Many of you in Canada at least, like many of us in Canada, will have been following the deeply disturbing story of “Baby Kaylee”, which has been the lead story on CBC’s The National for the past three nights. The ever-perceptive folks at Not Dead Yet have posted the following probing blog on the story, and the story of the story, which should be of interest for those who know and don’t know about either. Below is a taster of the post, which you can get in full from the Not Dead Yet blog itself.
There are so many disturbing and tragic aspects of this case itself (though not quite those that the CBC and other major outlets for news have highlighted), and in how it has been picked up and covered, that it might be hard to know where to start. Well, by reading on, for a start:
Once in awhile, a story hits the news that is so heartwrenching and tragic that it seems rude and cold to ask questions – let alone challenge – elements of the story. Often, this is exactly the time that hard questions should be asked.
Right now, there is a life-and-death drama playing out at the Sick Children’s Hospital in Toronto. Kaylee Wallace, who is two months old, is receiving palliative care at the facility. On Tuesday, there was an attempt to harvest her organs under the “Donation after Cardiac Death” (DCD) or “Non-Heart Beating Donation” (NHBD) protocol. In this protocol, an individual’s organs are harvested soon after the heart has stopped beating. The organ harvesting is called off if too much time elapses between removal of a ventilator and stoppage of the heart.
On Tuesday, Kaylee continued to breathe after being taken off a ventilator. The problem was that she stayed awake – since her breathing only stops when she sleeps. (If you think you know a name for that condition, read on)