Life support may be cut based on pay, prognosis
st. luke notified jannette nikolouzos in a letter dated march 1 that she would withdraw life-sustaining care for her husband of 34 years in 10 days, which would be friday. Mario Caballero, the attorney representing the family, said he is seeking an extension of at least two weeks to give the man more time to get better and his family more time to find an alternative facility. p>
gentleman said he would discuss that with the hospital’s attorneys today.
pate said he couldn’t address the nikolouzos case specifically because he doesn’t have permission from the family, but he could talk about the situation in general.
“If all the doctors agree that the patient has an irreversible and terminal illness,” he said, “we’re not going to drag this out forever…
“When the hospital is really ok and the care is useless… you’re not going to find many hospitals or long-term acute care facilities (that) want to take that case,” he said. “Any facility that is going to receive a patient in that condition… is going to want to get paid for it, of course.”
patient showed emotion
spiro nikolouzos, a retired electrical engineer from an oil drilling company, has been an invalid since 2001, when he experienced a shunt-related hemorrhage in his brain. Jannette Nikolouzos, 58, had cared for her husband at her Friendswood home, feeding him through a stomach tube. Her husband couldn’t speak, she said, but he recognized family members and showed emotion.
on Feb. on january 10, the area around the tube began to bleed and nikolouzos took her husband to the street. luke’s for emergency care. Early the next morning, she told her, the hospital called and said she had “scrambled” and stopped breathing and had to be placed on a ventilator.
A neurologist told him that he is not brain dead and that the part of the brain that controls breathing is still working. Although his eyes were open and staring when he was first placed on the ventilator, he began to blink, he said.
a missed opportunity
levetown said that when families and hospitals take their disagreements to court, it often means the hospital has missed an important opportunity in emotional healing for the family.
Aggressive medical care often lacks empathy for family members and recognition of pain, he said.
“The acknowledgment of ‘you clearly love your husband very much. You’ve put up a good fight,'” makes all the difference, she said. Levetown also tells families, “Anything that is beneficial, they have made sure you get it. We all want you to get better…how can we best honor this man…as we accompany him on his next journey? “.
the law allows removal
a similar case is still in court. Texas Children’s Hospital wants to discontinue life support for 5-month-old Sun Hudson, who was diagnosed shortly after birth with a deadly form of dwarfism. Her mother, Wanda Hudson, wants her son’s care to continue at the hospital.
On Wednesday, a judge will consider whether Harris County Probate Court Judge William McCulloch can stay on Hudson’s case. Caballero, who represents Wanda Hudson, filed a motion to have McCulloch withdraw from the case after making what Caballero said were prejudicial statements.