June 17, 2020 at 1:30 pm #25790Colleen SteeleKeymaster
There is a news story circulating about a woman in her 20’s who received a double-lung transplant after Covid-19 left her with irreversible damage and on life-saving machines for a month. She was too sick to wake to give consent to receive a transplant, so her family had to give it.
What are your thoughts about this?
I think it inspires some important questions and conversation. Proceeding with transplant is a complicated and difficult decision to make. The recipient faces a lot of responsibility and challenges post-transplant. I’m so happy for this young woman and her family that she has been given this 2nd chance at life, but what are your thoughts regarding her not being able to provide consent on her own?
Some families prepare before the worst happens by discussing a DNR and organ donation but maybe the question, “Would you want to receive a transplant,” should be asked as well?
June 18, 2020 at 5:44 pm #25818Nathan YoungParticipant
While I think that a everyone should have the right to consent to a major procedure like a double lung transplant. However, I do believe that their are situations where someone needs to step in and make the choice for the patient. This is especially true if the patient is not in a position to give consent especially if the patient did not have a DNR, Will, or Advance Directives.
In that situation someone needs to step in to make the difficult decision to decide between a lung transplant, leaving the patient on life support, or worse to make the decision to remove the life-support so that the patient can pass away.
It’s a tough call no matter how you look at it and a huge risk as the wrong decision can have extremely negative results. So each scenario needs to be carefully thought about by whoever is forced to make those decisions whether its a family member or medical staff. Either way the benefits vs the risk of all of those choices need to be weighed.
For me I would want to live so I would be forever grateful for the transplant even though there is no guarantee of survival with that either.
June 18, 2020 at 5:47 pm #25819Jen CuevaKeymaster
Wow, @colleensteele, what an interesting and inspiring story. I had not seen this story. This certainly is amazing, but I wonder if she was asked what she would say. I think that you bring up a high point of discussion. Advance directives, donor status, and other information are things that some plan for. Transplant should be added.
You have lived through this process, and I am sure that it is overwhelming. This decision is a lifelong decision. How did you go about this with Cullen being so young? I know that you tend to ask his permission for everything, but it must have been a lot of prayers and stress pre and post-transplant.
June 19, 2020 at 12:27 pm #25828Jen CuevaKeymaster
So true, @nathan-young. No matter how you put it, this has to be a difficult decision. Doctors and family members alike. I worked in hospice care before PH. It did not make this any easier on me when I have been a part of the decision-maker with my loved ones.
In this case, I think a second chance of life was the right decision. In most instances, this would be true. But not all feel the same. As colleen shares, the post-transplant life is a separate journey in itself.
What would you do if this was you? I have a young daughter in her 20s. I would certainly agree to life-saving measures for her if this were to be the case. We all want the best for our loved ones.
How many are donors here, and do you have specifics about life-sustaining measures?
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