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 evangelical outpost Nov 24, 2014, 11:26 am
The Black Kettle Nov 24, 2014, 11:38 am
DFW Catholic.org Nov 24, 2014, 11:53 am
DFW Catholic.org Nov 24, 2014, 12:03 pm
Challies Dot Com Nov 24, 2014, 12:01 pm
Alex Schadenberg Nov 24, 2014, 11:18 am
LifeNews Nov 24, 2014, 11:03 am
HLI World Watch Nov 24, 2014, 10:20 am
SUNLIT UPLANDS Nov 24, 2014, 11:21 am
DFW Catholic.org Nov 23, 2014, 7:00 pm
DFW Catholic.org Nov 24, 2014, 3:53 am
DFW Catholic.org Nov 24, 2014, 9:29 am
DFW Catholic.org Nov 24, 2014, 4:08 am
Where the Rubber Hits the Road Nov 24, 2014, 10:45 am
NoisyRoom.net Nov 24, 2014, 9:31 am
NoisyRoom.net Nov 24, 2014, 9:56 am
LifeNews Nov 24, 2014, 9:43 am
DFW Catholic.org Nov 24, 2014, 8:35 am
Christian Newswire: All Releases Nov 24, 2014, 11:41 am
Christian Newswire: All Releases Nov 24, 2014, 12:00 pm
Christian Musician...Pro Life! Nov 24, 2014, 9:32 am
Alliance Defense Fund Nov 24, 2014, 9:00 am
Where the Rubber Hits the Road Dec 31, 1969, 7:00 pm
Vital Signs Blog Dec 31, 1969, 7:00 pm
Priests for Life Nov 24, 2014, 9:30 am
DFW Catholic.org Nov 24, 2014, 3:22 am
DFW Catholic.org Nov 23, 2014, 7:00 pm
DFW Catholic.org Nov 23, 2014, 7:00 pm
DFW Catholic.org Nov 24, 2014, 7:56 am
CNSNews.com Headlines Nov 24, 2014, 4:29 am
DFW Catholic.org Nov 23, 2014, 7:00 pm
DFW Catholic.org Nov 24, 2014, 1:28 am
DFW Catholic.org Nov 24, 2014, 1:41 am
Dakota Voice (Blog) Nov 24, 2014, 8:10 am
CNSNews.com Headlines Nov 24, 2014, 7:33 am
Challies Dot Com Nov 24, 2014, 8:01 am
Challies Dot Com Nov 24, 2014, 6:05 am
joy of nine9 Oct 24, 2014, 9:18 pm
CNSNews.com Headlines Nov 24, 2014, 4:29 am
RealChoice Dec 31, 1969, 7:00 pm
joy of nine9 Nov 18, 2014, 8:19 am
joy of nine9 Nov 23, 2014, 2:33 pm
joy of nine9 Nov 22, 2014, 4:06 pm
DFW Catholic.org Nov 24, 2014, 1:12 am
FREEDOM EDEN Dec 31, 1969, 7:00 pm
Catholic Fire Dec 31, 1969, 7:00 pm
BIG BLUE WAVE Nov 24, 2014, 12:11 am
Truth and Charity Forum Nov 24, 2014, 12:01 am
The Ohio Anglican.blog Nov 24, 2014, 12:03 am
HumanLifeMatters Nov 23, 2014, 10:20 pm
A Culture of Life Nov 23, 2014, 9:36 pm
PM Notes Nov 23, 2014, 8:56 pm
Catholic Fire Dec 31, 1969, 7:00 pm
έχω ζωη Nov 23, 2014, 7:16 pm
NoisyRoom.net Nov 23, 2014, 6:41 pm
The Culture of Life Review Nov 23, 2014, 6:30 pm
DFW Catholic.org Nov 23, 2014, 6:08 pm
Les Femmes - The Truth Nov 23, 2014, 5:52 pm
Papa Mike's Blog Nov 23, 2014, 5:24 pm
Leaven for the Loaf Nov 23, 2014, 4:59 pm
DFW Catholic.org Nov 23, 2014, 3:00 pm
CNSNews.com Headlines Nov 23, 2014, 3:34 pm
BIG BLUE WAVE Nov 23, 2014, 5:10 pm
DFW Catholic.org Nov 23, 2014, 2:45 pm
DFW Catholic.org Nov 23, 2014, 2:46 pm
NoisyRoom.net Nov 23, 2014, 3:02 pm
NoisyRoom.net Nov 23, 2014, 2:43 pm
joy of nine9 Nov 23, 2014, 2:33 pm
Exultate Justi Dec 31, 1969, 7:00 pm
Exultate Justi Dec 31, 1969, 7:00 pm
Exultate Justi Dec 31, 1969, 7:00 pm
Exultate Justi Nov 23, 2014, 3:20 pm
The Black Kettle Nov 23, 2014, 2:46 pm
The Anchoress Nov 23, 2014, 7:00 am
DFW Catholic.org Nov 23, 2014, 12:56 pm
Dakota Voice (Blog) Nov 23, 2014, 3:03 pm
BIG BLUE WAVE Nov 23, 2014, 3:10 pm
Priests for Life Nov 23, 2014, 2:02 pm
Les Femmes - The Truth Nov 23, 2014, 1:27 pm
Hyscience Nov 23, 2014, 1:23 pm
Heavenly Springs Nov 23, 2014, 1:37 pm
Bioethics and More! Dec 31, 1969, 7:00 pm
Kevin Tracy Nov 23, 2014, 12:56 pm
Hyscience Nov 23, 2014, 12:26 pm
DFW Catholic.org Nov 23, 2014, 10:32 am
DFW Catholic.org Nov 23, 2014, 11:48 am
Vivificat! Nov 23, 2014, 12:26 pm
DFW Catholic.org Nov 23, 2014, 10:47 am
Catholic Church Conservation Nov 23, 2014, 11:15 am
A Catholic Life Nov 23, 2014, 10:07 am
DFW Catholic.org Nov 22, 2014, 7:00 pm
DFW Catholic.org Nov 23, 2014, 3:09 am
DFW Catholic.org Nov 22, 2014, 7:00 pm
DFW Catholic.org Nov 23, 2014, 3:12 am
Christian Newswire: All Releases Nov 23, 2014, 3:01 am
NoisyRoom.net Nov 23, 2014, 9:05 am
Kevin Tracy Nov 23, 2014, 8:33 am
Happy Catholic Dec 31, 1969, 7:00 pm
DFW Catholic.org Nov 23, 2014, 8:01 am
DFW Catholic.org Nov 23, 2014, 7:48 am
Dakota Voice (Blog) Nov 23, 2014, 8:31 am
Christian Musician...Pro Life! Nov 23, 2014, 9:00 am
DFW Catholic.org Nov 22, 2014, 7:00 pm
DFW Catholic.org Nov 22, 2014, 7:00 pm
DFW Catholic.org Nov 22, 2014, 7:00 pm
jillstanek.com Nov 23, 2014, 6:49 am
jillstanek.com Nov 23, 2014, 7:24 am
SUNLIT UPLANDS Nov 23, 2014, 7:20 am
Church of the Acronym Dec 31, 1969, 7:00 pm
Church of the Acronym Dec 31, 1969, 7:00 pm
RealChoice Dec 31, 1969, 7:00 pm
Pro-Life Unity Dec 31, 1969, 7:00 pm
Exultate Justi Dec 31, 1969, 7:00 pm
DFW Catholic.org Nov 23, 2014, 12:02 am
Actualidad y Análisis Nov 23, 2014, 3:35 am
Rebelution Nov 23, 2014, 1:11 am
From the Pastor's Desk Nov 23, 2014, 12:25 am
FREEDOM EDEN Dec 31, 1969, 7:00 pm
The Chatterbox Chronicles Dec 31, 1969, 7:00 pm
Aardvark Alley Dec 31, 1969, 7:00 pm
Kevin Tracy Nov 23, 2014, 1:06 am
The Ohio Anglican.blog Nov 23, 2014, 1:03 am
The Ohio Anglican.blog Nov 23, 2014, 12:03 am
Dakota Voice (Blog) Nov 22, 2014, 10:24 pm
Conservative Heritage Times Nov 22, 2014, 10:37 pm
DFW Catholic.org Nov 22, 2014, 8:48 am
Dakota Voice (Blog) Nov 22, 2014, 9:17 pm
The Lady in the Pew Nov 22, 2014, 9:17 pm
Les Femmes - The Truth Nov 22, 2014, 9:17 pm
The Black Kettle Nov 22, 2014, 9:04 pm
DFW Catholic.org Nov 22, 2014, 7:25 pm
Christian Newswire: All Releases Nov 20, 2014, 7:03 pm
Christian Newswire: All Releases Nov 20, 2014, 11:51 am
Christian Newswire: All Releases Nov 20, 2014, 6:00 pm
Christian Newswire: All Releases Nov 20, 2014, 5:29 pm
Christian Newswire: All Releases Nov 20, 2014, 4:33 pm
Christian Newswire: All Releases Nov 20, 2014, 2:00 pm
Christian Newswire: All Releases Nov 19, 2014, 2:59 pm
Christian Newswire: All Releases Nov 20, 2014, 9:30 am
Christian Newswire: All Releases Nov 19, 2014, 2:04 pm
Christian Newswire: All Releases Nov 19, 2014, 7:05 pm
Christian Newswire: All Releases Nov 19, 2014, 3:25 pm
Christian Newswire: All Releases Nov 19, 2014, 5:14 pm
Christian Newswire: All Releases Nov 19, 2014, 3:00 am
Christian Newswire: All Releases Nov 21, 2014, 12:16 pm
Christian Newswire: All Releases Nov 21, 2014, 6:30 am
Christian Newswire: All Releases Nov 21, 2014, 2:26 pm
Christian Newswire: All Releases Nov 21, 2014, 6:38 pm
NoisyRoom.net Nov 22, 2014, 8:01 pm
DFW Catholic.org Nov 22, 2014, 6:50 pm
Journey of a Catholic Nerd Writer Dec 31, 1969, 7:00 pm
DFW Catholic.org Nov 22, 2014, 5:51 pm
My Domestic Church Nov 22, 2014, 6:30 pm
Les Femmes - The Truth Nov 22, 2014, 5:29 pm
Les Femmes - The Truth Nov 22, 2014, 4:50 pm
Exultate Justi Dec 31, 1969, 7:00 pm
Exultate Justi Dec 31, 1969, 7:00 pm
Exultate Justi Nov 22, 2014, 5:20 pm
Exultate Justi Dec 31, 1969, 7:00 pm
DFW Catholic.org Nov 22, 2014, 12:10 pm
DFW Catholic.org Nov 22, 2014, 3:39 pm
joy of nine9 Nov 22, 2014, 4:06 pm
Catholic Fire Dec 31, 1969, 7:00 pm
BIG BLUE WAVE Dec 31, 1969, 7:00 pm
The Black Kettle Nov 22, 2014, 2:21 pm
Alex Schadenberg Nov 22, 2014, 2:29 pm
Spero News Dec 31, 1969, 6:00 pm
DFW Catholic.org Nov 22, 2014, 1:36 pm
DFW Catholic.org Nov 22, 2014, 12:12 pm
The Black Kettle Nov 22, 2014, 12:42 pm
Spero News Dec 31, 1969, 6:00 pm
The Latter Days Nov 22, 2014, 12:50 pm
The Chatterbox Chronicles Dec 31, 1969, 7:00 pm
Pro-Life Unity Dec 31, 1969, 7:00 pm
Priests for Life Nov 22, 2014, 11:05 am
Lake County Right to Life Blog Nov 22, 2014, 11:14 am
Lake County Right to Life Blog Nov 22, 2014, 11:03 am
Lake County Right to Life Blog Nov 22, 2014, 10:51 am


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.