Tuesday, August 16, 2011

The Long Dying of Baby Andrew

The Long Dying of Baby Andrew

Evidently I am the only person who picked up this book and was utterly unable to finish reading it because I found the mother's attitude, not the doctors' treatment of Andrew, too painful to deal with. And, in the comments section of Nebraska "Forced to Watch Baby Die" story looks fishy , I have been soundly lambasted for my lack of compassion for Andrew's mom:
Jonathan Stinson said...

GrannyGrump. You missed the entire point of Long Dying of Baby Andrew. I guess you should have finished it. What you didn't know is that the baby was declared brain dead and the pro-life hospital decided that they could not remove the breathing tube. After the tube was finally removed, the hospital charged my parents hundreds of thousands of dollars for the cost of keeping the boy alive, when there was no change of survival. Don't be so cynical and assume that a parent is selfish just because of a traumatic event such as this one. There is a reason this book was required reading at medical schools around the country, including Harvard.


Sammi said...

Granny Grump...I, too, read "The Long Dying of Baby Andrew" (and finished it) and I do not recall seeing the word "abortion" ONCE in that book. The authors went through a Hellish experience, one that cannot be explained away by superstitious nitwits like yourself who declare that this baby must have "picked up on how much his mother hated him and just died." You clearly missed the multiple journal entries on her pumping breast milk for a vegetative fetus in hopes it would help him make it, the agony they endured in trying to get ANY information from doctors (as this was before patient and parental privilege rights) and the destruction that a selfish malevolent religious fanatic hospital placed on their marriage, finances, and lives. Shame on you.

I did that rarest of things and actually threw the book away because I couldn't stomach it. I was never able to even finish reading it. As I said in a comment:

[The author] wanted a baby, but ONLY a HEALTHY one that would fit in with her plans. When she suffered some sort of complication at about 25 weeks, she demanded an immediate abortion on the grounds that she had not PLANNED for pregnancy complications and refused outright to cope with them. The doctors instead tried to save the baby. She bitched the whole time about how they were ruining her plans.

When she went into labor and the baby was born prematurely, she started demanding that they just let the baby die. They instead brought the baby to the NICU, where at every step the mother did everything in her power to demand that the baby be just left to die already. The baby eventually did die, I'm guessing from the title, but I couldn't read the whole thing because I was so filled with hatred for and rage against that selfish woman who was constantly harping about how she didn't WANT a baby in the NICU, how she'd asked for a DEAD baby and how totally pissed off she was at people for refusing every step of the way to just kill the wretched thing and be done with it.

I image that at some point the baby picked up on how much his mother hated him and just died.

So, did I read an entirely different book that had been maliciously created to slander Andrew's mom? Or did any of you, reading this book, see what I saw?

I'm wondering if the doctors, as horrified as I was by the reactions of the parents, overreacted and went into overdrive and got caught up in a power struggle with the parents. But like I said, I found the parents so ghoulish that I couldn't force myself to read any further, so I never found out if the doctors became ghoulish in the opposite direction.

Or are we seeing confirmation bias? I had picked up the book wanting to get the perspective of a parent who had a tragic NICU outcome, since everybody I knew, though the experience was difficult, came home with a live and beloved baby. I had wondered if the parents' perspectives on whether the doctors were heroes or ghouls depended on the outcome for the child. But I got the feeling early on that any treatment of Andrew -- anything that deviated from the script his parents had prepared months earlier -- was going to be treated as a horror.

Again, anybody?


SuperGrouper said...

I saw on a history show years ago that Hilter was inspired to start culling the unfit by the "bravery" of two parents who wrote in to him requesting the right to kill their disabled child.... Ghoulish parents don't just hurt themselves. "Remove not the ancient landmarks and boundaries." When the floodgates are open, they're hard to close...

Kathy said...

Friends of mine had a baby die in the NICU. He was born apparently perfectly healthy (though slightly preterm -- by days, or at most a week or two -- still very likely to survive w/zero problems), but a few hours after birth suddenly stopped breathing and I think was clinically dead. They did everything they could for him, but nothing worked and he was removed from life support within a week, when it was obvious that there was no hope for his recovery. As far as I know, his parents have no complaints with the actions of the doctors.