I was browsing Michelle Malkin’s blog and she had a post relayed from John Hawkins of Right Wing News about Andrea Clark. This post was based on a series of comments/threads on the Democratic Underground site, and tells about how Andrea, who has literally been sentenced to die by St. Luke’s Episcopal Hospital in Houston, TX due to her respirator and dialysis treatments. Apparently the hospital has deemed Andrea to be a “medical futility” case, and once a patient has been declared as such the hospital discontinues all treatments, despite reports that one of the doctors there believe that she has a chance to recover. The staff has increased Andrea’s pain medication and have basically anesthetized her unconscious and plan to let her die in a about a week, against both her and her family’s wishes.
Furthermore, Houston hospitals have a policy in that once a patient has been deemed “medically futile” no other hospital in the area will allow that patient to be transferred to their facility. This means that if she is to be treated elsewhere, it would have to be a great distance away.
Honestly, this blows my mind. This is nothing like the Terri Schiavo case. This woman, before being medicated into a coma, was cognisant of her situation and surroundings and was vocal, and had clearly expressed that she did NOT want the hospital to kill her.
The family is calling out for help from anyone and everyone and my heart certainly goes out to them. While I am nowhere near Houston, the very least I can do is post the links here.
Fingers are being pointed in every direction for this result, one of which is pointed at Andrea’s insurance company, another at the hospital staff and social worker in charge of Andrea’s care, and so on. Which makes me wonder: in places like Texas, where a Futile Care Law or something similar exists, who makes the final decision to end someone’s care and/or treatments?
In short: How much is a life worth?