Up in Canada, where it’s just possible that things are more laid back and more screwed up than they are in California, say, evidence of the latter supposition has just hit the daily fish wrappers. In Toronto, just across the border from Michigan for you geography freaks, there’s a little kid in the hospital, which is where people take their little kids when chicken soup, teddy bears and Mommy’s love doesn’t help.
This little kid’s been there for a while and the Docs who know a thing or two have probed and thumped and stuck and stitched him all this time with no effect. They say he’s a “lost cause”. Now, that stuff happens. I mean it is called the “practice” of medicine for a reason. These guys are still working out the details. I mean why are some places called “research” institutions if it was already a done deal?
(I figure if that was the case, you could call up some number from the house and tell the guy in Bangladesh answering the phone you’ve got a lump the size of a grapefruit on your nose. As soon as he hears that, Shahidullah will tell you in his completely incomprehensible but musical accent that you suffer from 1375A, the case is not yet terminal and you need to stop eating cabbage and go down to the nearest medical service station for a tuneup and realignment. Doctors would be technicians and need nothing more than a few years at the local Voc-Tech. It wouldn’t be a practice or a profession, but a job. Now that prospect AIN’T an incentive for anyone to want to figure it out, I think.)
Anyway, back to Toronto and this soon to be dead kid. I had a car once that was like this kid, only it was old and he has a while to go before that happens. Well, no, I guess it won’t happen. Anyway, I drove my car into the service station one day because, well, because that was as far as I could get it. “It’s got a lump the size of a…”, no, no, that’s not what I said. What I did say was, “I can’t do anything with it.” And the guy said, clearly, “Leave it here and I’ll give you a call.” When I got back home I didn’t have long to wait. The phone rang. I picked it up. It was Ron, the mechanic. “It’s toast. We can do two things. You can come and pick it up or I can dump it for you and make a few bucks from the parts to cover my cost.” Now, there’s a friend.
The kid’s case is similar, like I said. Only he’s a kid and not a car, and the people who have title ain’t being given any options. The mech.., err, doctors have taken a good look and said ,”This kid’s toast.” Well, they used the equivalent medical terms; persistent vegetative state, irreversible brain stem inactivity, that kind of stuff. Or as my father used to say about cars,”the frammis is disconnected from the goesinta.”
There’s a couple of stories in the papers about this. Mom and Dad don’t see things the way the doctors do. They want to take the child home so he can die there. To do that, they’d like the docs to perform a tracheotomy so he can breath more easily on his own. He had a sister who died the same way.
Seems like , since the kid is toast anyway, the docs won’t do that. I guess it’s a waste of time. When I was a younger guy, I once learned how to do an emergency tracheotomy with a penknife and a a ball point pen, to keep the hole opened. It buggers the mind to try to understand what’s the big deal with making a cut, a small cut since this is an eight month old kid, and sending him home to die.
One less dying kid, right? But they want to pull his breathing tube and keep him. And, the only thing I can figure out about their reason is for the parts to cover costs.
That’s the difference between kids and cars, and docs and mechanics, maybe. Mechanics let you take the car home.
Up there in Canada they already have what we’re supposed to get down here, free medical care, or government medical care or something. We sure got a lot to look forward to. Here’s a story about the whole thing. Seems the kid may have a chance to be transferred to some hospital in Michigan. They better hurry up…for a couple of reasons.
PS: I do like what they call the Death Panels up there. They call them Consent and Capacity Boards. Doesn’t look like Consent is much of a problem. There ain’t none necessary. And Capacity? Well that probably depends on how large the “parts” warehouse at the hospital is.