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Posts Tagged ‘Medicine’

.It’s not even “mostly dead.” 

From Seattle (via Houston) comes another story of a patient misdiagnosed as brain dead.  Unlike previous stories I’ve posted, this one has the organ harvesters as the heroes.

Karen Arbogast was a wife, mother and grandmother who volunteered as an EMT in the Tri-Cities area.On Tuesday, she was dead.

On Wednesday, she was alive.

Arbogast, 51, was involved in a three-vehicle crash early Tuesday evening at Highway 395 and Hildebrand Road in the Tri-Cities area.

The Washington State Patrol said a FedEx delivery truck struck a Toyota Camry after running a red light on Highway 395. The truck then slammed into the driver’s side of the Mercury Monterey van.

Arbogast was unconscious but breathing and taken to Kennewick General Hospital, said investigators.

“We couldn’t believe that this just happened,” said her daughter Candice Duncan, who rushed with other family to be by her mother’s side. “She’s always, always, thought of other people first.”

But relatives said doctors in Kennewick told them the crash had left her brain-dead, or at least, with no brain activity.

“[It was] sad to see Mom being in that kind of state,” said her son, Scott Magnuson.

Because Karen is registered as an organ donor, her husband, Carl, signed release forms. Doctors left her on life support so they could fly her to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle for the organ harvesting procedure.

“My dad took off her wedding rings and all that stuff, and we all said goodbye,” said Duncan.

“And it was hard,” said Magnuson. “I didn’t really say goodbye because I still had hope, you know. I just kind of got down next to her and kissed her forehead and said, ‘I hope you recover.'”

Little did he know his words would be prophetic. The first word from Harborview came early Wednesday morning, said Carl’s brother Perry Arbogast.

“He’s there sitting at his chair at 2:30 in the morning,” said Perry, “and the doctor calls and says … ‘we have signs of life.'”

Ten hours after the crash, Harborview had found brain activity. They were calling, asking if they could perform surgery, said Perry.

“From being to the depths of losing your wife after 31 years, and then to find hope that she’s still alive?” he said.

As shocked family members drove to Seattle from Hermiston and Umatilla, Oregon, doctors removed a blood clot from Karen’s brain and cut into her skull to relieve pressure, said relatives.

And it appears to be working. As of Thursday night, Karen Arbogast’s condition has been upgraded to serious, said a hospital spokesperson. Though unconscious, she’s even moving.

“Today, she moved her upper shoulder and she wiggled her toes on her right side and her irises are responding to light,” said Duncan. He said Karen was even able to breathe on her own for 45 minutes.

Perry said a neurologist told them it is actually not unusual for victims to have no detectable brain activity for several hours after major trauma, but he’s calling it something akin to a miracle, though she’s not out of the woods yet.

“Had they not sent her here to harvest the organs they would not have found out she was alive,” said Perry Arbogast. “I think that’s remarkable.”

Family members said doctors are still giving Karen just a 25 percent chance of regaining consciousness. But for now, Duncan said she’s not worried about her mother dying anymore.

“My mom has just always been there for me and been a pillar of strength for me,” said Candice, who said people around the country have been praying for Karen’s recovery. “Mom taught me to hold on to that and never let go.”

http://www.khou.com/news/Woman-makes-miraculous-comeback-from-brain-death-diagnosis-105533163.html

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A couple news articles prompted my short posting today.

First up. 

The news this week that the actor, Neil Patrick Harris and his gay partner have become the parents of twins.  According to People Magazine, a boy and girl twin were “welcomed home” on Oct. 12th, apparently the result of some sort of surrogate situation.  I myself stumbled upon the news via Twitter, where Harris announced the arrival:  

Babies!! On 10/12, Gideon Scott and Harper Grace entered the Burtka-Harris fold. All of us are happy, healthy, tired, and a little pukey. 5:00 PM Oct 15th via Twitterrific

 My first thought was confusion, because I vaguely remember that Neil Patrick Harris had declared himself a homosexual.  Then I realized that yes, it was Harris and his gay partner.  The next twitter from NPH was:

Youngsters. They cry a lot. I thought it was just a long bit that they were doing. I keep saying, “Annnnd, scene!”… but nothing happens. 10:40 PM Oct 16th via web

At this point, I got rather sad, thinking of these two little children, infants, being raised by these two hapless men, without the necessary mothering touch of a woman.  No matter how sensitive and caring these two men are, neither can replace the soft embrace of a woman.  And I dunno.  It made me profoundly sad for these two babies.

But I should not worry as an anonymous source (the ubiquitous “close to the actor” friend) assures us that “Neil and David are going to make sure their kids have a normal childhood”. 

So there you go.  I feel much better now.

Second.

The immoral practice of invitro fertilization continues to confound states, courts and ethicists.  Funny how when we encourage selfish societal behavior we get such a mess to clean up. 

Seems that IVF has resulted in a large number of posthumous births, and consequently legal issues of inheritance.   If a baby is born after the parent’s death, sometimes without the prior or specific authorization of the parent, what legal relationship exists between the dead “parent” and the child?  Well, you’ll be assured to know that this is a rising legal field and we already have attorneys specializing in this.  This is really a great step forward for the neglected segment of our society: let’s call them “embryonic gold-diggers” who can be recognized in the wills of well-to-do dead folks by using the foolishly left behind eggs and embryos to give birth to children claimants. 

I wanted to add sarcastically to this post something along the lines of “well, at least the courts have gotten the mechanisms in place to deal with the evolution of these moral quagmires” what with the rise of invitro fertilizations, test tube babies, gay parenting, surrogacy, abortion on demand, no fault divorces, and contraception.  Then I realized that I just summed up history of the slippery slope we’ve been sliding down for 50+ years.  It’s a long grey line, and its getting longer and greyer.

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The mother of the child who survived his abortion attempt for two days, while being left alone in an Italian hospital without care, was allowed to have a late term abortion under Italian law because pre-natal scans indicated the baby had a “disability.”  What was the disability that warranted the murder of this little boy?

A cleft palate.

Nurse and activist Jill Stanek opines that born alive infants who are left to die by hospitals, abortion doctors and abortion mill workers not only happens every day, she “would even venture to say this is a worldwide epidemic.”

Read her report here.

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From the UK Telegraph comes another horrific failed abortion story

The 22-week infant died one day later in intensive care at a hospital in the mother’s home town of Rossano in southern Italy.

The mother, pregnant for the first time, had opted for an abortion after prenatal scans suggested that her baby was disabled.

However, the infant survived the procedure, carried out on Saturday in the Rossano Calabro hospital, and was left by doctors to die.

He was discovered alive the following day – some 20 hours after the operation – by Father Antonio Martello, the hospital chaplain, who had gone to pray beside his body.

He found that the baby, wrapped in a sheet with his umbilical cord still attached, was moving and breathing.

The priest raised the alarm and doctors immediately arranged for the infant to be taken to a specialist neo-natal unit at the neighbouring Cosenza hospital, where he died on Monday morning.

Italian police are investigating the case for “homicide” because infanticide is illegal in Italy.

The law means that doctors have had an obligation to try to preserve the life of the child once he had survived the abortion.

The Italian government is also considering an inquiry into the conduct of the hospital staff.

Eugenia Roccella, the under-secretary of state in the health department, on Wednesday night promised a government inquiry into the incident.

“The minister of health will send inspectors to the hospital in Rossano Calabro to investigate what actually happened, and to see if the Law 194, which prohibits abortion when there is a possibility of the foetus living separately from the mother, and permits it only when the continuation of the pregnancy would result in life-threatening danger to the mother.”

She said that if initial information is correct, “this would be a case of deliberate abandonment of a seriously premature neonate, possibly also with some form of disability, an act contrary to any sense of human compassion but also of any accepted professional medical practice”.

She added: “We must remember that a baby, once born, is an Italian citizen equal to all the others, and is entitled to all fundamental rights, including the right to health and therefore to be given full support.”

The case has reignited controversy on the legality of abortion in the Roman Catholic country.

It could also raise questions in Britain over the legal upper limits for abortion and the viability of the foetus – or its ability to survive outside of the womb.

A spokesman for the ProLife Alliance said: “There cannot be anybody in the world who is not horrified by a story like this nor anybody in the UK who would not support a massive reduction in the upper limit for abortion.”

Most abortions at 22 weeks simply involve the induction of the birth which normally results in the death of a young foetus.

The case is causing uproar in Italy because it is the second involving a foetus of that age surviving the procedure in just three years.

The other involved a baby in Florence who weighed just 17oz when he was aborted at 22 weeks because of a suspected genetic disorder, but lived for three days.

Since 1978, abortion has been available on demand in Italy in the first three months of pregnancy but is restricted to specific circumstances – such as disability- in the second trimester. The government is considering a review of the working of the laws.

The case also comes as figures in Britain revealed last week that the number of babies born weighing only 2lbs has more than doubled in just two years.

Yet the proportion of tiny babies born stillborn has nearly halved, the health service statistics have shown.

The figures do not reveal at what stage the babies were born but a child weighing under 2lbs is likely to have been born at least three months early.

They will inevitably include some born alive at an age when they could, in other circumstances, have been aborted.

More than 200,000 abortions are performed each year, most for non-medical reasons within the legal upper limit of 24 weeks gestation.

The increasing number of babies surviving below 24 weeks, partly because of advances in medicine, has led to widespread calls for the legal upper limit to be further reduced.

Attempts to lower the limit failed in Parliament in 2008.

In 2005 a baby boy in Manchester was born alive at 24 weeks after surviving three attempts to abort him. He is now a five-year-old schoolboy.  (emphasis mine)

The lies we tell to cover up the other lies and sins we want to keep hidden.  That is what is going on in the murderous world of abortion providers.  We are no longer on the slippery slope; we are smack in the middle of the bogs of evil and we are sinking.  All the while, Satan’s minions are telling us how “progressive” we are becoming, that we are throwing off the shackles of religion for the supreme good of the intellectual and humanistic.  I bet if you ask the 5 year old schoolboy in Manchester who survived 3 attempts on his life, he would have a different opinion as to whether or not he is a human being, and if you asked whoever is loving and raising that child now, I am certain they would say that his life is valid.  He had to fight for his life, as this poor little infant did, alone and in pain.   Fighting for your life means…that you are alive.

We must pray an end to this evil.  Pray brethren, pray.

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For our Holy Week, an uplifting story of a selfless conversion. Here is a story of a grandmother who has decided that 15 years of cancer treatment is enough, and that it’s time to distribute her wealth to those in need around her. 

After 15 years spent battling oral cancer, Washington resident Sonya Beard is giving up her fight — in order to give back to her community.

Fifteen years. That’s how long 74-year-old Sonya Beard has been fighting oral cancer. But now, after multiple surgeries and treatments, she says she has had enough. While her doctors wanted her to start radiation therapy, Beard is instead enjoying the time she has left, and making a huge difference in her community. She has already donated hundreds of thousands of dollars from her life savings to several organizations near her Mount Vernon, Wash., home, and she’s not done yet.

 Giving Back

A lifelong reader, Sonya’s first donation was $500,000 to the Mount Vernon City Library. In an exclusive interview with Tonic, she says that reading made her “the cornerstone of what I am today. I wouldn’t have been able to travel or do the things I have done without my love of books.”

As a child, Beard and family would go to the library on Saturday to get their books for the week. “I got to the point where I was obnoxious with my mother about trying to get my nose out of a book.” She has since instilled “a passion for books and reading” in her four grandchildren.

Beard couldn’t attend the library meeting when her donation was announced, but she finally made it down there on Monday. “I went this afternoon and I’m just thrilled to death with what they’re going to be able to do” with her donation, she says. The library is planning a major expansion that might not have been possible without Beard’s donation.

Thinking Forward

Beard has also donated $165,000 to Skagit Valley Hospital, also located in Mount Vernon, so they can purchase hyperbaric oxygen therapy equipment to help patients recover from surgeries like the ones Beard has endured. Until this, the closest hyperbaric equipment was in Seattle, more than 60 miles away.

“I found it necessary to undergo the treatment after one of my surgeries, but I was not able to travel,” she says. “I had to rent an apartment down there for six weeks. It’s a terrible handicap for a person to have to move themselves to another area. A lot of people in Mount Vernon don’t have the means to relocate themselves down there. I knew we had patients that needed it here and they couldn’t afford it.”

Beard has been pushing the hospital to get the new equipment up and running quickly. “I was just down there to see the progress on the oxygen chamber. They’re moving fast. They’re remodeling the wound center now, and we’re hoping for an opening in June.”

More to Come

Her battle with cancer has also inspired her to create a foundation, which will be established where she had her surgeries at the University of Washington Medical Center, after her death. “You may not know this,” she says, “but people with oral cancer are not reimbursed by insurance for dental prostheses. I set up in my will that they’ll have a foundation that will be able to pay for people who need these prostheses.”

Beard was able to purchase her own prosthesis, but it had to be removed just five months later when her doctors found more cancer. “I spent over $20,000 for a prosthesis I only had for five months. That was very discouraging to think that this might happen to someone else. It’s not right to say that this is cosmetic when it’s the only means you have for eating. There’s way too many people walking around without teeth because they won’t be able to pay for it.”

Beard’s charitable contributions don’t end there. She just paid off the mortgage at Bethany Convent Church, her church of the last ten years, and she is considering additional donations in her town. “My way is to help as many as I possibly can,” she says. “And if that helps future generations as well, that’s even better.”

A Positive Outlook

Despite her cancers, which also includes a battle with breast cancer eight years ago, Beard remains a positive person who enjoys her life. “It’s become a way of life,” she says of her cancer. “But really, other people have it worse. So we won’t dwell on that,” she laughs.

“I have been extremely fortunate with my life,” she says. “I never thought I would be in a position to do something like this. I don’t have the education, but somehow I did it.”

But Beard did learn from the people she met in her life. She learned how to invest when she worked as secretary for stockbrokers and bankers, a talent that has made these current donations possible.

In an interview with local KOMO News, Beard said, “I’m not a wealthy person, I’m not a famous person — but I feel like if I can stimulate one person to get the ball rolling then we can make a difference.”

Beard’s husband passed away 11 years ago, leaving her with three step-sons she considers “her wonderful boys.” “They’ve given me four wonderful grandchildren,” she says. “My life is complete with them.”

I would be very interested to know how much faith played a role in this woman’s decision.  I bet alot.  Unfortunately, it wasn’t something the writer covered. 

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Do you ever get tired of politicians, liberals, malcontents and and agitators playing the “Catholic” card?  For instance, doesn’t it make you cringe when the evening news leads off with “Catholic Nuns Support the President’s Health Care Bill!” — the same evening news that buried the USCCB statement opposing the same health care bill?

I think the time has come for the Vatican to trademark the word “Catholic”.  Why not?  Think of how gloriously empowering that would be!  And wouldn’t the coolest thing ever be if the Bishops or the Vatican or the CDF or Pope could issue a cease-and-desist letter to all vocally defiant Catholics in the public sphere telling them they are no longer allowed to represent themselves using the term, Catholic®?  Such a letter, in my happy daydream, goes something like this:

We are the law firm of Aquinas and More and we represent the intellectual property rights of the Holy Catholic® Church.  Your recent use of the trademark, Catholic® on the Sunday morning talk show, Meet the Liberal Press, to add bonafides to your support of [insert morally repugnant position here] infringes on our rights to this trademark and you are hereby ordered to cease and desist from all other uses of our trademark, Catholic®.  Further trademark infringement of our mark, Catholic® will result in legal action, which may result in treble damages.  On behalf of  the Holy Catholic® Church, we appreciate your attention to this matter.”

Here are some other recent examples of the highjacking of the Catholic name in order to further a policy that has been rejected by the Bishops, who – if you do  not know – are responsible for the doctrinal teaching of all faithful Catholics and whose teachings we are required to follow, not ignore, snub, circumvent, twist around, dismiss, or roll our eyes at.

What riles me most about all of this is that the defiant, disobedient kids get all the attention from the press.  Not the Bishops (unless to criticize them) or the faithful clergy and laity. I know why that is: it’s because it furthers the agenda that the liberal press wants, which is bigger government, socialization of health care, an expansion of abortion rights.  But the fact the the Magisterium teaching of the Church is shuffled off to the bottom of the articles, if mentioned at all, really gets my goat. 

I really cannot wait to take over from the Baby Boomers and whatever the heck the generation before them was called.  We want our Church back, “thank you very much for your time and effort, please pick up a Rosary, a carnation and a free missal on your way out the door.”

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“If you commodify body parts, including reproductive materials, who’s going to be selling them? It’s going to be the poor. And who’s going to be buying them? It’s going to be rich people,” Jonathan D. Moreno, a University of Pennsylvania bioethicist, told The Washington Post.

“You’re gradually going down a slippery slope that not only undermines respect for certain body parts but eventually whole bodies of, say, people who are very old or very sick or very poor,” he said.

Do you feel that warm gunky sludge on your backside?  you know, from tumbling down the slippery slope?

keep finding these kinds of stories, the kinds of stories that the Church warned about years ago, but were dismissed as rubbish and “something that will *never* happen.”  Well…it’s happened.  An American fertility clinic is offering free eggs to a lucky winner in Great Britain.  If you read the article, you learn that actually this has been going on for some time and that now Quebec will be offering free eggs at an annual taxpayer cost of $80 million.   Our poor Catholic brothers and sisters in Canada, being forced to pay for the commodification of human life.  

To repeat what I said in a prior post:

Each hopeful would-be parent is not owed a child by nature.  As the Church teaches:

2378 A child is not something owed to one, but is a gift. The “supreme gift of marriage” is a human person. A child may not be considered a piece of property, an idea to which an alleged “right to a child” would lead. In this area, only the child possesses genuine rights: the right “to be the fruit of the specific act of the conjugal love of his parents,” and “the right to be respected as a person from the moment of his conception.”  (Catechism of the Catholic Church)

(If you do not know it, the Church condemns as a moral evil, IVF procedures.  See DONUM VITAE.  (For an explanation of the teachings, I recommend this article.)

Full article on AOL here.

St. Joseph, pray for us.  

(see this and this for my previous posts)

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