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Tue Sep 24, 2013, 11:49 AM

Modern Medicine Can Save Lives But

my question is, when should doctors stop. I have a friend who has a very ill grandson, he is 12 months old and has not been out of the hospital more than a few days in that time. He has an unusual medical condition that is attacking all of his organs (don't ask what it is I can't say it or spell it). The doctors continue to go to great lengths including 3 code blue situations to save this young child. He has experienced 2 strokes in the past 2 months.

No matter what happens, his outcome will not be a good one. It has bankrupted the parents and is well on the way to bankrupting the grandparents who have mortgaged their homes to help pay for his care.

We went through something similar when I lost my mom but we were given options as a family and she had given us strict instructions on her end of life issues which helped us make the difficult decisions we faced. We kept her comfortable with drugs and let her go quietly, no theatrics since it would have prolonged the inevitable.

I am not saying this child is not valuable or loved, it just seems like they are using him as a guinea pig for these new procedures and drugs with no good outcome.

This is a huge ethical quandary, I don't want "death panels" and i don't want to limit research and discovery of new medical cures and medicines, but do we go farther than we should sometimes?

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Reply Modern Medicine Can Save Lives But (Original post)
redstatebluegirl Sep 2013 OP
Warpy Sep 2013 #1
redstatebluegirl Sep 2013 #2
AngryAmish Sep 2013 #3
cynatnite Sep 2013 #4

Response to redstatebluegirl (Original post)

Tue Sep 24, 2013, 12:01 PM

1. This is why nurses burn out

Families want "everything done" but have no idea what it means for the patient. Docs are afraid of being sued. It's especially tough when it's a child undergoing the best medical treatment in the world.

You'd think there would be ethics panels at every hospital that could examine the case from all angles and rein in docs when there is really no hope.

I don't know what this poor baby's chances are. They could be doing heroics because he's got a good chance of survival or they could be merely placating parents who are desperate for their child to survive. Unfortunately, it's not your decision at this point. It's theirs.

All I can suggest is that you take a giant step back from the situation.

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Response to Warpy (Reply #1)

Tue Sep 24, 2013, 12:35 PM

2. Of course I stay at a distance

I give Diane as much support as I can without offering anything specific. They have now turned to having people from some church come and pray over him 24/7. I understand they believe, but it is really hard to watch this. I have begun calling instead of going to see her at the hospital it is easier for me.

I do not know how nurses do it, burn out seems inevitable...

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Response to redstatebluegirl (Original post)

Tue Sep 24, 2013, 01:01 PM

3. I have left very, very clear instructions with my wife


Nothing heroic. Let me die with dignity. If you can get any organ out that can be of good, dig them out (except for my liver with is probably shot by now).

Both of my parents had lingering deaths. Not for me. WHen the time comes I am going to visit the club one more time, have a few cold ones and fetch the revolver.

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Response to redstatebluegirl (Original post)

Tue Sep 24, 2013, 01:05 PM

4. The family isn't ready to let him go...

The doctors have probably had frank conversations about his prognosis, but in the end it's the family that has to make the decision to stop.

Letting go of a baby has to be agony for the family and I don't think any of us can judge unless we've been in their shoes.

I've watched families struggle with this when I worked in medical.

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