(Closed) NWR: Euthanizing Disabled Children???

posted 8 years ago in Parenting
Post # 107
Member
10451 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: February 2014

That’s a really terrible life – it’s not even a life. I’d want to be euthanized if that happened to me (if I were ever injured in an accident for example).

Also, what an awful life for the mother – those kids have no chance of recovering and she’s supposed to watch them like that and care for them forever? What about when she dies?

Post # 108
Member
10846 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2010

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@SoupyCat:  There was an instance recently of a man they thought was brain dead but they found he could actually communicate, but it’s a bit contraversial at this point (not sure if there was involuntary interaction via the translator, etc). In any case, I find it all fascinating and certainly gives food for thought as science advances each day. I have friends who work in neurobiology and it’s amazing how the brain works!

Post # 109
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995 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2012

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@Pinkmoon:  She doesn’t care for them, they’ve been institutionalized for many years–she visits them a few times a year

Post # 110
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146 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: August 2012

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@MissHockey:  Your missing the biggest difference between the two situations.

Starving children in Africa still have the ability to recover.  With the right nutrition and attention, the children COULD grow and be healthy.

The two children on feeding tubes the OP talked about will never recover.  No amount of medical attention, vitamins or food will change their physical state.

You cannot compare apples and oranges.

Post # 111
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4369 posts
Honey bee

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@bakerella:  I guess it wouldn’t matter to me personally too much, because I think people should be able to decide on euthanasia before that point (possible but improbable brain activity). But yes, technology advances and we find out more things. I’m sure that in the past, many, many people were declared dead before their actual time.

Post # 112
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2413 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

I am a pediatric RN who works with children exactly like this.

Personally, I would want to be euthanized if I had zero quality of life. BUT, I’m unsure how I feel about this for children versus people who suffer injuries but at some point had the cognition to make their own end-0f-life decisions.

The sad fact is that when you have a child this disabled (vented, G/J tube, trach, etc.) it is an all-consuming job. Many of these mothers do not work, and most people only have nursing care 16 hours a day (at most). It’s incredibly, incredibly taxing on the quality of life for everyone involved, and many childen don’t have much of a quality of life – and I would say that 50% of the childen I’ve seen (in pediatric LTC facilities) have the bare minimum level of cognition (the ability to breathe, if that.)

This has significantly changed my viewpoints on abortion. I would absolutely abort a baby that I know will have severe, chronic health issues. However, the scary thing is, of all the families I’ve worked with, the injuries to the children have been the result of traumatic birth injuries, OR medical problems that WERE NOT picked up on through pre-natal testing. Is that scary or what?

Honestly, until you have had the chance to work in a long term care facility for these severely cognitively disabled children, or have raised one on your own, I don’t think it’s fair to say what someone should do, one way or another. However, I will say, I DO think the mother should have the ability to make this decison for her child. Kids that have both very severe cognitive disability (basic level at best) AND a combo physical disability have a very poor quality of life. They live in beds, constantly have pneumonia and other infections and live on ventilators. It’s such a sad, sad existance, and that clinical rotation was the most emotionally taxing one i’ve ever had…

The problem is that allowing euthanasia is a very slippery slope…but I feel for any parents and children in this situation. Also, more people would need to understand the difference between physical disability and severe cognitive disability. I personally feel that cognition is a large factor in quality of life and makes all the difference…

Post # 113
Member
995 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2012

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@Miss Orchard:  my exMOH did care for her daughter and was strongly against euthanasia—the mother on Dr Phil sees her children a couple of times a year and is for euthanasia

I didnt see any opinions from those that actually care for her children on a day to day basis

 

So it isn’t that cut and dry

Post # 114
Member
1139 posts
Bumble bee

hmmm this is such a hard one. It is such a huge gray area. It is definitely interesting in hearing everyone’s opinions. 

Just because they cannot communicate doesn’t mean they aren’t “here”. 

Our human body can only perceive 3 dimensions of reality but there are soo many more dimensions that we cannot possibly comprehend..yet.

I guess I argue both sides.

I hate seeing people suffer, starve to death in hospice etc and in some cases, euthanization would be best…if they have the ability to comprehend what was going on and make that decision themselves. 

In other cases I don’t feel I have the right to judge when a person dies/lives. After all…what do I really know?

If you are interested in physics and learning about different realities, you should check out the book “Fabric of the Cosmos”. It’s pretty awesome and gives a whole new perspective.

Post # 115
Member
5992 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: May 2010

for me its about walk a mile in someones shoes first

one of my nephews is disabled and quite honestly his parents thank god its only downs syndrome because it means he is independant and can have a happy life with companionship, work and family with min supervision (bills, housing ect)

one of my cousins is severly retarded. he cant speak, stand, feed himself, go the to toilet – he can breathe and thats it.  his parents are now in their 70’s and lose sleep at night worried about whats going to happen to him as they can barely care for him now due to his size (hes almost 40) and their age. 

im pretty sure somewhere in their hearts that they never speak outloud they would be happier if they all go together because they are so worried about his care once they are gone

Post # 116
Member
2413 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

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@sylvia.riggle:  I totally agree that it isn’t cut and dry….that’s what I was trying to say. However, I do think that there should be some laws governing this. It’s incredibly expensive to care for these children, and MANY (but by no stretch all) have a poor quality of life. Many of these childen only have the most basic, primative reflexes due to the severity of their cognitive deficits.

It’s such a toss up. I don’t think any families would euthanize their child (that I work for,) however I do know that about 50% of the families would have aborted their child if they knew about the child’s disease. It all depends on the person/family and the depth of the child’s healthcare issues.

At the end of the day, the reality is that an overwhelming number of these children die at very young ages from pneumonia, acquired infections, complications due to immobility, etc. so most parents relish the time they have with them as they do realize it is limited.

Post # 117
Member
2413 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

I would also like to say – the children on this show are MUCH higher functioning than the ones I’m referring to….I have worked with children who can’t even control their own bodies, need 24hr ventilation, have seizures several times an hour, can’t sit up in a wheelchair or otherwise and are confined largely to a bed. So, compared to the individuals on Dr. Phil, they are MUCH more cognitively compromised.

Post # 118
Member
2413 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

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@Ms Mini:  AGREED completely! I am a pediatric RN who works with children like this and those who are severely more compromised and I couldn’t agree with you more – but most people luckily never step foot inside a long term care facility for children so they don’t understand how absolutely cognitively impaired some individuals can be – much worse than the children featured on this Dr. Phil show.

Post # 119
Member
1572 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2013

Well, there’s a big difference between a consenting adult choosing euthanasia and a parent choosing it for a child. There’s all sorts of issues at hand, and I don’t think that this is an easy topic. If you’re interested, I highly suggest reading some Peter Singer (especially Unsanctifying Human Life and Rethinking Life and Death) as he has some interesting views on this subject. (my undergrad was in philosophy with a focus on human sexuality, women’s studies, and health care ethics). 

Post # 120
Member
995 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2012

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@MsLobizon:  oooh i just read the description of rethinking life and death and it said that it was in the style of Huxleys ‘Brave New World’, I”m intrigued

As a vegetarian and an animal lover I like the whole animals have rights viewpoint too

 

I agree that if someone wants to die their wishes should be honored, as long this wish isn’t the result of clinical depression, schizophrenia, or some other psychological illness

However I think that when people want to take the life of a severely disabled person who is not brain dead but is incapable of articulating a desire to die it is a sketchy area….

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