Who Should Decide the Survivability of Newborns? - page 3

Who should be permitted to make the final judgment of what treatment is in the best interest of the child?... Read More

  1. by   alleyb
    "I'm so sorry that you had to go thru that, but I am glad that you were able to make the decision that you needed to...and allow your little angel to rest...to stop his suffering. God Bless your heart.

    It's sad to think that we live in a world were people are so cruel @ the sensitive spots of others. You made the right choice. Life is full of awful choices that many of us hate to have to make. I think I can say this for a LOT of women here as well. *hugs*

    Thanks for sharing your story. I hope it opens peoples eyes."

    TY for your understanding, I think that tolerance is an extremely important aspect for us as nurses as well as beings to learn. I have no way of knowing where someone is at in their life, sure age and such can impart a certain impact on decisions, but so much else does as well. As a nurse I hope to help someone through those difficult choices, and in the end, hopefully those choices are right for my patient and his/her family. No one really knows at the time those decisions are being made how it will impact their life. And I don't know that there really is one best way to impart on someone all the emotions that they will struggle with. So for myself, I will hold a hand, answer questions honestly and if I can't then I will find someone that can, nursing is sometimes about so much more than what is going on physically. Are we allowed to say that?
  2. by   Jokerhill
    Quote from CocoBella
    It's obviously up to the parents & no one else.
    I disagree what if the parents don't want a 33 weaker resuscitated that has an excellent chance of not only survival but also one with few or with minor complications. A 33 weaker can have lots of problems as you know. There has to be someone looking after the child's best interest and it is not always the parent. If it were a girl at 25 weeks, just being a girl could be their reasoning to not care for it, this could lead to infanticide. So it can't be left just to the parents, medical personnel also have to be involved.
  3. by   *guest*
    Quote from Jokerhill
    I disagree what if the parents don't want a 33 weaker resuscitated that has an excellent chance of not only survival but also one with few or with minor complications. A 33 weaker can have lots of problems as you know. There has to be someone looking after the child's best interest and it is not always the parent. If it were a girl at 25 weeks, just being a girl could be their reasoning to not care for it, this could lead to infanticide. So it can't be left just to the parents, medical personnel also have to be involved.

    I think you meant to spell "weeker".
    The examples you have given are SO incredibly unrealistic. Not to say that they haven't happened at one place and one time, but this is not the general issue for situations such as these.

    And just so you know...Doctors aren't God. They have made POOR judgement calls, regarding a life, MANY times. They are simply human beings.

    I know that if my child was mentally retarded after being revived, I would like to think it was because of the decision I made to have them revived...a decision that I am ok with...not a decision that the doc felt they could take into their hands. In essence, I am the one who will be raising my child for the rest of their lives and, as a mother, I have their best interest.

    Medical personnel should DEFINITELY be involved. They should be there to discuss options, possible outcomes, and further insight to the situation. They, however, should not be making decisions for ANY woman or man when it regards their baby & they definitely will never make mine. I appreciate the fact that, most of the time, they don't try to either.
  4. by   ElvishDNP
    As long as I live, I don't think I'll ever forget the night NICU called us (mother/baby) and said, "Get Mom & Dad over here NOW, as one of their babies is circling the drain." (23-week triplets here.)

    So 8 hours post c/s, we get this mom and dad over there as fast as we could. I will never, ever be able to get the sight of them coding this 23-week old baby the size of a soda can. It was as horrific a sight as any I've ever seen. They stopped, handed him to Mom, who promptly tells Dad, "You hold him. He's your only son." That baby died in his daddy's arms. They lost another one of the triplets a few minutes later.

    After seeing them code that baby, I swore to myself that mine would be allowed to go gently should it ever come to that. I'm not in any way criticizing those who decide differently.....different life, different call. But I would not have peace any other way.
    Last edit by ElvishDNP on Jun 9, '09
  5. by   wacberry
    Not the parents, they are thinking with their hearts and not their heads. With the high cost of care, it has to come down to the economics.
  6. by   loriangel14
    Sadly that is going to be a consideration for many as well. Fortunately I am in Canada so I had no bills but for others money could be a huge issue. How do you put a price on a life?
  7. by   Junebugfairy
    imo the question is not a price on life itself, but the value of having a good "quality" of life and lack of suffering.

    i really have a strong desire to live a good quality of life, be it 10 years or 100 years. i do not want to suffer as a vegetable, brain damaged, with tons of tubes and needles inside of my body.

    i could also not stand to see any of my loved ones suffer through a 'code' if the outcome will not bring a good quality of life.
  8. by   hope3456
    Does it not cost (approx)3k per DAY to care for a baby in the NICU?? Could a preemie then not send many working class families into bankruptcy in a matter of days - most likely even if they did have insurance.
  9. by   hikernurse
    Quote from hope3456
    Does it not cost (approx)3k per DAY to care for a baby in the NICU?? Could a preemie then not send many working class families into bankruptcy in a matter of days - most likely even if they did have insurance.
    Most of our kiddos end up being covered by Medicaid (here in the US) because a lot of the parents (being young, poor, still in school, etc.) don't have the insurance coverage to pay for the stay. If the gov't didn't cover it, I can't imagine trying to pay that bill off--esp. since a lot of the babies stay for weeks/months.
  10. by   krltdy
    Quote from FireStarterRN
    This is more and more of a dilemma as neonatal breakthroughs have pushed the limit for survivability. In my state any child weighing less than 2 lbs at birth is eligible for free medical care for life. Yet at the same time, the state is kicking people off of the Basic Health program for lack of funds.

    I'm a firm believer, personally, in basic healthcare for all, coupled with rationing. I find it upside-down for society to pay millions to save the life of one extremely premature child with the prospect of a lifetime of medical expenses and a poor outcome, yet deny access to primary care physicians to ordinary people.

    I am a mother of a former 24 weeker that weighed 484 grams (1 lb., 1oz.). She got down to 14 oz. I am so very, very greatful to the team that took care of her! She had to be resucitated many, many times. She is now a happy, very healthy little 2 year old, a March of Dimes Ambassador, and a Ronald McDonald "spokesperson", and my reason for going to nursing school.

    Had it not been for the medicaid, and the supplemental social security, there would've been no way we would have survived the financial burden. I HAD to quit my job the day she was born. She was in the NICU for 4 months, had 97 dr. appts., 3 surgeries, and 5 hospitalizations in her first year. I have worked for 17 years, always paid my taxes, and have lived a very straight and narrow lifestyle. I never imagined this would've happened to my family. On top of having such an extremely premature child, we would've lost everything we worked so hard for. I can't possibly fathom going what we went through, and also losing everything.
  11. by   krltdy
    Quote from hope3456
    Does it not cost (approx)3k per DAY to care for a baby in the NICU?? Could a preemie then not send many working class families into bankruptcy in a matter of days - most likely even if they did have insurance.

    Our bill just for the nicu was approx. 6k/day. We did have very good insurance, so the medicaid picked up whatever our insurance didn't. It was really helpful to us b/c my daughter was on a very expensive formula ($48.00/can), and medicaid covered that, her copays for dr. visits (97 in 1 year), Rx copays, O2, 3 surgeries, all kinds of things. Our total bills for the past 2 years add up to almost 2 million dollars. If it weren't for the medicaid, we would've lost everything.
  12. by   Junebugfairy
    in that type of situation i would have only allowed palliative care, but each person can make their own decisions.
  13. by   krltdy
    I should have also added we never had to make a decision in the beginning as to whether to keep her alive or not. About 3 days later, she was on the highest resp. setting and 100% O2, they were afraid she was going to end up with pneumos, so we were approached then about DNR. At that time, we did make her a DNR, but by the Grace of God, she pulled through. I don't think I realized at them time what a true miracle I was witnessing. In this case ignorance was bliss.

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