Doctor Alarmed By How Little Time Family Needed To Decide To Pull Plug On Grandfather

Illustration for article titled Doctor Alarmed By How Little Time Family Needed To Decide To Pull Plug On Grandfatherem/em

ST. PAUL, MN—Taken aback by the lack of questions and discussion, Dr. Angela Rosen of St. Joseph’s Hospital confirmed Tuesday that she was distressed by how quickly the family of 96-year-old Norman Green arrived at the decision to terminate end-of-life care for the ailing World War II veteran. “Before I even had time to finish listing all of Mr. Green’s treatment options, the family was expressing unanimous agreement that his life support should pretty much be yanked immediately,” said a visibly concerned Dr. Rosen, noting that despite there being no realistic chance of life without mechanical assistance for their grandfather—a man who earned three Purple Hearts while serving under General Patton and was married to his wife for 67 years—nobody in the family had bothered to ask. “You’d think that since we’re talking about a man who lived for nearly a century, someone in his rather extensive family would have had a tougher time making the choice to pull the plug. They didn’t huddle or really even so much as look at each other before making that call. Two minutes after that, they were chatting away with each other as if nothing major had happened.” No specific time has yet been slated for Norman Green’s disconnection from life support equipment as members of the family were still conflicted regarding which one of them would actually get to pull the plug.


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