An Andrea Clarke Update

Andrea Clarke’s story is starting to gain some traction. WorldnetDaily has now picked it up.

Also see The Sad Case Of Andrea Clarke.

*** Update #1 *** The Schindler family is now in the game. Excellent!

The Terri Schindler Schiavo, Center for Health Care Ethics Inc., Throws Support Behind Family of Andrea Clark

Washington, D.C. – Houston’s St. Luke’s Hospital is giving the family of Andrea Clark until April 30th to find another facility to take Clark as a patient or doctors, under direction of an ethics committee, will remove her from life support.

Clark, who underwent open-heart surgery in January and then developed bleeding on the brain in February, is NOT brain dead and is NOT in a coma. According to her family Clark has also expressed her wish to live.

The Foundation is appalled at the decision St. Luke’s Hospital has made to give up on a patient, especially on the recommendation of an ethics committee that seems to have more than just what’s best for the patient in mind.

“We at The Foundation, Center for Health Care Ethics are seeing a growing number of hospital ethics committees emerging in our nation at an alarming rate,” said Bobby Schindler.

“The story of Andrea Clark demonstrates the dangers of these unelected, self-appointed, and anonymous committees that are rushing to remove the care from patients in private, without a public hearing or any type of appeal.

“This is happening despite the fact that the treatment the patients are receiving, as in Andrea’s case, is working.”

*** Update #2: *** From TexasSparkle

I just spoke to Andrea’s other sister Lenore Dixon from Fort Worth. Here is the story. Andrea, who is 54 years old, was a blue baby. She has had health problems all her life, but has led a full life. She was married and has a son. Recently she had complications from heart surgery.

After her latest operation she was put on a ventilator and life support, but was able to communicate through lip reading and writing. Her sister says she had no problem chatting and communicating. On Feb. 16th the doctor informed the sisters that Andrea had requested to be taken off life support. The sisters gathered on the 18th to their sister’s bedside and Lenore asked Andrea if she wanted to be taken off life support. Lenore says that Andrea wrote, “I do not want to die. I want to live.” The sisters informed the doctor of this. The doctor said that an ethics committee would meet and decide. A few days ago the sisters received notice from the ethic committee that they had decided to declare the “medical futility” of continued treatment for the patient.

They will discontinue life support on the 30th of this month unless something can be done. Lenore told me that the Texas Right To Life Committee and other pro-life groups are helping them find a pro-life doctor of internal medicine. If he has privileges at St. Lukes and declares Andrea “fit to live,” then the life support will be continued.

As her sister Melanie pointed out about Andrea, “She has suffered no brain damage to the parts of her brain responsible for thought and reason, or speech. She has only suffered loss of some motor control.”

…I asked Lanore why she thinks the Doctors decided that Andrea should be taken off life support. She said “You know Anrdea has many friends and is part of about a dozen online crochet groups. She loves crafts. But to someone who downhill skis I suppose that doesn’t look too exciting. I think the Doctors think her life sucks.”

*** Update #3: *** Melanie Childers has posted again at the Democratic Underground. Here’s part of what she had to say:

We have an attorney who is working very hard for my sister. I don’t know if she will be successful or not, because others in her shoes have not been. The courts tend to side with the big corporations in these cases. The law is the law, is what they say.

The Right to Life people are very good at this. They know how to fight this, and they are wonderful. But there is only so much that they can do. These people were called late Good Friday, when we got the notice that the hospital was going to convene the Ethics Committee, to decide our sister’s fate. They immediately went into action. The attorney, Jerri Ward, was up until two and three in the morning working on this. She has been killing herself on this case. These are good people. They could care less whether we’re Democrats or Republicans; whether we love or hate George W. Bush; they fight for life. Period.

But, as I said, there is only so much they can do. The law is the law.

I don’t know what we’re going to do if they kill my sister. I guess we will go to the hospital and kiss her and hug her and tell her that we love her until she draws her last breath.

At that point, God help them all, because I’m going to take names and I will never, ever, let them forget what they did to my sister.

Hat tip to My Vast Right Wing Conspiracy for pointing out the new DU post.

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