Saturday, December 24, 2011

Never Considered a Potential Organ Donor, 21-Year-Old Emerges From Coma

The story of Sam Schmid, a 21-year-old who awakened from a coma after he was nearly taken off life support, is inspirational. The reporting of the story, on the other hand, is abysmal.

Do a search on "21-year-old emerges from coma" and, between Poised to Donate Organs, Readied to Donate Organs, and doctors were preparing to turn him into spare parts, you'd think this story is about a patient jumping off the table moments before his organs were harvested.

Alternatively, if you look at the fact that Mr. Schmid was never considered a potential donor and his family was never approached about organ donation it's hard to miss the story of incompetent reporters who misrepresent crucial facts in a misguided attempt to fabricate lame, sensationalistic narratives :

PHOENIX (AP) — It will be a special Christmas for the family of a 21-year-old University of Arizona student who was nearly taken off life support before awaking from a coma.

Sam Schmid was walking and speaking Friday at a Phoenix hospital. Dressed in a T-shirt, shorts and sneakers, he was able to use a walker and talk in brief sentences.

"Right now, I'm feeling all right ... except for the rehabilitation, I'm feeling pretty good," Schmid said.

Doctors at Barrow Neurological Institute say Schmid has a long recovery ahead of him to regain full speech, balance and memory abilities.

Schmid was involved in an Oct. 19 car crash in Tucson that left him with a brain aneurysm, among other life-threatening injuries. Because of the complexity of his brain injury, Schmid was flown to Phoenix.

He underwent surgery performed by Dr. Robert Spetzler. With no responsive signs, staff discussed taking Schmid off life support.

"They never approached me to say would I donate his organs," said Susan Regan, Schmid's mother. "The people that were surrounding us were just asking about Sam, his quality of life, what would Sam want if we had to come to a difficult decision."

Spetzler said Schmid was never officially classified as a potential organ donor. And after an MRI scan showed he wasn't at a point of no hope of survival, Spetzler recommended keeping him alive for one more week.

Then on Oct. 24, Schmid shocked doctors by following commands to hold up two fingers.

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1 Comments:

At 11:48 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ah men! I agree fully. The headlines were incredibly IRRESPONSIBLE journalism and will create undue fear that doctors will pull organs from people who are not brain dead. It made it sound like he was cleared for organ donation, when in fact the question had never even been ASKED of the family yet, and he HAD NOT beed declared DEAD. Organs are only harvested from those declared clinically dead. This article does a huge disservice to the American people.

 

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