Court: Man rightly kept alive after accident
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#1 Feb 11, 2009
God took the form of a hairpin but the devil wore a robe.
#2 Feb 11, 2009
I am shocked - usually, it's just the opposite scenerio: the guardian wants the ward removed from the vent and the family is rendered helpless in protecting their loved one.
And the guardian usually wins.
Hats off to Judge Allen!
For information on unlawful and abusive guardianships, visit NASGA at www.StopGuardianAbuse.org and the NASGA blog at http://NASGA-StopGuardianAbuse.blogspot.com .
#3 Feb 11, 2009
It's not always a good idea to keep a severely damaged person alive. I knew a family in Florida -- husband was a very savvy businessman with a wife, a 10-year-old stepson and a son about two years old. The last year he worked, he did more than $4 million in business and had 32 employees. Unfortunately, he suffered a severe head injury where, to save his life, doctors had to remove a significant part of the left lobe of his brain. He LIVED ... but with the mind of a 7-year-old: very juvenile and whiny and totally dependent on his wife, who, instead of TWO children to care for, then had THREE "children."
There was NO way to "bring back" what doctors had cut out of his brain -- he couldn't write his name, much less run a business, and the care he required was phenomenal. The family went from being VERY financially secure --$100 a plate charity balls, vacations to Cancun, a great house, nice cars -- to barely able to scrape by. The wife ended up with all of the responsibility for the kids, the house, trying to stay afloat, while he played games on the computer.
Doctors would NOT have made the heroic measures to save his life if he had had a Living Will -- but he didn't. So they were obligated to pull him through, even though, as his wife said many times, he would NOT have wanted to live like that, in that mentally/emotionally disabled state.
It was the saddest story I've ever heard -- because although he was like a child mentally, she was STILL married to him, and it was a real dilemma for her whether to get a divorce and go on with her life, or continue to take care of a husband who would NEVER AGAIN know her as the man she married.
She always said it would have been a greater kindness to let him die from the terrible injury he sustained than to doom him to living as a child for the rest of his life.
A real moral/ethical dilemma no one should have to face.
#4 Feb 11, 2009
You got that right, brother. Amen!! Or as they say in the Burgh...A-Ben?!
#5 Feb 11, 2009
A living will would not of made much of a difference as the doctors probably didn't know what they were going to end up with any time that they have to do a craniotomy.
What you are suggesting was that this man's Dr's play GOD and decide if the patient could live a productive life. They cannot do that nor would they of taken it upon themselves to do so.
Shame on you lady, you are a disgrace and I hope you have your living will made up so you can be put down if you ever have a stroke and become less than functional.
Whatever happened to for better or worse? Everyone has a cross to bear and whether it be yours or someone in your families health, abuse, alcohol, drug users, or some circumstance that changes your life in a split second , playing GOD is something that you are unqualified to do.
#6 Feb 11, 2009
I very much shortened the entire story of this family's situation. The husband was on a jet-ski (he raced them in competitions).. fell off the jet-ski during warm-ups for the race, went under the water and when he came up and his head broke the water surface, he was slammed in the head by a jet-ski traveling at 180 mph. That's a pretty significant injury to the head.
The surgeon who initially saw him in the ER did NOT want to use tose heroic measures, because he could immediately see how great the injury/damage was. The wife was at home, in other city, when this doctor called her to ask if her husband had a Living Will. He didn't. The doctor ASKED because he knew, from the tremendous damage that had been done to his head, that he would most likely be "a vegetable," even if they WERE able to save him.
He went through almost two years of rehabiltation before they sent him home. His little son was 3 by then, and he didn't even know who the child was, or who his wife was. He was pretty much indifferent to both of them, and could not remember his son's name; he always simply called him "The Little Boy."
Can you imagine being the wife -- the heartache and the stress and the misery she went through? Her husband, who was no longer her friend, her lover, her partner, her provider, her confidante, was now NOTHING like the man she married. In essence, she had three children to care for -- and no husband to share responsibility with. He'd get in screaming, crying fighting matches with the 3-year-old ("He took my tennis ball ... he took my tennis ball!") and she was constantly having to referee between a "normal" (but very undisciplined) 3-year-old and a grown man who behaved at the 3-year-old's level. The stepson, by then about 13, tried a couple of times to commit suicide, such was his stress and misery at the insanity and chaos created in their family.
The surgeon who saved the guy's life later said if it had been a member of his OWN family, he "would've jumped over the gurney" to prevent medical personnel from saving the life of his loved one, if they had suffered an injury as severe as his patient.
The wife essentially was a widow -- except that her husband was still alive, with the mind of a child. She had NO life anymore, except the tiring, exhausting, frustrating job of caring for two squabbling, whiny children. The stepson eventually left the home and went to live with his father, because he couldn't take the constant craziness in the home.
At one point, the wife said, "When you fall in love with someone, you are really saying you love their mind. I fell in love with his mind -- and it isn't there anymore."
You have NO IDEA, until it happens to YOU, what it would be like to be trapped in a situation like that -- and you can't really sit in judgment on somebody who IS living that neverending nightmare. It was very sad, all the way around.
#8 Feb 11, 2009
I imagine it would be like caring for a loved one who ends up with Alzheimers, gets in a car accident or has some other situation that makes them not "them". Life sucks sometimes. You have to play the hand that was dealt to you. Not that I don't feel bad for the person, but the vow is "for better or for worse", and that sounds like the "worse" part.
#9 Feb 11, 2009
Oh, it definitely was "worse." They had only been married about four years total (and for nearly two of them, he was hospitalized and then in rehab). SHE was young, beautiful, smart, poised -- and she was very torn, as she loved the man he had BEEN, but she also didn't sign on to have NO HUSBAND after his accident. It was one of the most heartbreaking situations I ever saw. His best friend, a guy he'd known most of his life and been best buddies with, completely quit visiting because it upset him too much to see his pal like that; he couldn't relate to him anymore, the things the friendship was built on (their history, common interests, shop talk, etc.) were GONE. Biggest tragedy I ever saw, for everybody. You don't know until you've walked a mile in their shoes what someone else's crosses are.
#10 Feb 11, 2009
Don't forget the ice floes.
#11 Feb 11, 2009
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