Thursday, July 7, 2011

"An Autopsy Revealed That The Patient Had Died From Autopsy"

No, that's not merely a "dark humor" joke anymore, that's something that almost happened in Quebec where a woman was pronounced "brain dead" and was about to be harvested for organs. If it wasn't for her miraculous recovery - apparently nobody would bother to verify that she was really dead:
The 76-year-old woman was hospitalized at the Hospital Sainte Croix de Drummondville for an inflammation of the gums, which required a brief operation. During her recovery, hospital staff gave the elderly woman solid food, which she had been unable to consume in her family home for some time, and left her unattended. Choking on the food, she fell into a coma, after unsuccessful resuscitation.

Medical staff contacted her family, explaining to them that their mother was “brain dead,” with no hope of recovery. Citing Gauron’s eyes as particularly viable, the doctors asked if the family would agree to organ donation.

While supporting the possibility of donation, her shocked family first demanded further medical tests to prove Gauron was really dead.

The next day, the family was astonished to learn that Gauron had awakened. Shortly afterwards, she sat up in bed and ate yogurt.

“If we had decided to donate her organs, they would have killed her,” said her son.
A wrong diagnosis can always be lethal, but in these cases, even if the patients theoretically have the right to appeal, to question the decision that declares the patient a writeoff, they may simply have no time to do so, as doctors have the unilateral right to make the decision to withdraw medical treatment, which then results in the death of the person. The court case, discussed in the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition newsletter is yet another example of how few rights family members have in this life or death dispute.

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