One of the hardest decisions to make is the one about taking a loved one off life support after you have been told that all the tests show conclusively that s/he is brain dead and, if he lives, he will be a vegetable.
I have a Living Will stating that I don’t want to be resuscitated, nor do I want to live with brain damage.
That said, I have seen and heard about so many miracles in my life that I can understand why so many people have a difficult time letting go of a loved one.
One of the most common miracles is the one where someone has been in a coma for years and suddenly wakes up, fully functional, and the only evidence of the coma is that the person doesn’t know what year it is and has no knowledge of anything beyond the time that he went into the coma.
Just recently, I have seen evidence that medical science can be so terribly wrong. A man went into a coma for several months and they kept taking MRI’s every day and pronouncing him brain dead. His wife just knew that he wasn’t brain dead and that he was still “in there” and could hear her even though he couldn’t respond. The doctors said he had a solid white mass over his brain and that even if he woke up, he would be a vegetable.
He came out of the coma, has full recognition of his loved ones, and goes for rehabilitation and retraining of his brain. And, by the way, the solid white mass over his brain dissolved and disappeared.
And now there is this thirteen-year-old girl who went in for a tonsillectomy and went into a coma and the doctors are saying that she is brain dead and want to take her off life support. The family is saying no and they are allowed a limited amount of time to find a facility that will take care of her.
While I don’t want those kinds of measures taken for myself, I fully support the wishes of the family because, first of all, her loved ones aren’t ready to let go and, second, because I believe in miracles.
I don’t know what the final outcome will be but I think that this is a personal decision and her family’s wishes should be respected. They, like me, may also believe in the power of miracles.