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Parents' Hospital Lawsuit Says Teen Was 'Killed' For Organs
03-06-2009, 07:36 PM,
#1
Parents' Hospital Lawsuit Says Teen Was 'Killed' For Organs
Parents' Hospital Lawsuit Says Teen Was 'Killed' For Organs
Doctors Admit Clerical Error, but Say Teen Would Not Have Recovered From Brain Damage
By SUSAN DONALDSON JAMES
March 6, 2009 —


The parents of an 18-year-old who suffered a brain injury in a 2007 snowboarding accident say his doctors "intentionally killed" him to harvest his organs.

In the lawsuit filed this week in the U.S. District Court of Western Pennsylvania, Michael and Teresa Jacobs claim that doctors "hastened" their son Gregory Jacobs' death by delaying treatment and ultimately pulling his breathing tube, causing him to suffocate.

The couple said their son had not been formally declared brain dead when surgeons began the transplant procedure. They are seeking $5 million in damages.

"But for the intentional trauma or asphyxiation of Gregory Jacobs, he would have lived, or, at the very least, his life would have been prolonged," the lawsuit said.

The Bellevue, Ohio, family claim that if their son had been properly treated, he would have had a "significant chance of substantial recovery."

The parents have charged doctors at Hamot Medical Center in Erie, Pa., and a representative of the Center for Organ Recovery and Education (CORE) in Pittsburgh.

In prepared statements, both Hamot Medical Center and the organ center expressed condolences to the Jacobs family.

Hamot maintained that the treatment administered was "timely, appropriate and well-documented."

"Proper consent was received in order for his organs to be donated and the protocols that were followed were consistent with all established donation procedures," it read. "Any claims otherwise are completely baseless. While we have yet to receive formal notification of a lawsuit having been filed, we will vigorously defend against any accusations of wrongdoing."

The organ center also said charges against them were "baseless and untrue."

"As in all donation cases, CORE followed all regulated medical protocols in the case," its statement read.


Hit Head in Snowboarding Fall
Gregory Jacobs suffered a "closed head injury" after a fall while on a high school-sponsored skiing trip to Peek 'n Peak Ski Resort in Findley Lake, N.Y., March 8, 2007. He died five days later after being air-lifted to Hamot.

"Essentially, the family was told that Greg was brain dead and he would not recover and, therefore, they signed a document that agreed to an organ transplant," said the Jacobs' lawyer Dennis Boyle. "Greg was not, in fact, brain dead."


Brain Death Recording Error?
According to the plaintiffs, brain death was recorded the next day, "retroactively" as life support was being withdrawn in preparation for organ removal.

In an interview with media in 2007, hospital officials acknowledged that the recorded time of death was a mistake.

"We are absolutely certain that no retrieval of any organs took place until he was pronounced dead," Dr. James Pepicello said told Erie.com. "We are aware of a discrepancy in the operative record from Hamot. It is an error in documentation."

The coroner's office initially referred the death to the Erie County district attorney's office, according to Boyle, but it declined to prosecute after hospital officials "corrected" the time of death.

The suit also alleges that the Center for Organ Recovery and Education benefited by obtaining Gregory Jacobs' organs "for transfer and sale to other individuals, who then paid money, a portion of which went to CORE, for the wrongful procurement of the organs."


'It's Been a Nightmare,' Says Father
Several calls by ABCNews.com to the Jacobs family were not answered, but in an interview with media in July 2007, family members said they "wanted answers."

"It's been a nightmare," Mike Jacobs told Erie.com.

He said doctors told him Gregory Jacobs' head was "full of strokes. ... Half his head was stroked. ... The other part was stroked. They showed us on the [CT] scan. There was no hope."

"From the very first day that I was there and walked into the pre-op room, I was told organ donation makes death easier," he said.

The suit alleges Mike Jacobs was pressured into signing a do-not-resuscitate order and authorizing the organ transplant. The teen's heart, liver and kidney were donated.

As soon as the order was signed, the hospital began preparing Gregory Jacobs for organ donation, the lawsuit charges.

"In fact, [brain death] was never recorded and our experts say he did not meet any criteria for brain death," Boyle told ABCNews.com.


Gregory Jacobs' Parents Not Present at Death
The parents were "in shock" and not present at their son's death. The mother "seems to have been taken out of it [decision making] completely," said Boyle. "She wanted to be present but was told she couldn't be."

"They cut my son at ten to 6, 29 minutes before they pronounced him dead," Teresa Jacobs told Erie.com last year.

The Jacobses, whom their lawyer described as an "intact, close-knit working class family," have another son who is a junior in high school.

The lawsuit was filed two years -- almost to the day -- after the accident, when the statute of limitations on such a civil lawsuit closes.

"It took them a while to find an attorney, and it us took us a while to obtain medical records for independent review and educate ourselves on what was going on," Boyle said.

The Jacobses' case illustrates the painful decision to transplant organs from dying patients, one that is fraught with ethical questions.

"You don't treat someone as a donor before they are dead," said Dr. Arthur Caplan, chairman of the Department of Medical Ethics at University of Pennsylvania, who is not involved in the Jacobs case. "That's a big no-no."


Dead Donor Rule
"It's the dead donor rule to keep the public trust in place so people are not killed for parts," he told ABCNews.com.

But, he added that giving a patient a dire prognosis and signing a do-not-resuscitate order does not give the automatic green light for organ donation -- sometimes, patients and doctors don't communicate effectively.

"There can be a lot of tension managing the end of life," Caplan told ABCNews.com. "It's a gray area to manage the desire of the donor, and the family wanting to do everything they can think of in a hopeless situation."

"It's also murky. Families don't always hear what doctors are saying and doctors aren't always clear because they don't want to take away any hope," he said.

Doctors need to be "franker and blunter," he said. "Be kind, but don't sugarcoat things, otherwise people don't hear what is being said."

Families should appoint a lead decision-maker who can talk directly with the medical team.

"Groups can be very confusing and often people hear different things," he said.

Better medical protocols and training are also necessary to ensure that "patients are first, not the organs," he said.

"A donor card should not trump the managing of the dying person," he said. "Doctors have to be taught that. It is their primary duty to care for the patient."

The Jacobses' attorney said, "Some of the statements made by the doctors were susceptible to misinterpretation when they said he was brain dead."

But he still contends health officials moved too quickly to harvest Gregory Jacobs' organs.

Said Boyle, "The Jacobs[es] were always clear they wanted everything done for their son's recovery and they really didn't care if he was disabled or not."


Copyright © 2009 ABC News Internet Ventures
http://abcnews.go.com/print?id=7017711
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03-06-2009, 09:50 PM,
#2
Parents' Hospital Lawsuit Says Teen Was 'Killed' For Organs
This is bad...
Thanks for sharing Hilly!
[Image: Palestinian_Dawn_by_Palestinian_Pride.jpg]
Reply
03-06-2009, 10:08 PM,
#3
Parents' Hospital Lawsuit Says Teen Was 'Killed' For Organs
Fucking carrion crow doctors
“Everything Popular Is Wrong” - Oscar Wilde
Reply
03-07-2009, 02:57 AM,
#4
Parents' Hospital Lawsuit Says Teen Was 'Killed' For Organs
this will be going on very regularly once the new gov tracked and managed health plan is in place

funny how people talk about the uninsured, like those of us with insurance have it so great (no longer have it, but it won't make seeing a doc any more expensive, I will just need all the cash up front.) The doctors charge much less, if you pay in cash without insurance (hard to get them to see you tho, bc they earn your fee and more from the insurance co.) It's like peeps think that if you have insurance going to the doc is free.
My mate contracted a flesh eating strep virus a few years back almost died while in the hospital. Even with insurance the meds were $160 a day for 6 weeks plus the hospital and lab bill, we are near paid off.
I couldn't afford it even with the insurance, had to take out a loan.
&Alice laughed, &There's no use trying,& she said: &one can't believe impossible things.& &I daresay you haven't had much practice,& said the Queen. &When I was your age I always did it for half-an-hour a day. Why, I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.&
- Lewis Carroll

&Things are seldom as they seem ... Skim milk masquerades as cream.&
- Gilbert and Sullivan (Pinafore)

At NASA, it really is rocket science, and the decision makers really are rocket scientists.
But a body of research that is getting more and more attention points to the ways that smart people working collectively can be dumber than the sum of their parts. .. Irwin Janis? &Groupthink:& is a mode of thinking that people engage in when they are deeply involved in a cohesive in-group, when the members' striving for unanimity override realistic appraisals ? It is the triumph of concurrence over good sense, and authority over expertise.&
-John Schwartz & Matthew L. Wade
Reply
03-07-2009, 11:06 AM,
#5
Parents' Hospital Lawsuit Says Teen Was 'Killed' For Organs
This is why I am not an organ donor...
Reply
03-07-2009, 06:59 PM,
#6
Parents' Hospital Lawsuit Says Teen Was 'Killed' For Organs
I had heard a few years ago that with donating organs the family of the deceased was often sent a bill for the removal of the organs.
Don't know if that's still the case these days, but it left an impression on me of what this medical fiasco is all about....MONEY.
And this was BEFORE I woke up.

I thank ConCen for the shock treatment in fully waking me up.
Reply
03-08-2009, 03:36 AM,
#7
Parents' Hospital Lawsuit Says Teen Was 'Killed' For Organs
I have it on my DL whcih expires next year. Not sure how to take it off. If I'm ever in that shape hopefully they will do a medical check 1st...unless of course one of TPTB or an asshole needs an organ. lol.
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