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"Will They Ever Pull the Plug?"
Pages 3 (753 words)
On February 21st, the Methodist Hospital took in a patient, Elmer Beard, an 81-year-old man, after suffering a massive stroke. The stroke left him in a comma and almost completely paralyzed.
Elmer had been on admission at the same hospital for 44 days in January and February for treatment of rheumatoid arthritis, prostate cancer, diabetes, angina, congestive heart symptoms, and gallstones. A few days after the hospital discharged him, the stroke hit him. Elmer’s wife of 50 years, Wilma Beard, is requesting the hospital to remove her husband from the life support system and spare him the torture of living as a vegetable, recognizing no one and being given food by a pipe through his nose. She says that the comma has now persisted for three weeks, and there is no hope of Elmer recovering. Wilma says that having spent 50 years married to him; she is much attached to Elmer and his pitiful condition is causing her a lot of misery. The internist attending to Elmer, Dr. James A. Duncan, does not agree with Wilma and will not remove Elmer from the respirator and let him die. Dr. Duncan has consulted two other specialists regarding the best decision to take, due to the sensitivity of the case. ...
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