CRIME Hospital Left Quadriplegic With COVID-19 to Die Because He Lacked “Quality of Life”

Cardinal

Snark: a higher form of communication
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A disabled man with COVID-19 was left to die by a Texas hospital because the state deemed his “quality of life” not worth preserving.
Michael Hickson, 46, was in St. David’s South Austin Medical Center, suffering from COVID-19 and pneumonia, which he caught from a staff member at the nursing home where he was living as a result of his disabilities. In 2017, he had a heart attack while driving his wife, Melissa, to work; when CPR was administered to him, his brain suffered from oxygen deprivation, making him a quadriplegic.
According to Texas Right to Life, “Michael was conscious and alert but could not communicate verbally. He responded to jokes, shook his head, and puckered his lips on a FaceTime call when Melissa requested a kiss. Melissa asked if she could pray with her husband and their children, to which he nodded ‘yes.’”


Nevertheless, after just a few days, physicians at St. David’s decided treating Michael would be “futile” and wanted to let him die because, even if he survived, he would have a poor “quality of life,” according to a recorded telephone conversation between Melissa and one of the doctors.
“So as of right now, his quality of life — he doesn’t have much of one,” the doctor told Melissa.
“What do you mean?” she asked. “Because he’s paralyzed with a brain injury, he doesn’t have quality of life?”
“Correct,” replied the doctor.
“Who gets to make that decision whether somebody’s quality of life, if they have a disability, that their quality of life is not good?” she inquired.

The doctor said that while it wasn’t his decision to make, it ultimately came down to “will [treatment] improve [Michael’s] quality of life, and the answer is no.”
“Why wouldn’t it?” Melissa shot back. “Being able to live isn’t improving the quality of life?”
The doctor went on to explain that the hospital had experienced many deaths from COVID-19 and that he knew of only three patients who had survived, all of whom were young and otherwise healthy. “However,” he continued, “[Michael’s] quality of life is different from theirs. They were walking and talking people.”

“At this point, we are going to do what we feel is best for him along with the state and this is what we decided,” said the doctor.
“So the fact that you are killing someone doesn’t make sense in your mind?” Melissa asked.
“We,” the doctor replied, “don’t think of it as killing.”
Later, he asserted, “This is the decision between the medical community and the state.”
“And the state,” said Melissa. “Forget about his wife and his family and his five kids.”

That is exactly what the hospital did. While Melissa was battling another family member in court over who would be Michael’s permanent guardian, “a judge named an Austin-area organization called Family Eldercare as temporary guardian over Michael,” wrote Texas Right to Life. “Family Eldercare granted the doctor’s orders to not treat Michael and instead place him in hospice.”
On June 11, Michael Hickson died, a victim not so much of COVID-19 but of a system that considers disabled individuals less valuable than “walking and talking people.”

St. David’s issued a statement on the matter Saturday: “The loss of life is tragic under any circumstances. In Mr. Hickson’s situation, his court-appointed guardian (who was granted decision-making authority in place of his spouse) made the decision in collaboration with the medical team to discontinue invasive care. This is always a difficult decision for all involved. We extend our deepest sympathies to Mr. Hickson’s family and loved ones and to all who are grieving his loss.”

The next day, members of disability-rights group Americans Disabled for Attendant Programs Today (ADAPT) of Texas protested outside St. David’s. One protester’s sign read “DISABLED NOT DISPOSABLE.” Another’s called for “JUSTICE [for] MICHEAL[sic] HICKSON.”
“I’m struggling to understand how and why this could ever happen. I lost my best friend, my better half, the other half of my heart,” Melissa told Texas Right to Life. “I was stripped of my rights as a wife and left helplessly watching my husband be executed…. I have no other words to express how I feel today except hurt, angry, and frustrated.”
 

packyderms_wife

Neither here nor there.
That is exactly what the hospital did. While Melissa was battling another family member in court over who would be Michael’s permanent guardian, “a judge named an Austin-area organization called Family Eldercare as temporary guardian over Michael,” wrote Texas Right to Life. “Family Eldercare granted the doctor’s orders to not treat Michael and instead place him in hospice.”

On June 11, Michael Hickson died, a victim not so much of COVID-19 but of a system that considers disabled individuals less valuable than “walking and talking people.”
I. there must have been a lot of money involved to have another family member fighting for guardianship over Michael. 2. That would be one dead family member and soon if this happened to me.
 

FREEBIRD

Has No Life - Lives on TB
OP does not surprise me AT ALL.

Doctors, hospitals, insurance companies, and the state have played God for decades, and particularly with the disabled and elderly.

Why do you think there was such a push to send Covid patients back to nursing homes? It was about jacking numbers up as a power grab, sure, but the people calling the shots see getting rid of "useless eaters" as a feature, not a bug.
 

MaisieD

Contributing Member
Now it begins, selective death by doctors. Kinda like if you're an essential human or a sickly burden on society.
I never thought I'd live to see our country turn on itself. So much hate and distrust. A house divided cannot stand. I'm an old woman and just wanted to live a peaceful existence until I kick the bucket. Now I say get the water cannons out and blow the lowlife scums off the streets. They all look like they could use a bath.
 

FREEBIRD

Has No Life - Lives on TB
Now it begins, selective death by doctors. Kinda like if you're an essential human or a sickly burden on society.
I never thought I'd live to see our country turn on itself. So much hate and distrust. A house divided cannot stand. I'm an old woman and just wanted to live a peaceful existence until I kick the bucket. Now I say get the water cannons out and blow the lowlife scums off the streets. They all look like they could use a bath.
It's been going on a long time.
 

summerthyme

Administrator
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Yeah, she must have received a hefty payout from a lawsuit. Or got insurance $.
Yeah, something isn't adding up! He's been badly disabled for 3 years... wouldn't guardianship/medical POA have been settled *long* before this?

That said, given that he was already a quad, his chances of survival were virtually nil, even if they'd have put him on a vent. But it still shoukd have been up to him and his wife...

Summerthyme
 

Squid

Veteran Member

A disabled man with COVID-19 was left to die by a Texas hospital because the state deemed his “quality of life” not worth preserving.
Michael Hickson, 46, was in St. David’s South Austin Medical Center, suffering from COVID-19 and pneumonia, which he caught from a staff member at the nursing home where he was living as a result of his disabilities. In 2017, he had a heart attack while driving his wife, Melissa, to work; when CPR was administered to him, his brain suffered from oxygen deprivation, making him a quadriplegic.
According to Texas Right to Life, “Michael was conscious and alert but could not communicate verbally. He responded to jokes, shook his head, and puckered his lips on a FaceTime call when Melissa requested a kiss. Melissa asked if she could pray with her husband and their children, to which he nodded ‘yes.’”


Nevertheless, after just a few days, physicians at St. David’s decided treating Michael would be “futile” and wanted to let him die because, even if he survived, he would have a poor “quality of life,” according to a recorded telephone conversation between Melissa and one of the doctors.
“So as of right now, his quality of life — he doesn’t have much of one,” the doctor told Melissa.
“What do you mean?” she asked. “Because he’s paralyzed with a brain injury, he doesn’t have quality of life?”
“Correct,” replied the doctor.
“Who gets to make that decision whether somebody’s quality of life, if they have a disability, that their quality of life is not good?” she inquired.

The doctor said that while it wasn’t his decision to make, it ultimately came down to “will [treatment] improve [Michael’s] quality of life, and the answer is no.”
“Why wouldn’t it?” Melissa shot back. “Being able to live isn’t improving the quality of life?”
The doctor went on to explain that the hospital had experienced many deaths from COVID-19 and that he knew of only three patients who had survived, all of whom were young and otherwise healthy. “However,” he continued, “[Michael’s] quality of life is different from theirs. They were walking and talking people.”

“At this point, we are going to do what we feel is best for him along with the state and this is what we decided,” said the doctor.
“So the fact that you are killing someone doesn’t make sense in your mind?” Melissa asked.
“We,” the doctor replied, “don’t think of it as killing.”
Later, he asserted, “This is the decision between the medical community and the state.”
“And the state,” said Melissa. “Forget about his wife and his family and his five kids.”

That is exactly what the hospital did. While Melissa was battling another family member in court over who would be Michael’s permanent guardian, “a judge named an Austin-area organization called Family Eldercare as temporary guardian over Michael,” wrote Texas Right to Life. “Family Eldercare granted the doctor’s orders to not treat Michael and instead place him in hospice.”
On June 11, Michael Hickson died, a victim not so much of COVID-19 but of a system that considers disabled individuals less valuable than “walking and talking people.”

St. David’s issued a statement on the matter Saturday: “The loss of life is tragic under any circumstances. In Mr. Hickson’s situation, his court-appointed guardian (who was granted decision-making authority in place of his spouse) made the decision in collaboration with the medical team to discontinue invasive care. This is always a difficult decision for all involved. We extend our deepest sympathies to Mr. Hickson’s family and loved ones and to all who are grieving his loss.”

The next day, members of disability-rights group Americans Disabled for Attendant Programs Today (ADAPT) of Texas protested outside St. David’s. One protester’s sign read “DISABLED NOT DISPOSABLE.” Another’s called for “JUSTICE [for] MICHEAL[sic] HICKSON.”
“I’m struggling to understand how and why this could ever happen. I lost my best friend, my better half, the other half of my heart,” Melissa told Texas Right to Life. “I was stripped of my rights as a wife and left helplessly watching my husband be executed…. I have no other words to express how I feel today except hurt, angry, and frustrated.”
Hhhmmm this is exactly how the Nazi’s started the process that directly led to the death camps. It started by systematically killing the handicapped and mentally ill. The Dr’s were supposedly doing the humane thing because they would not have the quality of life.
 

hardrock

Veteran Member
Just a guess but they may be surprised who ends up dead.

I know care is withdrawn in certain cases but a wise person would be more discreet.
 

lakemom

Senior Member
Yeah, something isn't adding up! He's been badly disabled for 3 years... wouldn't guardianship/medical POA have been settled *long* before this?

That said, given that he was already a quad, his chances of survival were virtually nil, even if they'd have put him on a vent. But it still shoukd have been up to him and his wife...

Summerthyme
Guardianship lawsuits over a disabled adult can go on for YEARS.
 

Squib

Veteran Member
I guess I’m the odd man out...I find the woman’s behavior suspect as much as the other side...

What about what the guy wants? If that were me, I wouldn’t want to live a life like that...maybe if the doctor had spoken to the patient and those were his wishes.

I don’t see where there was any active euthanasia at all.

Every cardiac arrest that a paramedic, doctor etc works, there’s a point where the heroics or rescue measures stop. That’s not killing anyone.

Doesn't it seem strange that there is no mention of any conversation with the patient?

This is usually an automatic. DNR, Comfort Measures, each state has different euphemisms for it.
 

Meadowlark

Veteran Member
5:07 When the State declares you Obsolete.

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Ii65NV5PSg
The chancellor, the late chancellor, was only partly correct. He was obsolete. But so is the State, the entity he worshiped. Any state, entity, or ideology becomes obsolete when it stockpiles the wrong weapons: when it captures territories, but not minds; when it enslaves millions, but convinces nobody. When it is naked, yet puts on armor and calls it faith, while in the Eyes of God it has no faith at all. Any state, any entity, any ideology which fails to recognize the worth, the dignity, the rights of Man...that state is obsolete. A case to be filed under "M" for "Mankind" - in The Twilight Zone
 

bassgirl

Veteran Member
Also depends on the resources available. I know a hospital that ran out of ventilators and had no more available to rent anywhere in the area.

The average ages of the vented people were 58-82. If a 20 or 30 something mom or dad rolls thru the door and needs a vent or they will die, the whole discussion of “do we take the old one off and give it to the younger?” came up. No decision was made as it was just thinking ahead. But they had reached a point where they had to think about it.

It is a very ethical dilemma. I expect this very situation to start playing out everywhere soon. If you are rural and your nearest hospital is small...the chances of this conversation will come up even more, because all the big cities and larger hubs are taking the resources.
 

lakemom

Senior Member
The REAL question is who was paying for this quadriplegic guy's forever-post-injury medical bills. Methinks they get input on continuing that for someone who'll never get cured or work again.
If there's a guardianship lawsuit going on, there's money SOMEWHERE. Frequently in these cases, the money, rather than the person, is what the fight is all about.

Just from reading the OP, there's at least a few questions here.

1. Who IS paying the medical bills?
2. Why was he in a nursing home instead of home with his family? That's expensive, another indicator that there's money SOMEWHERE.
3. Was the fight over the fact that he WAS in a nursing home instead of home with his family?

At any rate, if it's an insurance company that's paying the bills, I don't think they should have ANY say over his right to live or die.
 

Ping Jockey

Contributing Member
Hhhmmm this is exactly how the Nazi’s started the process that directly led to the death camps. It started by systematically killing the handicapped and mentally ill. The Dr’s were supposedly doing the humane thing because they would not have the quality of life.
905BC8F2-8C3B-4F90-909D-74ECAE3CC4AC.jpeg

Statement in red, ”Comrades, that is also your money.”

The essence of the propaganda poster, from the New Folk, was to let the German people know it costs 60,000 reichmarks to take care of one invalid. Eugenics was not only nazi party doctrine it was very much alive in most western countries. Margaret Sanger ring a bell?
 

kyrsyan

Veteran Member
This was actually part of AL regulations. The state got slammed on it at the beginning of the pandemic. They changed it. But none of us that are caregivers for those with disabilities doubt that this would happen. Most of us are being very, very careful about where we go and what we do. For the most part, I think I've been out in public twice in the last month, if that.
 

TammyinWI

1st Amendment Right and Pertinent
I saw an article about this the other day, and it stated that they withheld water and nutrition from him for 6 days before he died. Inhumane.
 

Ractivist

Veteran Member
I was involved with a friend who was hurt on a mass transit bus, left him an incomplete quad, which progressively got worse. He had racked up 1.2 million in medicalovwr three years, which the state paid and likely negotiated down to a quarter mil I'd guess. It became clear the courts would not step in for an old man who lived off the state after his parents died. (He was autistic.) He had no value to the state, and when push came to shove he was put on hospice. He wore out the nursing homes. He was a handful. But he wanted to live, an amazing man given his reality. The pain he endured at times was off the charts, yet the tv was enough for him to derive a smile. His life had value, to him.
The only reason he was kept alive was due to me being there. They offered hospice the first month after his accident.

Hospice took him in after his last two week stay in hospital, he had a lot of those.
But it was evident the end was there. They suggested I not tell him, I didn't.

The next morn they pretty much shot him up with morphine, till he died. I saw it one other time with my wife's friend. She signed off one day, dead the next. Same deal, shot up with morphine, then another.....ugly way to die.
 

Elza

Veteran Member
I don't care how long it took I would find the names of every person involved. Every one of their spines would would meet with a two pound cross peen hammer. Make quads out these bastards and see how they then feel about "quality of life".
 

Orion Commander

Veteran Member
“We,” the doctor replied, “don’t think of it as killing.”

I would. Payback would not be a medevac.

And it was a damn shame he wasted all that time and money on medical school for nothing.
Agree. My first wife was a C5,6 quadriplegic. Joni Ericsson Tada is a C3,4. Both women have enjoyed a full life praising and witnessing to others about the joy of knowing Jesus Christ.
 
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