14 May 2006

Four days is insensitive

Found this:

Family stops hospital from taking boy off life support
Associated Press


The family of a 14-year-old who was shot in the neck has received a restraining order preventing the University of Kansas Hospital from taking the boy off of life support.

Michael Todd of Kansas City was shot Tuesday at a Blue Springs apartment. Police said a witness told them that the gun might have gone off accidentally.

"Our doctors have determined him to be brain dead," hospital spokesman Dennis McCulloch said on Friday.

But Michael's family argues that the hospital wants to remove the boy from life support because it wants to use his organs for a donor program.

"It's so quick," said Odette Cole, Todd's aunt. "He's 14 years old. ... You're acting like you're in a grocery store for body parts."

The rest of the article can be read here.

I don't know how bad the boy's injuries are. I certainly don't understand why damage to a neck (with possible spinal cord injury) could kill off a brain - starve it of oxygen perhaps at the point of crisis, but kill it? I'm confused.

That said, theres no telling what sort of emotional and shocked freefall the family are going through.

Maybe there's hope, maybe there isn't, but to try and pull the plug on a child after only four days? Doesn't that hit you as the most emotionally insensitive action possible?

I have no idea whether there is some dark conspiracy regarding spare parts, but that is irrelevant. This certainly smacks of a "conveyor belt mentality", whatever the real reason.

Four days. Sheesh.


zilla said...

Hmmm. Four days with a child on life support might seem like an eternity to me. The words "brain dead" -- do they ever lack the finality they seem to indicate?

Organs are harvested, I've been told, with life support still running, otherwise they begin to deteriorate and become useless to potential recipients. I was told this by friends, a husband & wife who are both surgical nurses, whose adopted child was an organ donor. According to her, even though there's no turning back after the brain's declared dead, there never came a point when either parent felt good about saying, "Okay, sure, you can take his organs now."

Who among us has got a donor card, and have we taken the time to discuss that fact with those who will be calling the shots should we become incapacitated?

Tough stuff.

Bless them all.

Ivy the Goober said...

I would hate to be in that family's position, but I can't help but think that 4 days may be too soon, too!

Stegbeetle said...

Four days doesn't seem long but without knowing the details of the case it's hard to say much. You'd like to think that a diagnosis of "brain dead" wouldn't be arrived at lightly, or inaccurately.
Yep, I've got a donor card but you're all safe - I'm giving my soapbox a rest for a few days.

Cheryl said...

Understood, Steg.
Same reason I made a separate blog for the Aspie stuff, I guess - this blog is my 'happy place'.

Breathe deep, count to ten, and see you soon?

fineartist said...

Oh hell and I think I have problems...I suck.

Odd, Blue Springs is a fifty minute drive from Kansas city kansas..and Blue Springs is in Missouri, one of the suburbs of Kansas City Missouri, and Blue Springs is an expensive place to live too, and a very good area, what the hell was a kid doing in close proximity to a loaded gun? Damn I loathe guns, and the damage they do...to kids and other living things. My man has guns, he is responsible with them, they are never left unattended and they are never loaded unless he is hunting or shooting skeet, still I loathe them.