Thursday, October 21, 2010

Don't Go Quietly

News from France:

A woman pronounced "very certainly clinically dead" at a French hospital woke up hours later after her sons refused to turn off her life-support system, medics and the woman said.

Doctors were preparing cancer patient Lydie Paillard, 60, for a chemotherapy session when she passed out, the director of the Bordeaux Rive Droite private hospital Yves Noel told AFP on Wednesday.

A doctor managed to resuscitate her and put her on a ventilator but then, having consulted other doctors, called Paillard's sons to break the news that their mother was "very certainly clinically dead."

We never know what's going to happen in such a case. We think we know, but we are wrong. So when someone like our ghoulish Senate candidate, Barb Goodwin, tells us:

So it’s not like – a lot of people are mistaken in thinking that “I don’t want to starve, I don’t want to be thirsty.” But that’s not the situation when you’re in critical condition, your body is shutting down. When you give or force feed a body that is shutting down, that can be extremely painful.


Because the body, it’s uh, it’s a quieter way of the body dying.

Remember -- don't go quietly. As Lydie Palliard explains:

"My sons, whom I saw yesterday, explained to me that the hospital wanted to turn off the life support system because it was over and as they refused, I was taken to the university hospital," Paillard explained. "I haven't really realized what's happened but I think my three sons are the most shocked."

The hospital's management said it would suggest the family meet the medical team responsible for Paillard to discuss the "communication problem."

Don't go quietly.


my name is Amanda said...

Which is why all people need to get their (detailed!) DNR decisions on legal record, preferably as soon as they turn 18, so their loved ones aren't faced with such a wretched decision. Same with organ donation.

Wasn't Goodwin talking about Terry Shiavo? She was in a coma for 15 years. It hardly compares with a few hours of clinically deadness.

Mr. D said...

No, not just Terry Schiavo. Read the transcript and watch the video. See for yourself.

Night Writer said...

My French is nearly non-existent, but could this merely be a problem in translation?

Perhaps "Clinically Dead" really means "Mostly Dead" in French.

And you've got to watch out for those Mostly Dead Panels.