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Thread: Family of brain dead California girl battles hospital to keep machines on

  1. #61
    Elite Member sputnik's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MohandasKGanja View Post
    A number of articles discussing this case have cited a Pew Research poll that showed that black and Hispanic Americans are twice as likely to believe that a hospital should use all means to keep a patient on life support compared to white Americans. And that they are also more distrustful of hospitals. So, in this case, it is possible that this family is honestly driven by its personal beliefs to take this stance until they are literally out of options. See excerpt below:
    A November Pew Research Center poll found substantial differences in the amount, timing and type of medical intervention that black and white Americans believe to be appropriate. In fact, only 33 percent of blacks said that there are circumstances in which patients should be allowed to die, compared with 65 percent of non-Hispanic white Americans. Another 61 percent of blacks told Pew researchers that doctors should be obligated to continue and provide any type of care possible, while just 26 percent of whites agreed.

    “As large as those gaps appear, it’s also consistent with what we have long known,” said Cary Funk, a senior researcher at Pew. “Survey after survey has shown strong race and ethnic differences of opinion about end-of-life care. That much we know.”

    To put it simply, while many white Americans have become increasingly concerned about the ability to reject, refuse or remove medical care, African Americans remain deeply concerned with access to care, even at the very end.

    i think this is about more than race and ethnic differences per se. i'd like to see what those numbers would look like when disaggregated for education level and religious beliefs...
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  2. #62
    Elite Member JadeStar70's Avatar
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    I wondered if they wanted to keep her on the machines and move her somewhere else in order to prove negligence. I wonder if they think they can prove they did something wrong in her surgery that led to her death, and needed her body to prove it.


    Very sad story all around. They need to let her go.

  3. #63
    Elite Member Laurent's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JadeStar70 View Post
    I wondered if they wanted to keep her on the machines and move her somewhere else in order to prove negligence. I wonder if they think they can prove they did something wrong in her surgery that led to her death, and needed her body to prove it.
    According to everything I've read, the longer a body stays hooked up to life support, the harder it is to determine injury or cause of death. If that was their motive, they would've done better to have an autopsy performed many weeks ago, shortly after her brain death.
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    Elite Member witchcurlgirl's Avatar
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    their lawyer is vile. i hadn't heard about the 'Baby K' case until it was mentioned in connection with him in all the press for this case. it's a horrible story, and it made me both sad and furious.
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    Elite Member JadeStar70's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Laurent View Post
    According to everything I've read, the longer a body stays hooked up to life support, the harder it is to determine injury or cause of death. If that was their motive, they would've done better to have an autopsy performed many weeks ago, shortly after her brain death.



    Oh, okay,...I was just taking a guess and wasn't aware of that....but,...good to know!

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    Elite Member MohandasKGanja's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by witchcurlgirl View Post
    their lawyer is vile. i hadn't heard about the 'Baby K' case until it was mentioned in connection with him in all the press for this case. it's a horrible story, and it made me both sad and furious.
    I remember the case, but didn't know this was the same lawyer. I second WCG's "vile" designation for the lawyer, and suggest we now bring it to a floor vote.

  7. #67
    Gold Member manningmsj's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Laurent View Post
    According to everything I've read, the longer a body stays hooked up to life support, the harder it is to determine injury or cause of death. If that was their motive, they would've done better to have an autopsy performed many weeks ago, shortly after her brain death.
    Unless it's true that they ignored her aftercare instructions and encouraged her to eat and speak after surgery. Someone also mentioned that the grandmother suctioned her mouth? If they were worried their actions somehow caused her death, maybe the goal all along was to conceal it by postponing an autopsy. Still, maybe it's all part of the same problem. This family clearly attaches very little value to the opinions of doctors, so I wouldn't be shocked if it really is just a matter of thinking they know best. I said before that I was beginning to have my doubts on how genuine their denial is, but maybe they really are just incredibly ignorant. They weren't listening to the hospital even before she died.

    Quote Originally Posted by witchcurlgirl View Post
    their lawyer is vile. i hadn't heard about the 'Baby K' case until it was mentioned in connection with him in all the press for this case. it's a horrible story, and it made me both sad and furious.
    Baby K was a horrible case. I still can't think about it without getting pissed off and it's been nearly a decade. I truly felt sorry for that mother because her denial really was genuine and it was totally exploited at her baby's expense. I didn't know it was the same lawyer. That makes me rethink my doubts about this family. I don't know what's worse in the end, but in Baby K's case the tragedy was really that her mother honestly believed she was alive. I don't know if I hope these people are ignorant or evil, but I know which side the lawyer's on.
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    Elite Member Laurent's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by manningmsj View Post
    Unless it's true that they ignored her aftercare instructions and encouraged her to eat and speak after surgery. Someone also mentioned that the grandmother suctioned her mouth? If they were worried their actions somehow caused her death, maybe the goal all along was to conceal it by postponing an autopsy. Still, maybe it's all part of the same problem. This family clearly attaches very little value to the opinions of doctors, so I wouldn't be shocked if it really is just a matter of thinking they know best. I said before that I was beginning to have my doubts on how genuine their denial is, but maybe they really are just incredibly ignorant. They weren't listening to the hospital even before she died.
    If I'm not mistaken, the grandmother in question is a nurse, so maybe it's a matter of thinking that she knows best and more than everyone else involved.
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    Like I say, you involve lawyers in medical situations at your peril. The longer this drags out the more distressing and complex it's going to get. The family is blinded by grief and easily manipulated, especially if they are a bit clueless on this stuff in the first place.
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  10. #70
    Elite Member sputnik's Avatar
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    who's baby k and what happened to him/her?
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    Elite Member witchcurlgirl's Avatar
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    A baby born with anencephaly:

    Baby K's mother had been notified of her condition following ultrasonography,[1] and was advised to terminate the pregnancy by her obstetrician and neonatologist[3] but chose to carry the child to term because of "a firm Christian faith that all life should be protected."[4] The hospital believed that care provided to the baby would be futile, [4] while the mother believed mechanical breathing support must be provided during the baby's periodic respiratory crises.[5] Fairfax Hospital doctors strongly advised a Do Not Resuscitate order for the child, which the mother refused. Stephanie remained on ventilator support for 6 weeks while Fairfax searched for another hospital to transfer her to, but no other hospital would accept her. After the baby was weaned off constant ventilator support, the mother agreed to move the child to a nursing facility, but the baby returned to the hospital many times for respiratory problems.

    Legal proceedings

    When baby Keene was admitted to the hospital at six months of age for severe respiratory problems, the hospital filed a legal motion to appoint a guardian for the child's care and sought a court order that the hospital did not need to provide any services beyond palliative care. At trial, several experts testified that providing ventilator support to an anencephalic infant went beyond the accepted standard of medical care.[6] In contrast, the baby's mother argued her case on the grounds of religious freedom and the sanctity of life. In a controversial ruling, the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia decided that the hospital caring for Stephanie must put her on a mechanical ventilator whenever she had trouble breathing. The court interpreted the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act (EMTALA) to require continued ventilation for the infant. The wording of this act requires that patients who present with a medical emergency must get "such treatment as may be required to stabilize the medical condition" before the patient is transferred to another facility. The court refused to take a moral or ethical position on the issue, insisting that it was only interpreting the laws as they existed. As a result of the decision, Keene was kept alive much longer than most anencephalic babies.[4] It has been suggested by the dissenting judge in the case that the court should have used the condition anencephaly as the basis of the case, not the recurring subsidiary symptoms of respiratory distress. As the irreversibility of anencephaly is widely understood in the medical community, he argued that the decision to continue futile care only resulted in the repetitive diversion of medical equipment.[6] Keene died April 5, 1995, at Fairfax Hospital, at age 2 years 174 days.[1]

    Eta: fixed it.
    Last edited by witchcurlgirl; January 8th, 2014 at 05:08 PM.
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  12. #72
    Elite Member witchcurlgirl's Avatar
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    sorry about the wall of text, i'm posting through a proxy server and I can't edit my posts.
    All of God's children are not beautiful. Most of God's children are, in fact, barely presentable.


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    Elite Member SHELLEE's Avatar
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    That is just so horrifying to me, dear god.
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  14. #74
    Elite Member sputnik's Avatar
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    thanks for posting, wcg.
    shit, that's horrible. anencephaly is awful and why anyone would want to keep a baby with that alive is beyond me. you'd think the 'christian' thing to do would be to spare them a life that isn't a life.
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    You would think.
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