Paralyzed deer hunter chooses to end life support

8 posts / 0 new
Last post
Spacers's picture
Joined: 12/29/03
Posts: 4100
Paralyzed deer hunter chooses to end life support

Paralyzed deer hunter chooses to end life support - SFGateHave you seen this? Tim Bower fell 16 feet out of a tree and shattered his C3, C4, and C5 vertebrae, meaning that he was paralyzed from the shoulders down, unable to move or even breathe on his own. Surgery fusing his back would allow him to eventually sit up with support, but he would never be able to walk, hold his baby, make love to his wife, or breathe on his own. The family knew that he'd said he didn't want to live that way, but they asked doctors to let him decide. He was brought out of sedation, his medical condition was explained, and he chose to have the breathing tube removed. He spent about five hours surrounded by dozens of family & friends, talking & praying & singing, until he died. I've been amazed at how many people are outraged that this "was allowed to happen." "Why the rush, why not wait a few weeks to see how he might recover?" "Why didn't he get some kind of mandated counseling?" I've seen the doctors called murders and Mr. Bowers called a coward. Personally, I'm happy that he had the chance to decide if he wanted to continue living via machine, and that his wish not to was honored in a dignified, even joyful, it sounds, way. I hope if I'm in that situation, that my family would do the same for me. Your thoughts?

Joined: 04/12/03
Posts: 1686

"Spacers" wrote:

Paralyzed deer hunter chooses to end life support - SFGateHave you seen this? Tim Bower fell 16 feet out of a tree and shattered his C3, C4, and C5 vertebrae, meaning that he was paralyzed from the shoulders down, unable to move or even breathe on his own. Surgery fusing his back would allow him to eventually sit up with support, but he would never be able to walk, hold his baby, make love to his wife, or breathe on his own. The family knew that he'd said he didn't want to live that way, but they asked doctors to let him decide. He was brought out of sedation, his medical condition was explained, and he chose to have the breathing tube removed. He spent about five hours surrounded by dozens of family & friends, talking & praying & singing, until he died. I've been amazed at how many people are outraged that this "was allowed to happen." "Why the rush, why not wait a few weeks to see how he might recover?" "Why didn't he get some kind of mandated counseling?" I've seen the doctors called murders and Mr. Bowers called a coward. Personally, I'm happy that he had the chance to decide if he wanted to continue living via machine, and that his wish not to was honored in a dignified, even joyful, it sounds, way. I hope if I'm in that situation, that my family would do the same for me. Your thoughts?

I agree. I've watched interviews with people who have gone through similiar and there is a process to their acceptance. Decisions like this should take a little more time to make.

AlyssaEimers's picture
Joined: 08/22/06
Posts: 6560

If he decided that, then that is his business. What I would have a problem with is if he was forced into that decision. I think that if it was me, I do not think I would want to live that way either. However I know people who would want to live under any circumstance and that is their decision as well.

Spacers's picture
Joined: 12/29/03
Posts: 4100

"ethanwinfield" wrote:

I agree. I've watched interviews with people who have gone through similiar and there is a process to their acceptance. Decisions like this should take a little more time to make.

Not everyone *wants* to accept living like that. If he's already given it some thought prior to his accident, which some of us have, then why should he have to wait longer to die?

AlyssaEimers's picture
Joined: 08/22/06
Posts: 6560

If they brought him out of unconsciousness to let him know and decide, it might not be possible to leave him unconscious for weeks so he could think about it for a long time. I do not know his exact medical problems, but he might have only had a limited time to decided before they had to put him back under again.

Spacers's picture
Joined: 12/29/03
Posts: 4100

I'm pretty sure the doctors could have reinserted the breathing tube at any point, if he had asked them to, and he didn't. And he was never re-sedated; he spent his last few hours talking with family & friends.

mommytoMR.FACE's picture
Joined: 04/10/09
Posts: 781

What an incredible decision and I respect it. I bet his family loved talking to him and in the end, his decision was a very unselfish decision.

mom3girls's picture
Joined: 01/09/07
Posts: 1535

I think his choice was made a little quickly, if it were my family member I would have encouraged them to take a little longer. But ultimately this was between him and his family.