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Maria Korp removed from feeding tube

Discussion in 'Alley of Dangerous Angles' started by NonSequitur, Jul 27, 2005.

  1. NonSequitur Gems: 19/31
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    After the furore surrounding the Schiavo case in the US, a similar matter has arisen in Australia. These two reports, from The Age and the Herald-Sun cover the matter in more depth, with links to other stories. This one is of particular interest as it details a previously unmentioned case from 2003.

    However, a brief synopsis of the Korp case is called for:

    Maria Korp was attacked by her husband's mistress, choked and left for dead in the boot of a car. She was found alive after a couple of days, but was in a coma and has not since regained consciousness. She is currently in a persistent vegetative state. (If anyone has information which I have not included, please correct me).

    Now, finally, before I sign off - PLEASE do not turn this into another moral-high-ground "murderers versus religion" flame-fest. The facts of the matter are different in this case. Joe Korp (Maria's husband) is on trial for being an accessory to attempted murder (IIRC) and his now-former mistress has been found guilty and sentenced for attempted murder.

    I posted this because I wanted to discuss the fine lines and ethical problems of removing treatment from PVS patients who cannot communicate but whose lives are not endangered except by the removal of a feeding tube.

    EDIT: Particularly relevant is the point that the removal of the tube will inevitably lead to death, while Korp's husband may face murder charges when Korp dies. While he was probably involved in the attack, it can be argued to fly in the face of causation to go for a murder charge in this case.

    [ July 27, 2005, 05:30: Message edited by: NonSequitur ]
     
  2. lasgalen Gems: 3/31
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    The facts are sketchy in the coverage of this case; if you read statements by the public advocate (who made the decision after consultation with her family, Catholic priest and two separate teams of medicos) he regrets giving any confidential medical information to the media to have to justify his decision. It does however sound like she will deteriorate even if fed: removing the tube is merely shortening the dying process.
    Realistically, what is done in these cases depends very much on the wishes of the family. The problems arise when families are divided and various members have their own agenda. If a person has left an advance directive of some kind it can help. I have an opinion on what I would want done if I were in this condition, and have made it clear to my family - to urge that opinion on others is (I believe) inappropriate.
     
  3. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

    Aldeth the Foppish Idiot Armed with My Mallet O' Thinking Veteran

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    It really should depend on the wishes of the person, which emphasizes the importance of a living will. For example, both of my parents have listed me as their legal agent in case of incapacitation. (Well, technically they have each other first, and me second. Once one of them dies or in case both are simultaneously incapacitated I am first.) They have expressed their wishes to me, and I have authority to oversee their medical treatment (or refusal) if they are unable to decide for themselves.
     
  4. T2Bruno

    T2Bruno The only source of knowledge is experience Distinguished Member ★ SPS Account Holder Adored Veteran New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    I think they need to convict him of attempted murder before doing anything to her. Going for a murder conviction when the state (or another family member) pulls the plug is a bit of a stretch.
     
  5. chevalier

    chevalier Knight of Everfull Chalice ★ SPS Account Holder Veteran

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    If the cause of her death is going to be recorded as the assault and not tube removal, then, logically, the assault is an accomplished murder rather than an attempt.

    If they don't get a murder charge but only attempted murder, that will mean the life has been terminated at the point of tube removal and said tube removal has been the result of a decision based upon certain criteria (the ability to communicate, the scope of brain damage) and not the assault itself.

    Let's not be kids and have the guts to name our actions by their proper name instead of kidding around.
     
  6. T2Bruno

    T2Bruno The only source of knowledge is experience Distinguished Member ★ SPS Account Holder Adored Veteran New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    I agree with you chev, but I think the issue could be confused by a good defense attorney and the scum could walk -- but then again, the trial's not in America.
     
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