Wednesday, September 03, 2008

What will you do? (2)

Mr. Lim, your 60 year old church elder has a stroke and is totally dependent on a ventilator in the ICU of a private hospital. The doctors have told Mrs. Lim that her husband is already brain dead and asked her to make a decision to allow them to switch off the ventilator, and for the doctors to harvest his organs for donation. Three of her six children are against her making such a decision, alleging that she wants to kill their father. A group of your church members have implied that she is guilty of not having enough faith for God to heal her husband.

What will you do in such a situation?

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Blogger doc said...

dear Alex,

i doubt if there's a right answer to this issue, but i speak from a medic's simplistic viewpoint.

as a friend of Mr Lim, i need to explain to the children the reality/legality of brain death & the pros & cons of organ donation, & take questions as well. once they understand the real issues, then there will be less misconception about "pulling the plug" & "mutilating the body", 2 terms that are often bandied around in such circumstances. the cost of ICU stay should not be brought up until the children themselves ask about it, which shouldn't take too long when they are presented with progress payment requests.

the dissenting church members are another issue altogether, but again all a result of misconceptions about life & death. they need to know that it is lawful to do good & that there's a time to live & a time to die.

all these can be alleviated had there been discussions in the 1st place, instead of resorting to insinuations.

4:18 PM  
Anonymous Alwyn said...

i'd encourage her to gently reaffirm her love for all her children, for her prolonging-death husband, to assure them that whilst the decision is difficult she has accepted her hubby's death and wants the community to benefit somehow - to make his death an occasion for healing others.

i'd also recommend that she hosts a lunch/dinner for the church members, to re-build the relationship, to re-commit the church to helping families and unwell ppl, to more vigorously share and live the faith.

reconciliation, love and other-centered activity...i'd imagine these elements would elevate Christian ethics to a wonderful level...2Cor 5:20

12:41 AM  

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