Jump to content

Who should decide?

Posted

Has 10 years experience.

TriciaJ, RN

Specializes in Psych, Corrections, Med-Surg, Ambulatory. Has 40 years experience.

I really don't know what to think.  The pragmatic side of me says "If this child has no hope, then let her go."  Then I look at that sweet face and how could anyone just let her go?  Of course her mother is going to fight for her.

This is the downside of miraculous medical technology.  Sometimes it just isn't miraculous enough even though it keeps nature from taking its course.  Long time ago I read The Sorcerer's Apprentice by Sallie Tisdale.  It describes these kinds of modern day dilemmas.  My heart hurts just thinking about the whole thing.

yschon

Specializes in BSN Student. Has 1 years experience.

Every life is worth fighting for! If that is what the family wants, then that is what they should do. Obviously, if the state intervenes then their hands are tied, but till that point, it is the their right.

Emergent, RN

Specializes in ER. Has 28 years experience.

24 million dollars spent on toddler's life support

Quote

Texas has spent $24 million in Medicaid funds to help keep a toddler alive at Cook Children’s Medical Center, the Fort Worth hospital said in an appeal filed April 16 in the ongoing court case surrounding Tinslee Lewis.

Two-year-old Tinslee has been at Cook Children’s for most of her life. Born with a rare heart condition, Tinslee has been kept alive with medical care and “extreme efforts,” the hospital said in the appeal, in which it asked the 48th District Court of Fort Worth to quickly schedule a trial date to decide whether life support care should be removed from Tinslee.

“Although this case has never been about money — and Cook Children’s has never considered finances when making an end-of-life decision,” the appeal says, “the State of Texas (through its manager of a Medicaid care program) is now threatening to interject the issue into this dispute.”

 

Sour Lemon

Has 9 years experience.

It's difficult for me to understand why any parent would do this to their child. I hope the court has more sense and the child is allowed to die naturally instead of enduring more torture. Money is actually the last thing that comes to mind in cases like these, despite the staggering amounts being spent.

Jedrnurse, BSN, RN

Specializes in school nurse. Has 29 years experience.

2 minutes ago, Sour Lemon said:

It's difficult for me to understand why any parent would do this to their child. I hope the court has more sense and the child is allowed to die naturally instead of enduring more torture. Money is actually the last thing that comes to mind in cases like these, despite the staggering amounts being spent.

I agree with you about the torture part, but I can't relegate the money to the last thing that comes to mind. (I do frame it as societal medical resources, though, I.e. how much of the "pie" can one person expect to take.)

I wonder if the parent(s) would be as aggressive if they had to spend everything they had to continue treatment, as opposed to passing it on to the taxpayers.

Emergent, RN

Specializes in ER. Has 28 years experience.

I agree, this is ethically questionable also from a financial standpoint. Not only is it an example of some of the disturbing extremes that modern medicine will go through to achieve a futile outcome, the fact that so many millions of dollars are spent out of the common resources is also a problem.

dzadzey, MSN, RN

Specializes in Dialysis, Hospice, Critical care. Has 19 years experience.

On 5/2/2021 at 3:43 PM, yschon said:

Every life is worth fighting for! If that is what the family wants, then that is what they should do. Obviously, if the state intervenes then their hands are tied, but till that point, it is the their right.

Medical futility and reality trump hope and prayer. Just because we can maintain the function of a human body until the patient's skin blisters and they have weeping wounds on every extremity doesn't mean we should. 

yschon

Specializes in BSN Student. Has 1 years experience.

On 5/10/2021 at 7:29 AM, dzadzey said:

Medical futility and reality trump hope and prayer. Just because we can maintain the function of a human body until the patient's skin blisters and they have weeping wounds on every extremity doesn't mean we should. 

That is your opinion, and someone with that view would have the right to make such a decision for a loved one. However, others might object and value life even when someone is long brain dead, and that decision is theirs. It’s the USA; we are all entitled to our opinions and religious/ethical beliefs. 
My argument is not about spending government money.

PPediRN

Has 10 years experience.

On 5/10/2021 at 6:29 AM, dzadzey said:

Medical futility and reality trump hope and prayer. Just because we can maintain the function of a human body until the patient's skin blisters and they have weeping wounds on every extremity doesn't mean we should. 

I agree. Some times the compassionate thing to do is to let nature take its course. In cases like this I believe family members want to hang on to their dying loved one to avoid the pain of having to say goodbye. You have to know when its time to let go.