WWYD? Brain dead child and life support?

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by bnttyra, Jan 6, 2014.

  1. bnttyra

    bnttyra Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2007
    Messages:
    12,927
    Likes Received:
    21,640
    http://www.cnn.com/2014/01/06/health/jahi-mcmath-girl-brain-dead/index.html?hpt=us_c1

    This is really a heart breaking story. As a parent, I can't image having to deal with this situation. I honestly know that letting go of my child would be the hardest thing I would ever do, but I have to ask myself, is that child really still there? I mean, who is benefitting from all of this? Certainly not the parents nor the child, but someone is going to be making money on this tragic scenerio.

    Just horribly sad all the way around. :(
     
  2. PureTrouble

    PureTrouble Senior Member

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2010
    Messages:
    1,923
    Likes Received:
    5,165
    I feel bad for the parents. But I believe the hospital is correct. She isn't there anymore, it's time to let her go.
     
  3. localmanruins

    localmanruins Senior Member

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2012
    Messages:
    887
    Likes Received:
    2,834
    It's just a body now. Her brain is dead. What's the point of keeping her heart beating? It isn't fair to anyone.
     
  4. Acantha

    Acantha Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2009
    Messages:
    1,009
    Likes Received:
    3,259
    If *I* were in Jani McMath's situation, I would want to be removed from life support and my organs donated. I'm not a mother, so I can't say for sure what I'd do, but I would probably donate my child's organs as well.

    It's very sad that such a young person is gone, and I feel for her family. But nothing will bring her back. She can artificially be kept "alive" by machines, but the human body can only take so much of that.
     
  5. Stilton

    Stilton Full Member

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2013
    Messages:
    111
    Likes Received:
    220
    What a terrible situation. The parents are obviously (and understandably!) in denial and cannot cope with her death so want to keep her artificially alive. As awful as it is, they need to let her go. She is not alive anymore.
     
    1 person likes this.
  6. chiapponek

    chiapponek Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2012
    Messages:
    1,027
    Likes Received:
    2,178
    The whole thing reminds me of Terry Schiavo... I feel bad for the family, but it seems like they're clinging to something thats gone. Maybe its the idea that their baby won't ever come home or go to prom..get married...have kids.

    I can't say I would do anything differently if I was in their situation, I don't have children... Not sure that how they're choosing to act in this situation is "wrong", I don't think there's a "right" way to act.
     
    2 people like this.
  7. all4him

    all4him Senior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2009
    Messages:
    5,362
    Likes Received:
    8,291
    I have stood at the bedside of a young man (18) who was brain dead from a fall off a skateboard and worked with the family for 5 days to make a decision. Let me tell you that it's not so easy. They LOOK fine. They are warm, their heart is beating and they are right there with you. It's so hard to face the fact that they are dead and even after every test comes back confirming it, you hope for a miracle. In the case that we dealt with, it was very close friends (both the parents and the son) and it was their only son - so heartbreaking! But we were beginning to see the small changes in his body that convinced us that there was no hope here and it was time to let him go. Unfortunately, his paternal grandparents and family didn't agree and fought hard, swaying dad back and forth. Mom was sure but Dad kept changing his mind. His son was his life. It was SO hard. So I can sympathize with the family and honestly, machines can't keep a dead body alive forever. She WILL eventually die from organ failure. That is what the transplant team was discussing with us - how the organs slowly shut down because the body knows it's dead.

    My prayers are with the family and that eventually they will be able to come to terms with their daughter's death.
     
  8. all4him

    all4him Senior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2009
    Messages:
    5,362
    Likes Received:
    8,291

    Terry Schiavo was very different because she was not on life support. She WAS alive - and they decided to starve her to death. Had she been afforded the same nutrition and hydration that any of us need (and her body was accepting it - a dying body does not), she would probably still be alive today. She had brain activity and responded to her family. This young girl has none of that.
     
    ginster, PabMar, GingersMum and 4 others like this.
  9. bnttyra

    bnttyra Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2007
    Messages:
    12,927
    Likes Received:
    21,640
    I agree, there is no right way to feel about it, it is what it is. What I find even more sad is that some hospital or home is willing to continue the life support but not free, they will have to charge something. I fear this is only prolonging the process. I am a parent and it is horrible to know what these parents must be feeling. I hope they have someone around them that will help them accept this loss and find a way to move on or it could completely ruin them financially as well as the emotional damage this has already done.
     
    1 person likes this.
  10. simbion

    simbion Senior Member+

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2011
    Messages:
    832
    Likes Received:
    1,016
    It is a difficult and heartbreaking situation for anyone to be in. I can understand the parents don't want to give up hope but I think it's too late at this point. Even if a miracle happened she would most likely be severely brain damaged and probably have a very poor quality of life. A coma is one thing but brain dead is another. It's still their choice and it's not my place to tell them what they should or shouldn't do.

    I know if it were me, I would want my loved ones to let me go. I want every usable organ donated to help others. My loved ones don't need all the anguish watching me have a prolonged death or the medical expenses involved with trying to keep me alive when my brain is no longer supporting my body functions. I can't stand being dependent and I wouldn't want someone to have to care for me.

    I am not a parent so I can't relate to having a child go through something like this but if it happened to a family member I'd probably pull the plug. There is no coming back from being brain dead. The human body is pretty amazing but I don't think it can preform magic. Even if it was able to heal they still most likely wouldn't have the quality of life that they once had. I know they wouldn't want that. We've talked about it a little bit too so I have a good idea of what they want.
     

Share This Page