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Dad Couldn't Pull Plug on Son

When his 18-year-old son met with a road accident in the United States in 1983 and went into a coma, American doctors advised Dr Tan (not his real name) to 'let your son go'.

After all, the young man had permanent brain damage and could survive only as a human vegetable, they said.

As a medical doctor, he knew what that meant. But as a father, he could not bring himself to pull the plug.

'As a doctor, I knew he had only a 4 per cent chance to live and even if he were to survive, he would be a vegetable. But this is my son. I couldn't let him die,' said the senior practitioner, who looks to be in his 70s and spoke on condition that his identity not be revealed.
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eulogos said...

The article doesn't say how they knew he was conscious if he didn't speak and couldn't move, and whether they found a way for him to communicate.

I think "locked in syndrome" is about the most terrifying thing I can imagine. Has any one read "The patient in bed ten" , about a woman who had Guillian Barre syndrome? That is usually temporary and she recovered to write about it.

It sounds as if these people took wonderful care of their son.
Many people though, would not have had the resources to do this, starting with the cost of the flight. They are going to be dependent on what the government, or their insurance companies, are willing to pay for. And some people who have the potential for consciousness and even higher functioning than this young man are going to have the plug pulled on them, no question about it. Keeping up the pressure on them with publicity may rein them in slightly for a while in doing this.
Susan Peterson

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