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Can you end life support on an alert person?
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Can you end life support on an alert person?

I have no clue where to ask this and I only hope someone can help point me in the right direction.  

My aunt has been hospitalized for a while now.  I am not sure of all the details of what she has, but I know she has not been given a timeline for death or anything like that.  She is alert, responsive, fully cognizant and if it were not for the trachiotomy she could talk.  She is able to write and communicate with everyone that way.  She will laugh, cry, etc.    

The doctors told my cousin (her daughter) today that since there are no nursing homes to take her (they are in New Orleans and the ones that are operable have no openings) that they would have to pick a day for the family to come in and say goodbye and they would pull the plug on her ventilator (the only life support she has).  

I don't see how they can just pull the plug on an alert person.  I have heard cases where people fight to pull the plug on comatose ones.  This is not the case here.  She is not ready to leave this earth.  

The only other option that was given was for her to go home with her daughter, but my cousin was told she would have to stay awake 24/7 to watch her and if she died while there that they would charge my cousin with negligent homicide.  

I am getting all of this second hand (I am in Kentucky as my husband is in the Army) but this makes absolutely no sense.

We don't know where to turn with this -- do we need to talk to the Department of Human Services, an attorney, the hospital administration?  

Please someone help point us in the right direction.  This is unbelievable to me.  I don't know how such little value can be put on a life.  
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144586_tn?1284669764
Inform the physician in writing by registered mail this is called criminally negligent homicide in any jurisdiction in the United States and immediately report him in writing to the District Attorney and make a complaint to the state medical board for a hearing to revoke his right to practice as a physician.

There seems to be a "missing piece" to this story because I cannot believe any physician would make those statements under those circumstances. So for now, I will regard this as hearsay.
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Avatar_n_tn
caregiver222

I have to agree with you, and understand that I am getting this all third person as well.  It is coming from my cousins but then it went through my mom and then to me.  And I know my cousins are so close to all of this, that they may be exaggerating a bit or something.  It just does not seem to make any sense.  

They wanted to know where to go with things.  So basically what I told (or told mom to tell them) was to go to the hospital administration first.  Having reviewed the patients bill of rights posted on the hospital website, this violates them totally.  

The way I figure it that is the best place to start.  If they are exaggerating, the doctor is being drastic and pushing them, or whatever the case is, the hospital administration should be able to sort this out.  

I also informed them that she needs to at least be on a nursing home waiting list somewhere so they can tell the administration that they are trying to get her in somewhere.  Although it is a long term care facility, I cannot see them keeping her there forever -- and I assume that may be why they are pushing the family to get her moved somewhere.  

I have a feeling this will straighten things out more quickly than anything else.  

Thank you for your help and if they cannot straighten things out, now I know a direction to send them in.  
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144586_tn?1284669764
Wrong. Do not "go to the hospital administration first". This will not "straighten things out more quickly than anything else. Wrong train, wrong direction, wrong track, wrong railroad.

The credible reality of being starpped to an electric chair or breaking rocks on a chain gang will "straighten things out more quickly than anything else".

And once a politician is tied to her fate, rest assured they wiull find a nursing facility.

If the facts are as you have stated, they have done this many times before and "it is not the best place to start". This is like asking Sammy Gravano to ask John Gotti about his last hit.

You are going through a lot, and I seem like an arogant interloper to state these things, however they were going to kill my little 104 year old two years ago under similar circumstances, and I physically grabbed the syringe from the nurse and stepped on it, and only the register mail letters to the physicians threatening them with homicide charges (which ended up getting me barred from the hospital) saved her life. I
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Avatar_f_tn
I do beleive that it is against the law for the Dr to have the say when to pull the plug, so to speak i think it is the family and the patients right, so why dont you go to a laywer, but if i were you i would call the DR and find out what is going on., there is more here than meets the eye so to speak. luck  jo
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