Blogs
News
Organizations
Recent Entries
Topics
Archives
Blogroll




 
Euthanasia: March 21, 2006
Haleigh Poutre was Failed at Every Level

Haleigh Poutre was hospitalized on Sept. 11, 2005, with a damaged brain stem that authorities say resulted from blows inflicted by her adoptive mother and stepfather, who were charged with assault (with a baseball bat). The beating came after Department of Social Services received no fewer than 16 abuse or neglect reports.

Doctors gave the little girl a death sentence by characterizing her as "virtually brain dead" and in a "permanent vegetative state". Less than three weeks later, the Massachusetts Department of Social Services pushed to remove Haleigh's feeding tube and respirator and won approval from the State Supreme Court to so.

Well, the young girl fought, and she lived. Today, she is in a rehabilitation facility.

Despite her "hopeless" condition, and her status as "virtually brain dead", she began showing signs of improvement and was weaned off her ventilator. She is now in rehabilitation, able to eat scrambled eggs and cream of wheat, and has tapped out drum rhythms during physical therapy.

Understandably, Gov. Mitt Romney created a commission in January to investigate the state's handling of Haleigh’s case.

Today, the commission released its results. Here are summaries:

Forbes/AP:

An alarming string of mistakes by state agencies and medical professionals contributed to the poor care given to a 12-year-old girl before and after a beating that left her severely brain-damaged, a panel appointed by the governor reported Tuesday.

Boston.com:
The panel delivered a list of 15 recommendations the governor said his administration would implement. Among them: requiring DSS to obtain a second opinion and consult ethics panels when considering removing a child from life support; establishing a system to identify high-risk cases; urging the Legislature to extend the period for investigating abuse reports from 10 to 20 days; making sure pediatric hospitals have child abuse teams on staff.

Boston Herald:
The panel’s recommendations are so very basic to the welfare of the children who come under the DSS umbrella that it is horrifying they have never been in place, yet alone even considered, before. “DSS should place on retainer panels of medical professionals in the areas of child abuse and psychiatry, including specific expertise in post-traumatic stress disorder,” the report insists.

Gov. Mit Romney's Office:
Haleigh’s case highlights a frightening confluence of a health care system ignorant of abuse and a child protective system ignorant of medicine.” -- Christine C. Ferguson, former Massachusetts Department of Public Health Commissioner

We did not find carelessness or a failure to make best efforts to meet Haleigh’s needs,” said Ferguson. “Instead, we found health, mental health, child welfare systems that, for a variety of reasons, were unable to penetrate the proffered explanation for Haleigh’s injuries, unable to ask the questions that could have protected her and were ill-equipped to provide her with the care and assistance any of us would want for our children.”


Although the panel ripped the system and recommended more government, procedures and processes, I’ve seen no admission of guilt or acknowledgement of a fundamental problem related to the diagnosis of PVS and its subsequent use to terminate a patient. What in the world is a state agency doing attempting to euthanasize a young girl shortly after her incapacitation?

Standards for diagnosis of PVS have not even been widely accepted by the medical community. Yet this designation is the death sentence for wards of the state?

Studies indicate PVS requires considerable skill to diagnose, requiring assessment over a period of time; diagnosis cannot be made, even by the most experienced clinician, from a bedside assessment. Accurate diagnosis is possible but requires the skills of a multidisciplinary team experienced in the management of people with complex disabilities. Recognition of awareness is essential if an optimal quality of life is to be achieved and to avoid inappropriate approaches to the courts for a declaration for withdrawal of tube feeding.

Here are some of the results:

  • Out of 40 patients diagnosed as being in a persistent vegetative state, 17 (43%) were later found to be alert, aware, and often able to express a simple wish. The study is one of the largest, most sustained analyses of severely disabled people presumed to be incapable of conscious thinking, communication, or awareness of their surroundings. The author, London neurologist Dr. Keith Andrews, said, "It is disturbing to think that some patients who were aware had for several years been treated as being vegetative.

  • Studies show PVS patients feel pain — indeed, a Univ. of Mich. neurologist, in one of the most complete studies, concluded that, when food and fluids are withdrawn [to impose death], the patient should be sedated.

  • A study of 84 patients with a "firm diagnosis" of PVS found that 41% regained consciousness by six months, 52% by three years. These statistics certainly discredit the terms "persistent" and "permanent".
In practice, the terms of PVS have become so elastic as to categorize Christine Busalacchi, a young Missouri woman, as PVS — even though she said "Hi" to a doctor, made sounds to indicate which soap opera she wanted to watch, pushed buttons on a cassette recorder to play tapes and recognized her father on TV.

Despite all of this, the PVS diagnosis was used in an attempt to end a young girls life support and end her life through dehydration and starvation.

It is now widely known that Haleigh was the victim of a fatally broken bureaucracy. Even worse, she was almost a fatality of a defective and crumbling death oriented medical system and a twisted judicial process.

Posted by plb at March 21, 2006 11:17 PM Subscribe with Bloglines


Prior Articles:

Trackback
TrackBack URL for this entry (note that all trackbacks from posts without a link to this entry will be considered spam and deleted):
Report: Haleigh Poutre Failed at Every Level from BlogsforTerri
It should be no surprise that Haleigh Poutre was the victim of a fatally broken bureaucracy. But she almost a fatality of a defective medical system, a crumbling system of ethics and a twisted judicial process. ...[read more]

Tracked: March 21, 2006 11:43 PM

Comments
Post a comment




Remember Me?

(you may use HTML tags for style)

 
 
Recent Entries
The Ohio Anglican.blog Oct 22, 2017, 12:35 am
The Ohio Anglican.blog Jan 1, 1970, 12:00 am
The Ohio Anglican.blog Jan 1, 1970, 12:00 am
The Ohio Anglican.blog Jan 1, 1970, 12:00 am
The Ohio Anglican.blog Jan 1, 1970, 12:00 am
The Ohio Anglican.blog Jan 1, 1970, 12:00 am
The Ohio Anglican.blog Jan 1, 1970, 12:00 am
The Interim Oct 16, 2017, 5:56 pm
The Common Room Oct 17, 2017, 6:05 am
The Common Room Oct 17, 2017, 2:27 am
The Common Room Oct 19, 2017, 9:09 am
The Common Room Oct 18, 2017, 4:40 am
The Common Room Oct 20, 2017, 8:29 am
The Aquila Report Oct 21, 2017, 4:01 am
The Aquila Report Oct 21, 2017, 4:01 am
The Aquila Report Oct 20, 2017, 4:01 am
The Aquila Report Oct 20, 2017, 4:08 am
The Aquila Report Oct 21, 2017, 4:01 am
The Aquila Report Oct 21, 2017, 4:08 am
SUNLIT UPLANDS Oct 22, 2017, 12:35 am
Spero News Dec 31, 1969, 11:00 pm
Spero News Dec 31, 1969, 11:00 pm
Spero News Dec 31, 1969, 11:00 pm
Spero News Dec 31, 1969, 11:00 pm
Spero News Dec 31, 1969, 11:00 pm
Spero News Dec 31, 1969, 11:00 pm
Rose and Her Lily Oct 19, 2017, 7:39 pm
Reclaiming Our Children Jan 1, 1970, 7:00 am
Reclaiming Our Children Jan 1, 1970, 7:00 am
Reclaiming Our Children Jan 1, 1970, 7:00 am
Rebelution Oct 18, 2017, 10:00 am
Rebelution Oct 17, 2017, 4:44 pm
Rebelution Oct 21, 2017, 3:31 am
Rebelution Oct 17, 2017, 1:27 am
Quo Vadis Oct 17, 2017, 12:16 am
PROTEST THE LEFT Jan 1, 1970, 12:00 am
Pro-Life Unity Jan 1, 1970, 12:00 am
Pro-Life Unity Jan 1, 1970, 12:00 am
Pro-Life Unity Jan 1, 1970, 12:00 am
Pro-Life Unity Jan 1, 1970, 12:00 am
Pro-Life Unity Jan 1, 1970, 12:00 am
Pro-Life Unity Jan 1, 1970, 12:00 am
PM Notes Oct 17, 2017, 5:55 pm
Papa Mike's Blog Oct 19, 2017, 4:05 am
Papa Mike's Blog Oct 18, 2017, 5:59 pm
Papa Mike's Blog Oct 18, 2017, 2:12 pm
Operation Rescue Oct 17, 2017, 3:02 pm
Operation Rescue Oct 16, 2017, 7:10 pm
Operation Rescue Oct 16, 2017, 3:27 pm
Operation Rescue Oct 17, 2017, 5:16 pm
Operation Rescue Oct 16, 2017, 2:22 pm
Operation Rescue Oct 18, 2017, 3:47 pm
Operation Rescue Oct 20, 2017, 3:40 pm
Operation Rescue Oct 19, 2017, 2:59 pm
One Mom Oct 21, 2017, 5:48 pm
NoisyRoom.net Oct 19, 2017, 9:37 pm
NoisyRoom.net Oct 16, 2017, 6:29 pm
My Domestic Church Jan 1, 1970, 12:00 am
My Domestic Church Jan 1, 1970, 12:00 am
My Domestic Church Jan 1, 1970, 12:00 am
March For Life Oct 17, 2017, 2:21 pm
March For Life Oct 19, 2017, 8:25 pm
MandM Oct 21, 2017, 12:56 am
MandM Oct 18, 2017, 11:00 pm
MandM Oct 16, 2017, 10:59 pm
LifeNews Oct 20, 2017, 9:23 pm
LifeNews Oct 20, 2017, 9:37 pm
LifeNews Oct 20, 2017, 9:55 pm
LifeNews Oct 20, 2017, 10:14 pm
LifeLove&Truth Oct 17, 2017, 11:12 pm
LifeNews Oct 20, 2017, 10:03 pm
LifeNews Oct 20, 2017, 9:47 pm
Life at the Frontier Jan 1, 1970, 12:00 am
Les Femmes - The Truth Oct 16, 2017, 2:31 am
Les Femmes - The Truth Oct 16, 2017, 11:58 pm
Leaven for the Loaf Oct 16, 2017, 1:49 pm
Leaven for the Loaf Oct 18, 2017, 7:34 pm
Leaven for the Loaf Oct 19, 2017, 11:00 am
joy of nine9 Oct 20, 2017, 11:36 pm
HumanLifeMatters Oct 22, 2017, 12:20 am
HumanLifeMatters Jan 1, 1970, 12:00 am
I believe in Life Oct 18, 2017, 11:42 am
Happy Catholic Jan 1, 1970, 12:00 am
Happy Catholic Jan 1, 1970, 12:00 am
Greater Fitchburg For Life Jan 1, 1970, 12:00 am
Greater Fitchburg For Life Jan 1, 1970, 12:00 am
Greater Fitchburg For Life Oct 22, 2017, 12:20 am
Greater Fitchburg For Life Jan 1, 1970, 12:00 am
Greater Fitchburg For Life Jan 1, 1970, 12:00 am
Greater Fitchburg For Life Jan 1, 1970, 12:00 am
Greater Fitchburg For Life Jan 1, 1970, 12:00 am
Greater Fitchburg For Life Jan 1, 1970, 12:00 am
Greater Fitchburg For Life Jan 1, 1970, 12:00 am
Greater Fitchburg For Life Jan 1, 1970, 12:00 am
Greater Fitchburg For Life Jan 1, 1970, 12:00 am
Greater Fitchburg For Life Jan 1, 1970, 12:00 am
FREEDOM EDEN Jan 1, 1970, 12:00 am
FRC.org - Web Log Oct 19, 2017, 5:37 pm
FRC.org - Web Log Oct 18, 2017, 1:10 pm
FRC.org - Web Log Oct 16, 2017, 9:04 pm
EmpowerShop Prolife Oct 19, 2017, 12:25 pm
EmpowerShop Prolife Oct 19, 2017, 11:50 am
EmpowerShop Prolife Oct 19, 2017, 12:54 pm
EmpowerShop Prolife Oct 19, 2017, 1:08 pm
EmpowerShop Prolife Oct 19, 2017, 1:01 pm
EmpowerShop Prolife Oct 19, 2017, 1:42 pm
EmpowerShop Prolife Oct 19, 2017, 12:57 pm
DEACON FOR LIFE Jan 1, 1970, 12:00 am
DEACON FOR LIFE Jan 1, 1970, 12:00 am
DEACON FOR LIFE Jan 1, 1970, 12:00 am
DEACON FOR LIFE Jan 1, 1970, 12:00 am
DEACON FOR LIFE Jan 1, 1970, 12:00 am
DEACON FOR LIFE Jan 1, 1970, 12:00 am
DEACON FOR LIFE Jan 1, 1970, 12:00 am
cultureshift Oct 21, 2017, 9:04 pm
cultureshift Oct 21, 2017, 11:15 pm
cultureshift Oct 21, 2017, 10:59 pm
cultureshift Oct 17, 2017, 12:02 am
cultureshift Oct 20, 2017, 10:29 pm
cultureshift Oct 17, 2017, 11:29 pm
cultureshift Oct 21, 2017, 1:57 pm
Conservative Political Cartoons Jan 1, 1970, 12:00 am
Colossians Three Sixteen Oct 16, 2017, 12:58 am
CNSNews.com Headlines Oct 20, 2017, 6:09 pm
CNSNews.com Headlines Oct 20, 2017, 7:15 pm
Christian Newswire: All Releases Oct 19, 2017, 5:44 pm
Christian Newswire: All Releases Oct 20, 2017, 12:04 am
Christian Newswire: All Releases Oct 19, 2017, 5:20 pm
Christian Newswire: All Releases Oct 19, 2017, 4:58 pm
Christian Newswire: All Releases Oct 18, 2017, 10:34 pm
Christian Newswire: All Releases Oct 20, 2017, 4:34 pm
Christian Newswire: All Releases Oct 18, 2017, 5:22 pm
Christian Newswire: All Releases Oct 18, 2017, 7:17 pm
Christian Newswire: All Releases Oct 20, 2017, 5:02 pm
Christian Newswire: All Releases Oct 20, 2017, 9:59 pm
Christian Newswire: All Releases Oct 18, 2017, 1:00 pm
Christian Newswire: All Releases Oct 20, 2017, 8:40 pm
Christian Newswire: All Releases Oct 20, 2017, 7:27 pm
Christian Newswire: All Releases Oct 21, 2017, 9:40 pm
Catholic Fire Oct 18, 2017, 4:01 am
Catholic Fire Oct 20, 2017, 5:41 am
Catholic Fire Oct 17, 2017, 3:36 am
Catholic Fire Oct 16, 2017, 4:18 am
Catholic Fire Oct 20, 2017, 4:54 am
Catholic Fire Oct 19, 2017, 5:06 am
Catholic Church Conservation Jan 1, 1970, 12:00 am
Catholic Church Conservation Jan 1, 1970, 12:00 am
Catholic Church Conservation Jan 1, 1970, 12:00 am
Catholic Church Conservation Jan 1, 1970, 12:00 am
Catholic Church Conservation Jan 1, 1970, 12:00 am
Catholic Church Conservation Jan 1, 1970, 12:00 am
Catholic Church Conservation Jan 1, 1970, 12:00 am
Catholic Church Conservation Jan 1, 1970, 12:00 am
Catholic Church Conservation Jan 1, 1970, 12:00 am
Catholic Church Conservation Jan 1, 1970, 12:00 am
Catholic Church Conservation Jan 1, 1970, 12:00 am
Catholic Church Conservation Jan 1, 1970, 12:00 am
Catholic Church Conservation Jan 1, 1970, 12:00 am
Catholic Church Conservation Jan 1, 1970, 12:00 am
Catholic Church Conservation Jan 1, 1970, 12:00 am
Catholic Church Conservation Jan 1, 1970, 12:00 am
Catholic Church Conservation Jan 1, 1970, 12:00 am
Catholic Church Conservation Jan 1, 1970, 12:00 am
Catholic Church Conservation Jan 1, 1970, 12:00 am
BIG C CATHOLICS Oct 19, 2017, 8:14 pm
BIG C CATHOLICS Oct 19, 2017, 8:30 pm
BIG C CATHOLICS Oct 20, 2017, 6:02 pm
BIG C CATHOLICS Oct 19, 2017, 10:30 pm
BIG C CATHOLICS Oct 20, 2017, 6:03 pm


prolifeblogs hosted by eChristiansus Member of the Blogdom of God
Disclaimer: The statements and articles listed here, and any opinions, are those of the writers alone, and neither are opinions of nor reflect the views of ProLifeBlogs. Aggregated content created by others is the sole responsibility of the writers and its accuracy and completeness are not endorsed or guaranteed. This goes for all those links, too: ProLifeBlogs has no control over the information you access via such links, does not endorse that information, cannot guarantee the accuracy of the information provided or any analysis based thereon, and shall not be responsible for it or for the consequences of your use of that information.