Who is Being Kept Alive: Baby or Mother?
In a day of emotional highs and heartbreaking lows, Jason Torres yesterday gained a daughter but bid farewell to his brain- dead wife after she was kept alive on a life support machine for three months while their baby developed. …
…Last night, she was pronounced dead after her life support was finally switched off. …
…All the days from here on out are a gift," said Justin Torres just weeks ago. "We know that by some legal standards she's considered dead already, but we don't believe it. All you have to do is spend any time in the room with Susan, her doctors, her family or Jason. She's the strongest person in that room."
From CBC News:
A brain-dead American woman was disconnected from life support and died a day after giving birth to a girl in a hospital in Virginia.
From USA Today:
Susan Torres, the pregnant woman kept alive on a respirator for nearly three months after a stroke caused by cancer, died in a hospital here Wednesday, a day after delivering a premature but very active girl.
Torres, 26, died after she was disconnected from artificial breathing and feeding devices, her family said in a statement. She had been declared brain-dead May 7 after the stroke caused by an undiagnosed case of melanoma that spread to her brain.
Patients who meet the criteria for brain death are dead. In the United States this is the law and ethics. There is no further need for “life support” for the deceased patient. The stories are therefore misleading as they tell about “life-support” for the mother. The mother did not need “life-support” since she was already dead. It was her baby who was medically managed who needed life support to continue to live until delivery.It is sad that the news media have been consistent in this repetition of wrong information. Sad, because by presenting to the public unexamined and undocumented statements as facts, the U.S. public will be mislead but also will be lead to unfortunate consequences. Sad, because these words in the media may cause families with brain-dead members to request or demand continued treatment as if the member was actually alive and had a future. Sad, because a major source of needed organs for transplant, the brain-dead patient, will be diminished because of the family’s concern that the organs would be removed from a patient not as yet dead. As with the Terri Schiavo case, the media continues to contribute to the medical confusion of the public and it is a shame. Now that I got this off my chest, I feel better. ..Maurice.