Update: if there is any doubt in your mind regarding the plight of Andrea Clark read John Hawkings' post.
Here is an urgent action item aimed at helping stop Andrea Clark's hospital from ending her life (Thanks to Beth). The message was apparently posted to the Democratic Underground by Andrea's sister last Friday:
KILLING MY SISTER - WE ARE PROTESTING - HELP US
Mods, please don’t move this post. I know it’s not in the activist section, but there’s so little time left now, we need it to reach as many people as possible. We desperately need help.
My sister, Andrea Clarke, is at St. Luke’s Episcopal Hospital in Houston, TX. St. Luke’s is located at:
6720 Bertner Avenue, Houston, TX. Their phone number is: 832-355-1000.
The hospital ethics committee met the day before yesterday and concluded that Andrea’s treatment (respirator and dialysis) should be discontinued. We have ten days to move her from that hospital or they will “pull the plug” and let Andrea die. Andrea, until a few days ago, when the physicians decided to increase her pain medication and anesthetize her into unconsciousness, was fully able to make her own medical decisions and had decided that she wanted life saving treatment until she dies naturally. We have learned that this is part of the process, when hospitals decided to declare the “medical futility” of continueing treatment for a patient. But, this is not a Terry Schiavo case; not anything like it. Andrea, when she is not medicated into unconsciousness (and even when she is, and the medication has worn off to some degree) is aware and cognizant. She has suffered no brain damage to the parts of her brain responsible for thought and reason, or speech. She has only suffered loss of some motor control. The reason that the physician gave to medicate her so much is that she is suffering from intractable pain in the sacral region (in other words, she has a bedsore that causes her pain). This is not reason enough, in our books, and we are trying, as we speak, to get Andrea’s medication lowered so that she can speak to us.
There is also some disagreement as to whether Andrea is really in that much pain, as well. When she is not medicated to this degree, and she sees her son, Charles, she smiles. She also mouths words (Andrea is very vocal, normally, even with a trach, and asks for food, etc., when she is not medicated to the gills). Once again, this is not like the Shiavo case, where there was brain death. Andrea has voiced her wishes, over and over again, and if she were not on so much pain medication, she would voice them again.Hopefully you've gathered that the action taken by the hospital is a step beyond what was done to Terri Schiavo. Perhaps a united front of bloggers can make a difference. Beth writes:
Houston hospitals have a policy in that once the medical treatment of a patient has been deemed “medically futile” no other hospital in the area will accept transfer of that patient to their facility. This means that the patient, who is usually in a very delicate condition anyway, has to be transported over a long distance, in order to receive care.
We received notice of the ethics committee decision the day before yesterday and we are organizing a protest to take place tomorrow, at 2-2:30pm outside St. Luke’s Episcopal Hospital. Our family members number four and we will all be there, but we need more people. Please help us.
This protest is very likely to be filmed and get news coverage.
For those of you who will reply to this post with more questions, please see my other posts on this topic. I have done my best to answer all of your questions, but as you can imagine, my mind is not working as efficiently as it should, because I am upset. I assure you this is real; this is happening, and in Texas, medical professionals have the right, under the Futile Care Law, to discontinue life saving treatment, under these circumstances, even while the patient and the family is protesting that action. If you need more information, please see my other posts on this topic. For now, we need help, not questions or suggestions as to further courses of action. We are fighting on all fronts, ie., lawyers, news media, churches, internet, etc. We have left no stone unturned in this battle.
Many, many people, even some medical professionals in Texas, and other areas, don’t know about this law. They have no idea that this can be done, and it is is being done every day in Texas hospitals, but is not covered by the news media. This needs to become common knowledge and this law needs to be overturned, of course, but we are fighting for the life of our sister. We are fighting to see that her wishes about how she lives, and how she dies, are honored. Perhaps these kinds of battles are fought in just this way, one by one, out of love, and this is how the war is won, in the end.
Please help us. Please lend your presence to our fight at St. Luke’s Episcopal Hospital in Houston, Texas, located at 6720 Bertner Ave. at 2-2:30pm CST tomorrow (Saturday). If you would like to bring a sign, please do so, because we only have a limited amount. If you don’t, then please just bring yourself.
My name is Melanie Childers and my cell phone number is: (see it at the original post)
My sister (not the one in the hospital, but the one handling the protest) is Lanore Dixon and her numbers are: (see them at the original post). Please do not call us unless you are calling to request some information that I have not posted here. We have our phones glued to our heads, trying to find a hospital that will take Andrea, before her ten days are up at St. Luke’s Episcopal Hospital. I am posting these numbers only to show you that this is not some kind of scam, or a joke or something even more idiotic.
Please help us.
Get on the phone. Again, the info: Andrea Clarke is at St. Luke’s Episcopal Hospital in Houston, TX. St. Luke’s is located at: 6720 Bertner Avenue, Houston, TX. Their phone number is: 832-355-1000. Here’s the website, and a general email addressPreviously:
Update: After the inquiry of a reader I probably should add that I don't agree with Melanie's characterization of Terri Schiavo.