taking 13 month old baby off life support??

Kim - posted on 02/27/2011 ( 15 moms have responded )

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just wondering if anyone has any views or opinions on this...13 month old with a severe neurological disorder..doctors want to take him off life support...family wants doctors to put a trach in so they can bring him home to die in the loving arms of his parents....
http://www.windsorstar.com/Baby+Joseph+C...

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Laura - posted on 03/02/2011

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I think the parents should take their son home to die, they can have privacy in this very emotional and trying time by doing so. Their son is dying and nothing can be done to reverse that. Letting him die at home, surrounded by loved ones and without interference from medical personnel will make it easier (if that's possible) on the parents. One question about all of this: Does Canada have Hospice or some organization like Hospice?

Brittany, while I respect your opinion about assisted suicide, I do have to say that "quality of life", as an issue, is NOT crap based on my personal experience with the dying! Quality of one's life DOES matter! I watched my mother die a horrible, painful death from cancer and in those last few days she BEGGED me to end her life! My mother told me she wished she was a dog or cat at one point because then we could have her euthanized without any question, thus ending her pain and suffering. "We treat our pets better than people when they are dying" she said. Words I won't forget. I wouldn't wish that kind of lingering death on my enemies. She had absolutely no quality left to her life, only misery. So do not suggest that "quality" has little baring on one's life or that suicide is the "coward's way out" in an end-of-life situation. My mother only wanted the pain and misery to end. Had I thought that there would be no consequences for me, I would have gladly and lovingly aided my mother in ending her life. As it is I had to tell her there was nothing I could do and watch her die in misery and pain. Thankfully we had Hospice to help guide us at the very end...

Katie - posted on 03/11/2011

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Brittney I have to disagree about assisted suicide being the cowards way out. Obviously this situation is much much different then mine...But, I am the child of a man with vascular dementia. My father has suffered two massive heart attacks and countless strokes that along with the dementia have left him a vegetable. At 53 he lives in an old folks home. He has had to have all of his teeth removed due to infections in his body that can't be treated because of the medication to keep his heart going. ALthough he can still breathe on his own, that is just about all he is capable of. My 6'3 200 lb father has been reduced to a silent, tube fed, diapered invalid with NO hope of recovery. But because of the medication they pump into him to keep him alive it's possible that he could live in this state for years. I would not let a pet continue living that way and I know that my father would be furious if he could see what he has become.
As I said the situations are obviously very very different. But to make a broad statement calling people who would benefit from assisted suicide cowards is something I most certainly DO NOT agree with.
In this situation I can see the parents point of view, but also the doctors. It's a hard call and I hope that they find some peace with whatever the outcome is.

Jackie - posted on 02/28/2011

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I'm torn...I mean I would def. get a 2nd opinion, but I am big on quality of life, of which a toddler on life support does not have. The child could still pass away in his parents loving arms, even if it was done in the hospital. How can they know (with know medical knowledge) taking this child home won't cause him more distress.

That said patients wishes should be respected and when ti comes to a minor it's the parent that makes those decisions. I just always question (and i'm sure someone is going to flip out about this)...are they doing it for their kid ro are they doing it for themselves? As I said above, taking that kid home and "trying" to keep him alive for a few days (weeks, whatever) may very likely end up causing more stress in the end.

Dawn - posted on 02/27/2011

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Wow, this is a heavy article :( I normally agree with pulling the plug but I can see the parents of Joseph wanting to take him home and enjoy his last moments without the hospital setting....I am very torn and my prayers go out to this family and others faced with such a burden. Regarding the case of Terri Schiavo and adult euthanasia...this is why EVERYONE should have a Living Will.....you never know what will happen and when it will happen.....you can talk about your wishes with your partner and your parents but unless it is in writing you never know how people are going to honor those requests in the heat of the moment. I have left the decision to the doctors....if they deem I am beyond saving, they are to pull the plug....I do not want to be in a coma for years, hooked to machines, being a burden to family both financially and emotionally. I should also state that I feel people who have a terminal illness should be allowed to participate in voluntary euthanasia.....Jake Kavorkian style but legally completed.

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Meghan - posted on 03/11/2011

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This just breaks my heart! I couldn't imagine what these parent's are going through.
My boy sucks at sleeping so I usually end up passing out in his bed and some nites I just lay there watching him breath and looking at his face! I couldn't imagine never being able to do that again.
But I also couldn't imagine knowing that the only thing keeping him like that is tubes and machines...and that he could be in pain.
The parents should absolutely 100% be able to take him home. @ Laura, yes we do have hospice

Brittanie - posted on 03/05/2011

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Update- The hospital is offering to transfer baby Joseph to his parents home to pass away at home, but still refusing to put in the tracheotomy that would prolong his life.

Hannah - posted on 03/05/2011

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It is understandable the docs saying to take him off if it is going to cause more pain to the child then why not let him die peacfully but in the same token i know that i would at least want to be there if my child were to have to die!

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My nephew had brain cancer that had a 98% chance of killing him. My sister still did everything in her power to help him live. Even in his final days, she would hold him and show him love and hope. She asked that he die naturally. She wanted them to try everything and anything even if it seemed futile. It was still worth a shot. He was happy and smiling until the day he died.

I hate the quality of life crap. I think that assisted suicide is the cowards way out. That is all that would be... the cowards way out. The parents should have the right to take their child home.

Cyndel - posted on 03/01/2011

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If the child isn't in constant pain, then I see no problem with Joseph receiving the tracheotomy and send him home to live out the rest of his days in peace surrounded by loving family. This is how I would choose to die. I've already told my husband that if there is no way to save me then let me die at home.

Amber - posted on 03/01/2011

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my mother had to take her first born off of life support in hospital. i don't really see why they are making a huge deal out of bringing him home, as i'm sure the doctors are only trying to do what is best for the patient. if i was a parent of a dying child, my only concern would be to be with him and for him not to be in pain. i wouldn't be making the issue into something it's not by turning it into hospital drama.

April - posted on 02/28/2011

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I agree with Allison. It's important to the parents. I do agree that quality of life is important, too. However, in this case, I think the child will have a better quality of life at home. His parents have insisted that he responds to their touch and other stimuli. Why not give this boy one last opportunity to enjoy life somewhat as he knew it, before he was hooked up to machines? His parents can give him something for the pain, if he is experiencing any. He still has a soul, he's still a person. He's not a number, he's not the boy with the disease in room 142 (or whatever the number is). If he gets to go home, he can just be Joseph for the short time that he has.

Alison - posted on 02/28/2011

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I think the parent's wishes should absolutely be respected. Even if this would benefit the parents more than the child, why is that not important? They are the ones who will have this on their hearts for the rest of their lives.

Brittanie - posted on 02/27/2011

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I live in London Ontario, which is where baby Joseph currently is in hospital. This story is all over the news and is terribly sad. I feel for these parents, and believe that their wishes should be respected. While I understand the issue of the "patients best interests" I believe that the interest of the parents in this case is important and they should be allowed to take their baby home. Heartbreaking...

April - posted on 02/27/2011

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I think the doctors should respect the family's wishes. Personally, I would never be able to live with myself if I let the doctors take him off life support. I also think a second opinion from doctors at another hospital would be helpful. What if these doctors are trying to get rid of this "hopeless" child just so they can have the open hospital room for another patient?

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