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Thread: Why brain dead means really dead

  1. #11
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    Re: Why brain dead means really dead

    Quote Originally Posted by Gaius46 View Post
    But how far do you go with that skepticism? At what point do you concede that the person is dead? And you have to keep in mind that the medical resources are finite and the resources you expend on the person who's declared brain dead but is being argued over aren't being used by someone who in all probability needs them more.
    I think the competition for respirators and feeding tubes is a bit over played there. How many people die due to unavailability of respirators? How many of that group were in hospitals where a patient diagnosed with brain death was using a respirator?

    I think the decision on when to concede that the person is dead should be left to the family. Having the state step in to pull the plug is not the best PR move.
    Give a man a fish and he eats for a day. Teach a man to fish and he stops voting for the Free Fish party.

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    Re: Why brain dead means really dead

    Some families will never do it, in the mean time a veggie is costing thousands and thousands of dollars a day. It is a horribly sad situation, and its very ethically complicated. Some stuff is just more important than PR. It aint really good for the family pretending the patitent is still alive either, situations like this are all bad. they would terminally wean the patient and the patient may or may not breath on their own. I am bettting if declared brain dead she would not. Terrible situation.
    Quote Originally Posted by jmotivator View Post
    I think the competition for respirators and feeding tubes is a bit over played there. How many people die due to unavailability of respirators? How many of that group were in hospitals where a patient diagnosed with brain death was using a respirator?

    I think the decision on when to concede that the person is dead should be left to the family. Having the state step in to pull the plug is not the best PR move.
    God Bless the Marine Corps.

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    Re: Why brain dead means really dead

    Quote Originally Posted by mak2 View Post
    Some families will never do it, in the mean time a veggie is costing thousands and thousands of dollars a day. It is a horribly sad situation, and its very ethically complicated. Some stuff is just more important than PR. It aint really good for the family pretending the patitent is still alive either, situations like this are all bad. they would terminally wean the patient and the patient may or may not breath on their own. I am bettting if declared brain dead she would not. Terrible situation.

    As the article states, a brain dead person's heart will usually stop within 3 days of becoming brain dead. So on that alone the family has hope because it is now into the third or fourth week and the heart is still beating on its own. It's certainly an indicator of some brain stem activity.

    If she is truly brain dead then she will die soon from heart failure, which is all that the mother is asking for. A brain dead person is not like someone in a coma or even in a vegetative state because in those cases the brain still regulates the body. We aren't talking about months on a respirator if she truly is brain dead.
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    Re: Why brain dead means really dead

    Quote Originally Posted by jmotivator View Post
    I think the competition for respirators and feeding tubes is a bit over played there. How many people die due to unavailability of respirators? How many of that group were in hospitals where a patient diagnosed with brain death was using a respirator?

    I think the decision on when to concede that the person is dead should be left to the family. Having the state step in to pull the plug is not the best PR move.
    Not only respirators, but beds and doctor and nursing time and the costs associated with all of those. It costs thousands of dollars a day to keep someone in the hospital - my mother in law's recent 3 week stay was billed at $200,000 - that's about 10K a day and there was no surgery involved, that was just tests, nursing, pills and doctor visits.

    Parents are too emotionally involved and don't have the expertise in any case to determine when someone's died in non-obvious cases. Doctors do. They're the one pulling the plug not the state.

    It's not clear to me that her body would fail on it's own, though I only read a couple of short articles on brain death.
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    Re: Why brain dead means really dead

    I see this as pure tragedy - I cannot bring myself to judge these people at all. Some people are responding much too harshly and should be ashamed of their callousness.

    I can't imagine how I would have handled it if my two sons, who both had surgeries, would have ended up in this situation.

    Or my other son who was fine in the morning and then near death just 18 hours later and being rushed to the ER. That was over a year ago and I still can't get through a single night without a nightmare about one of the kids dying or something.

    So if I was in their shoes I'd be borderline insanity, most likely. Facing this situation is more difficult than most people seem capable of comprehending.

    Modern science GIVES hope - and I can't fault anyone for clinging to that hope. When your child is dying that's all you've got.
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    Re: Why brain dead means really dead

    Quote Originally Posted by Aunt Spiker View Post
    I see this as pure tragedy - I cannot bring myself to judge these people at all. Some people are responding much too harshly and should be ashamed of their callousness.
    Thanks for this post, this is spot on. This is an extremely sad situation and I cannot even fathom of what this family is going through. I can't empathize and try to put myself in their scenario but its one where you can truly understand unless you've experienced it.

    The way I see it, if the family wants a little more time with this girl, let em have it. Considering the reports of her condition, I doubt it will be much longer.

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    Re: Why brain dead means really dead

    Quote Originally Posted by Smeagol View Post
    I usually get in trouble in this section but I'll give it another shot.

    (CNN) -- A person who is brain dead may appear alive -- there may be a heartbeat, they may look like they're breathing, their skin may still be warm to the touch. But doctors say there is no life when brain activity ceases.

    Why brain dead is really dead - CNN.com


    I'm sure you've heard the story of the little girl from California who went in for minor tonsil surgery and due to complications was eventually declared "brain dead." A very sad event indeed but further complicating the tragedy is her parents don't seem to understand what brain dead means.

    About 10 years ago a elderly family friend experienced a similar fate. A blood clot in his leg traveled through his body, lodged in his lungs and his wife found him passed out on the floor. He'd apparently gone about 20 minutes with no oxygen getting to his brain, was on a ventilator at the hospital and declared brain dead. He looked like he was sleeping and would even toss and turn a little but according to the doctors his brain had died and absent a miracle he could not regain consciousness. From a medical science perspective, respirators and feeding tubes only keep organs alive although the person is in all other respects deceased.

    Its not a pleasant topic to discuss but Jahi McMath's passing, as tragic as it is, I think presents a teaching opportunity.
    Oh, I understand brain dead. When you need a ventilator and feeding tube? That's pretty much brain dead unless you've been put into a drug-induced coma for one reason or another. I'd guess there are times when someone is in a coma that they'll come out of it when, for example, brain swelling subsides.

    But when doctors, who are profit motivated, say it's time? Believe them. Stop torturing yourself and others.

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    Re: Why brain dead means really dead

    Look up heart failure.
    Quote Originally Posted by jmotivator View Post
    As the article states, a brain dead person's heart will usually stop within 3 days of becoming brain dead. So on that alone the family has hope because it is now into the third or fourth week and the heart is still beating on its own. It's certainly an indicator of some brain stem activity.

    If she is truly brain dead then she will die soon from heart failure, which is all that the mother is asking for. A brain dead person is not like someone in a coma or even in a vegetative state because in those cases the brain still regulates the body. We aren't talking about months on a respirator if she truly is brain dead.
    God Bless the Marine Corps.

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    Re: Why brain dead means really dead

    Quote Originally Posted by Smeagol View Post
    Here's a case of someone who did recover from being brain dead but as it turned out the original diagnosis was wrong and he was only in a coma, which is not the same thing.



    Doctors told his family he would never recover and asked them to consider donating his organs before his life-support machine was turned off. Instead, Stevenís father enlisted the help of private GP Julia Piper to check his son again as doctors at University Hospital in Coventry, West Midlands, agreed to let a neurologist re-examine him. Remarkably, he detected faint brain waves indicating Steven had a slim chance of recovery and medics decided to attempt to bring him out of his coma.

    'Miracle recovery' of teen declared brain dead by four doctors - Telegraph
    How can you diagnosis brain death properly in a medically induced coma?

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    Re: Why brain dead means really dead

    An empirical EEG analysis in brain death diagnosis for adults then read this.
    Quote Originally Posted by jmotivator View Post
    As the article states, a brain dead person's heart will usually stop within 3 days of becoming brain dead. So on that alone the family has hope because it is now into the third or fourth week and the heart is still beating on its own. It's certainly an indicator of some brain stem activity.

    If she is truly brain dead then she will die soon from heart failure, which is all that the mother is asking for. A brain dead person is not like someone in a coma or even in a vegetative state because in those cases the brain still regulates the body. We aren't talking about months on a respirator if she truly is brain dead.
    God Bless the Marine Corps.

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