. As a nuerointensivist, I see brain injuries that are not whole brian death. The majority do not make full recovery. Rarely there is a great story like yours, but this tragic story is nothing like yours, as you still had some obvious brain activity. . In this case, the child is unequivocally dead, and it is then the responsibility of the medical community to help her parents understand this.
Thank you for taking the time to consider what I have said.
The question is why are the Doctors/hospital legally fighting the parents if the patient is brain dead/dead? Let the parents do what they wish. It won’t harm the hospital/doctors.
I do consider what you said, doctor. And, as I have said, I’m pretty sure that this is a hopeless case.
Now you need to put down the stethoscope and hear a human being.
The rights of the parents are being trampled. They have the right to get the best care for their child, as they see fit. Saying, “But she’s dead,” doesn’t make this any less their little girl. Even if she is dead, they have the right to decide to donate her organs or not and to decide how to dispose of her remains. “The body” belongs to them.
They have to know that everything was done to save their girl, even if it proves futile. They have hope in their hearts and that hope is a necessary part of the human condition.
They have to deal with the grief. And grief is one hell of a lot easier to live with if you really believe that every possibility was exhausted and the death was G-d’s will. (This is coping mechanism than many humans use to cope with the difficulties of life.)
These parents’ actions are not abnormal. They are normal and healthy reactions to an impossible situation. And yes, their wishes should be given tremendous weight.
After a few weeks, as the body shuts down due to ‘brain death’, all the doctors can come poke their fingers in the parents’ faces and say, “I told you so.” Until then, just do what’s necessary to help them get through it. Put in the damn trach and feeding tubes and let her be transferred if they don’t want to deal with it.
Now I do have some serious questions for you. According to this article:
1) As she’s only being kept alive with a vent, why are her kidneys and guts still working after 3 weeks when they should’ve begun to malfunction after a week?
2) Why is her immune system still functioning?
3) Why is her body temperature stable?
4) Why is her blood pressure level?
She had her heart attack on the 10th, but the doctors didn’t ‘declare’ her dead until the 12th. So the reality is that she’s been in this condition for three weeks and three days. Should she not being showing signs of organ failure by now?
No, I am focused on this little girl and her parents. And I am very familiar with liability insurance - it raises the hospital’s insurance rates when they have a major claim and decreases the hospital’s credibility. And institutional care of a 12 year old until she dies is no small sum.
I have seen little to no compassionate manner from these folks. Do you disagree?
I repeat, what harm other than to the hospitals reputation and finances will it be to let the girl stay on the respirator for a while and dies or starts doing better and recovers as sometimes will happen? There are several examples of that spontaneous recovery on this thread and others about the case, including the one I experienced personally.
Wow. Exactly what they do for pretty much anyone with a seriously ill relative or friend. Pardon me if I’m not impressed as in many ways, they have been total jerks.
As a Free Republic poster, you should certainly know about how popular and frequent it is these days to suppress dissenting voices if they are saying something against the way the train is going. Global warming, gun control, Obamacare come easily to mind. Ya might wanna take the crackpot doctor comment with a dose of salt.
Thanks for the advice.
I engage with these people to a limited extent, because it helps to keep my own thinking skills sharp. I do know that many of them are incapable of rational thought.
Condescending is the new way to treat your patients and family. Spent evening in ER on New Years Day with family member with ALZ... one nurse in particular was pretty much acting like a DMV clerk.. rude, indifferent and pretty much no compassion or respect for any patient in her care. This is the new reality in health care. I was pretty much amazed that no one reigned her in.
Wow.. is Michelle Obama your hero? Give it a rest with the fat crap!
Wrong.. my cousin was like this and they said he was in a coma.... he came out and lived for 32 years.
Amazing how so many here lie to support their suppositions!
By definition of some here my relative with ALZ... judging from scans of her brain should be dead.
Wow... go to accusing someone of being a troll because they don’t agree with your little world view? Amazing...
Ha.. your mea culpa to the fake doctor is amusing!