Thursday, May 17, 2018

Brain death court cases becoming more common.

Alex Schadenberg
Executive Director, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

Taquisha McKitty's daughter
As the family of Taquisha McKitty await the decision in the "brain death" case in Brampton Ontario, it is shocking to read how common brain death court cases are becoming.

Based on the immenent release of the McKitty decision, CBC News interviewed Hugh Scher, the lawyer for the McKitty family. According to CBC news Scher stated:

"It raises a serious question as to what is death in Ontario and in Canada. There is no statutory legal definition," said Scher on Metro Morning Tuesday. "We're hopeful this case will provide some guidance." 
Scher and the McKitty family say that beyond breathing and having a heartbeat, Taquisha shows other signs of life — like moving her legs — that prove she's still biologically alive. 
"She eats, she drinks, her organs function," said Scher, comparing her to "many other people with a severe neurological impairment."
Hugh Scher was also the lawyer in the Shalom Ouanounou case in Toronto. 

Areen Chakrabarti with mother
Meanwhile a New Jersey hospital is embroiled in two cases. 

Areen Chakrabarti, who is on the autism spectrum, ran upstairs during the confusion of an April 14 fire suffered severe smoke inhalation, Doctors at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia state that Areen is brain dead but his mother says that her son responds to her. According to the Philadelphia Inquirer:
When Areen was admitted to CHOP on April 15, physicians urged his mother to consider removing him from life support. After more than a week, the hospital told her the boy would be removed from life support if tests revealed a complete lack of brain activity. 
Banerjee, who has maintained a near-constant bedside vigil at the hospital, says her son remains aware of her presence. She said when the boy’s blood pressure becomes elevated, it falls again when she speaks to him.
Jayden Auyeung with mother
Sadly, there is a second case occurring at the same hospital. According to the Philadelphia Inquirer:

Anna and Jonathan Auyeung, the parents of Jayden Auyeung, filed for a temporary restraining order in Common Pleas Court on Wednesday, their child’s 10th birthday. The Edison, N.J., boy, has a genetic motor neuron disease, couldn’t breathe after a mucus plug developed in his throat while he was at home on May 4, his mother said. Despite efforts to revive him, he had to be taken to Robert Wood Johnson Hospital in New Brunswick, N.J., where he was placed on life support. Two days later he was transferred to CHOP, which had treated him for ye. 
His mother does not accept that there is no hope of her son’s recovering. 
“When we touch him or talk to him, he moves his finger and moves his leg and moves his mouth,” Anna Auyeung said, but she was told not to see these as positive signs. “Doctors said it was spinal reflex,” she said.
All of these cases are incredibly difficult but the question of brain death creates confusion. These people are biologically alive, are moving and reacting, and have been declared dead.

There must be a better way to deal with these situations.


Anonymous said...

GoFundMe for Jayden:

GoFundMe for Areen:

From reading other articles online, I gather both families are desperately trying to fundraise to transport their boys possibly out of the country for treatment.

Richard said...

It is my understanding that removal of oxygen from any person creates an automatic panic reaction in the brain.Even though the person may not be able to show that panic they do know it in their mind. It seems to be rather like putting a pillow over anyone's face. A sleeping person will automatically throw up their hands to fend off the suffocating pillow.
Medically assisted dying ( euthanasia) is the same process.the victim is placed into a stupor with lorazipam and haldol then placed into a near coma state and finally the coup de grace is to administer rocuronium which finishes the suffocation by disabling the diaphragm.The brain is on a state of panic but conveniently the patient is unable to show any distress to the watching family. Not a nice way to die .if someone needs oxygen to breathe give it to them for God's sake!