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Monday, January 6, 2014

Beyond the limits of self-ownership


I had previously posted on Jahi McMath.

When I say "limits" I mean moral bounds, and when I say "beyond," I mean horribly, appallingly breached.

Of course, this story has gotten worse.
The nearly $50,000 in private donations the family has raised since taking the case public helped cover the carefully choreographed handoff to the critical care team and transportation to the new location, Sealey said. The facility, where Jahi is expected to remain for some time, is run by a charitable organization that so far hasn't sought payment, Dolan said.

Both men refused to name the facility or reveal where it was located, saying they wanted to prevent staff members and the families of other patients from being harassed.

While the move ends what had been a very public and tense fight with the hospital, it also brings new challenges: caring for a patient whom three doctors have said is legally dead because, unlike someone in a coma, there is no blood flow or electrical activity in either her cerebrum or the brain stem that controls breathing.

The bodies of brain dead patients kept on ventilators gradually deteriorate, eventually causing blood pressure to plummet and the heart to stop, said Dr. Paul Vespa, director of neurocritical care at the University of California, Los Angeles, who has no role in McMath's care. The process usually takes only days but can sometimes continue for months.

"The bodies are really in an artificial state. It requires a great deal of manipulation in order to keep the circulation going," Vespa said.

Dolan, the family's lawyer, said Jahi's condition suffered because the hospital refused to feed her once she was declared brain dead. The family plans to pursue a federal court lawsuit alleging that Children's Hospital violated their religious and privacy rights. A hearing in the case is scheduled for Tuesday.

"She's in very bad shape," he said. "You would be too, if you hadn't had nutrition in 26 days and were a sick little girl to begin with."

Indeed, counselor. The skin is breaking down, the organs have cooked into pudding and billions of microbes are happily incubating in the warm, wet protoplasm which once housed Jahi McMath. And the thought of a whole facility out there, unnamed, hidden, keeping an array of corpses pumping in an obscene simulacrum of life is absolutely sickening. And not in the metaphorical sense.

This is what comes of shepherds refusing to feed their lambs.

As I said, I don't know what the solution is but we either impose one or it will be imposed.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This is what comes of shepherds refusing to feed their lambs.

As I said, I don't know what the solution is but we either impose one or it will be imposed.


I haven't really been following this case. What exactly is your argument here?