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live or die? decision already out of your hands!

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posted on Sep, 9 2009 @ 09:51 AM

'Doctors told me it was against the rules to save my premature baby'
By Vanessa Allen and Andrew Levy Last updated at 7:58 AM on 09th September 2009

Doctors left a premature baby to die because he was born two days too early, his devastated mother claimed yesterday. Sarah Capewell begged them to save her tiny son, who was born just 21 weeks and five days into her pregnancy - almost four months early. They ignored her pleas and allegedly told her they were following national guidelines that babies born before 22 weeks should not be given medical treatment.

This is a clip from an article from the daily mail about policy on saving premature babies, the whole article is worth a read. This is a tricky topic as those little ones suffer terribly and loosing a child IMO is the worst thing anyone can face.

Please remember this is an article from UK where the government is in control of health care. This attitude is VERY PRESENT here in the US right here right now with PRIVATE INSURANCE AND HEALTH CARE!!!! let me explain...

My daughter was pregnant with twins when her water broke at 24 weeks and 6 days. At 25 weeks 3 days she developed an infection in the sac her son was carried in resulting in an emergency C-section. We lost our little man but the other twin a girl did survive the birth.

She was 1 pound 8 ounces at birth and I don't have to tell you how very critical she was. Here is the story: Her colon perforated at around 7 days which is one of the many complications that these tiny preemies can have. My daughter was only 19 at the time I had just gone home for the first time since her birth to sleep in my own bed when I was called right back for this emergency. Time was of the essence as her tiny belly was filling with merconimum (sp? stool that is in colon at time of birth that can and will kill a baby) and she was dying right before our eyes. My daughter had told this surgeon she wanted all measures taken to save her life, but this man insisted they wait for me before making final determination as to surgery.

I got there and listened to the odds, which were frightening. She only had a 30% chance of survival and if she made it only a 25% chance of being able to have a "normal" life of getting nutrition like we all do...eating. I discussed this with my daughter, of course he already told her all of this and she asked me what would I do. I could not lie to my child, I would do everything possible to save my baby and told her that. This was what she wanted and she told me that she had been telling this man exactly that for the 45 minutes it took me to get there.

I was shocked when this doctor really tried to refuse! He was giving us the "make her comfortable" speech and after loosing her son my daughter was not going for that. The surgeon got nasty with us and it took me another 15 minutes and getting loud on him in the middle of the NICU to force him to do that surgery. Were I not a very assertive and sometimes aggressive and outspoken person that surgery would not have been performed.

Today she is a perfectly healthy little girl with an appetite that rivals a grown man's.

Everyone is so worried about government care and limits of what will be done to maintain life. PEOPLE, IT IS ALREADY HERE!!!!! Having spent 110 days at the NICU I cannot tell you the number of stories just like ours I heard.

During my own hospitalization for a botched gall bladder surgery I roomed with an elderly patient and heard the doctor and nurse discussing her case after the family had gone home for the night. These two were disgusted that the family insisted on keeping "grandma alive" since she was 90 years old! They went on and on about how she should be "let go" and the resources that were being wasted on this woman. "Families can be such a problem in health care" was the most shocking of all statements!

Doctors and health insurance companies are ALREADY trying to ration care! Perhaps what we should be fighting instead of government health care, is this attitude that only certain people deserve everything to be done for them.

[edit on 9/9/2009 by redhead57]

posted on Sep, 9 2009 @ 10:11 AM

I just fail to see why the "pro life" people really care what someone else does with their body or baby. I agree that if they were so concerned with the lives of the unborn they would do a bit more to feed, clothe and house the babies of poor mothers. The same ones that scream about how wrong abortions are and want every teen that gets pregnant or ever poor woman that gets pregnant to keep their babies, are the same ones that scream to have things like WIC and food stamps done away with. Like the life of an unborn is worth more than the life of a child.

Abortion is part of gyn care...period. If the Pro Life people stay out of my womb, I will gladly stay out of their churches.

We do it for the same reason you gave in the post above.

Every life is precious.

What would your response be to a pro-abortion person speaking to your daughter and/or yourself?

Nice story, glad your granddaughter is doing well.

posted on Sep, 9 2009 @ 10:17 AM
Not sure exactly what the question is here, but I will try to respond. I see you got that from another thread.

Frankly in all honesty I had a discussion with my daughter when she found out she was pregnant about if she was really ready to be a parent or not! She had a pretty good job with very good health care and benefits but IMO she was still too young to take on the responsibility of a baby, later we found out it was two and we revisited that discussion. I have no problem with any mother considering whether or not to continue with her pregnancy, none at all. That way if they choose to have their baby, you know the decision was well thought out and they did give due consideration to parenting.

I just wanted to illustrate clearly that doctors, insurance companies and especially the HMO's are already rationing care and doctors are very willing to withhold care now.

posted on Sep, 9 2009 @ 10:26 AM
reply to post by redhead57

The idea of fighting for a life (even with odds against survival) should be universal.

Not just pick and choose.

"It's my kid, therefore I want it"
"It's not my kid, why the heck should I care. . . "

Just because a woman doesn't want the responsibility, shouldn't give her the right to end a life.

Just my humble little opinion. . . .

posted on Sep, 9 2009 @ 10:31 AM
This gets down the the real issue with health care reform, and no one will be honest with you about it.

The question is not whether we ration care. The question is how we ration care. The Democrats want to ration it equally across the population. The Republicans essentially have no plan and count on the Democrats shooting themselves in the foot, but if real Republicans could have their way, they would argue that it should be rationed via price (like almost everything else in our economy). But here is the important thing to understand: either way, someone is going to die who could have been saved. As expensive technologies proliferate in the system, there are simply not enough resources for everyone to have access to everything out there.

We have to ask ourselves, are we a Christian people, and if so, should we therefore offer the same charity and mercy to all of God's children equally? If so, then the most socialized plan will be the one to pass. The cost of doing so will be efficiency (since prices will not be allowed to adjust naturally) and therefore the overall amount of care received will decline, or you could say that as a group we will be more health-poor, but equally so.

posted on Sep, 9 2009 @ 10:44 AM
reply to post by mikerussellus

Please keep the abortion comments in YOUR anti abortion thread. The topic here is that doctors already are making decisions about who should live and die.

Thank you for your attention to this matter!

posted on Sep, 9 2009 @ 11:03 AM
As a health care professional I'd like to add my two cents worth to this discussion. I saw this attitude coming down the pike many years ago and railed against it then when the bioethics committees were being formed. I was a young, idealistic nurse who thought everyone should be saved no matter what the cost.

After 30 years in the profession, my view has changed somewhat. As unpleasant as it is, there are some people who are going to die despite anything you have available to give to them. Experienced people know this. Families generally do not.

It's not that we're uncaring (well, not all of us), it's that we're realistic. Generally (but not always), the older they are, the less likely they are to survive aggressive treatment. It doesn't mean they're not worth the effort, it just means that we already know the effort itself is futile.

Amazing and miraculous things have been accomplished with premature babies but, generally (there are always exceptions to every rule), preemies have life long health issues even if they survive. I don't know the statistics but I'm sure they're available somewhere.

When it's your loved one you only see your potential loss not the whole picture. If you're running a hospital and having to be the steward of the hospital resources that are available, you have to see the bigger picture. It doesn't detract from seeing your potential loss of a loved one but it does mean you sometimes have to make tough decisions.

I'm glad I'm just a nurse and not a hospital administrator. Most doctors and nurses have many days where they end their shift in tears because, despite their best efforts and endless resources, they simply couldn't save someone. We tend to take it personally; an affront to our skills and dedication. Our motto is: Not on my shift!

Some doctors and nurses have learned to block out the personal pain of these heart-wrenching decisions and they're the ones who come across to family members as a**holes. They may be. Or they may just be burned out fighting back death every day, in the trenches while others complain that not enough is being done and they need to fight harder.

[edit on 9-9-2009 by whitewave]

posted on Sep, 9 2009 @ 11:10 AM

Originally posted by redhead57
reply to post by mikerussellus

Please keep the abortion comments in YOUR anti abortion thread. The topic here is that doctors already are making decisions about who should live and die.

Thank you for your attention to this matter!

Thanks for the story, Redhead. It's a frightening commentary on the power that a government can have when trying to determine the validity of a human life.

I think it becomes very difficult to separate pro-life/pro-choice arguments from the topic at hand. It's easy to see how the situation your daughter was in could be unduly influenced either way, by a policy made standard by a majority rule with beliefs in either camp.

I wish sometimes that there was a way around such bickering, but when it comes down to it, my beliefs are such that I would opt in favor of the life, regardless. Others, not so much.

When a child is reduced to statistics, or odds of having a 'normal' life, then the world grows a little darker. You miss the smiles and silly questions and wide-eyed wonder.

What we have learned is that not only will the proposed Health care reform provide for abortion, a very high-level official in the current administration's group of Czars has publicly advocated eugenics and population control as a means to sustaining quality of life for the people already here. What we have is a group of politicians wanting to remove the choice from our citizens.

When healthcare becomes more about saving MONEY than it is about saving LIVES, we lose part of the collective joy of our society. When a child is born into a life that there is no hope of surviving, or certain and constant suffering, I think we each die a little bit from that too. I just don't think there are any easy cut and dry answers for this.

If the doctor was motivated by anything other than his best efforts to provide for your daughter and her child, he has no business being a doctor. If he truly thought he was going to save your granddaughter or daughter suffering, I don't know that he was too far off in what he was supposed to be doing. The trouble, again, is when we try to play God and determine ahead of time what value a life might have, or when we let our personal bias and fear get in the way of a family enjoying, if only for an instant, the miracle of watching a new life.

Your thread is a valuable asset for us to think about what we potentially face as our leaders contemplate the 'Federal HMO' that looms for us all, and also a great instigator to force us to examine how it is we feel about what we believe and whether or not those beliefs change when staring down unforeseen consequences or possibilities.

I know I didn't help very much, but thank you for taking the time to share that with us.

posted on Sep, 9 2009 @ 11:21 AM
In defense of that surgeon I must say this. As we were saying our goodbye's and prayers for her to survive the surgery the nurse said that though his manner was uncaring he was the best surgeon in the unit. I give him my vote that is for sure. What was so touching was the way this surgeon ended up being our favorite doc! The nurses on the unit told us repeatedly that they had NEVER seen this man spend the amount of time that he spent with our little girl! They said he would always stop by and just stare at her with a big smile on his face. I know these doctors face terrible choices and I cannot imagine the weight it puts on their lives.

I know there are tough choices to be made, I just think people should realize that often these choices are out of their hands, even now. I don't know if public care is the way to go, but to use that as a main talking point seems silly given the current attitudes on sustaining life.

My grandfather had a chest x-ray for a hip replacement that showed late stage lung cancer. Of course they wanted to start aggressive chemo and all that, but he refused! They told him he only had weeks to live without intervention, that stubborn old man lived for nearly two years! His last months were spent with family instead of sick from chemo and in the hospital. The choice was his, a hard choice but he was happy with it. We all deserve the right to choose!

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