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Thread: Christine Bolden (26) was kept alive via machines for over a month so that her unborn twins could develop and be born

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    Senior Member puzzld's Avatar
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    Christine Bolden (26) was kept alive via machines for over a month so that her unborn twins could develop and be born

    http://mydeathspace.com/article/2012...op_and_be_born

    Vance Terrell offered encouraging words to his pregnant sister during visits to a western Michigan hospital. It didn't matter that she couldn't see or hear him, and would never hold her twin sons.

    Christine Bolden, 26, was already brain dead from aneurysms, but doctors kept her on a respirator for a month to allow for the development of babies who were born prematurely at 25 weeks. It was a rare procedure: In 2010, German researchers found just 30 similar cases worldwide dating back to 1982.

    "It was hard to go up there and walk down the hallway and go into her room," Terrell said Monday in a phone interview from Muskegon, Mich. "I knew she wouldn't be talking to me. I'd rub her belly every time, and I'd rub her hands and kiss her and let her know I was there."

    Nicholas and Alexander Bolden weighed less than 2 pounds when they were born by cesarean section on April 5, and remain on ventilators at Helen DeVos Children's Hospital in Grand Rapids.

    The Muskegon woman collapsed in a parking lot due to aneurysms on March 1 and was declared brain dead five days later at the hospital next door, Spectrum Health Butterworth.

    Bolden's family asked doctors "to drop everything we could to save these babies. It wasn't that difficult a call," spokesman Bruce Rossman said. "It required a lot of evaluations and discussions among our staff. They had to at least get to 24 weeks before we could consider delivery."

    He declined to make doctors available for an interview to discuss Bolden's case.

    Dr. Cosmas Vandeven, who specializes in high-risk pregnancies at University of Michigan hospital, said Bolden's case is a "very exceptional scenario." He said an important ethical issue in cases like these is whether a brain-dead woman would suffer by being kept on a respirator and undergoing a C-section.

    "Almost every parent would give their life for their child," Vandeven said. "But you need to get truly independent opinions: Are we sure we're not causing harm to the mom?"

    He said 70 percent of babies born at 25 weeks survive, but the risk for long-term health problems is high. Rossman acknowledged that chronic conditions are possible even if the boys pull through.

    "We certainly hope they make it, but at this time they're too young to make a confident prognosis," he said.

    Bolden had two other children, an 11-year-old daughter and a 3-year-old son. Relatives said it was heartbreaking to see her die, but a relief to see the twins survive.

    "Every week was a good sign," said an aunt, Danyell Bolden, referring to March when her niece was being sustained by machines. "We felt like we lost her but, God willing, we'll have something of hers. There's a lot of prayer."

    Terrell recalled the phone call from his sister announcing that she was having twins.

    "She said, 'You're going be there for your nephews when I have them.' I just went crazy," Terrell said of his excitement. "I know she wants the babies to be with us. This has brought our family together."

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/47157430.../#.T5ix_9XleSo
    Last edited by Olivia; 04-25-2012 at 08:48 PM.
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    lol at Nestle being some vicious smiter, she's the nicest person on this site besides probably puzzld. Or at least the last person to resort to smiting.
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    sucks to your ass-mar Nancy Drew's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bowieluva View Post
    oMG, yeah, no, AMY is in no way superior to Tara. Never.

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    Administrator Olivia's Avatar
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    If they kept her alive for a month, why couldn't they keep going for a few more weeks to allow the babies to develop more?

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    sucks to your ass-mar Nancy Drew's Avatar
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    I could be wrong but I think they want to get them out as soon as possible to prevent more complications...I have no scientific evidence to back this up.
    Quote Originally Posted by bowieluva View Post
    oMG, yeah, no, AMY is in no way superior to Tara. Never.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nancy Drew View Post
    I could be wrong but I think they want to get them out as soon as possible to prevent more complications...I have no scientific evidence to back this up.
    yea, i think it has to do with the fact that on the machines, i dont think that they can duplicate the way that a mother transfers nutrients to a fetus as efficiently as she could if she were actually alive.
    remember, she is brain dead, so the brain is not recognizing that there are babies in her womb. all the machines do are maintain her organs and keep oxygen circulating. her organs can still fail and despite the machines, she can still die.

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    Chin Checker g r ee n ey e s's Avatar
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    How sad.


    Quote Originally Posted by MoonDancer View Post
    And apparently you fuck the mods here.

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    Surely these cyborg twins will destroy us all!
    I wear caps with flat brims and sunglasses with white frames. I...DROOL...

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    Senior Member morbidT's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by puzzld View Post
    http://mydeathspace.com/article/2012...op_and_be_born

    Vance Terrell offered encouraging words to his pregnant sister during visits to a western Michigan hospital. It didn't matter that she couldn't see or hear him, and would never hold her twin sons.

    Christine Bolden, 26, was already brain dead from aneurysms, but doctors kept her on a respirator for a month to allow for the development of babies who were born prematurely at 25 weeks. It was a rare procedure: In 2010, German researchers found just 30 similar cases worldwide dating back to 1982.

    "It was hard to go up there and walk down the hallway and go into her room," Terrell said Monday in a phone interview from Muskegon, Mich. "I knew she wouldn't be talking to me. I'd rub her belly every time, and I'd rub her hands and kiss her and let her know I was there."

    Nicholas and Alexander Bolden weighed less than 2 pounds when they were born by cesarean section on April 5, and remain on ventilators at Helen DeVos Children's Hospital in Grand Rapids.

    The Muskegon woman collapsed in a parking lot due to aneurysms on March 1 and was declared brain dead five days later at the hospital next door, Spectrum Health Butterworth.

    Bolden's family asked doctors "to drop everything we could to save these babies. It wasn't that difficult a call," spokesman Bruce Rossman said. "It required a lot of evaluations and discussions among our staff. They had to at least get to 24 weeks before we could consider delivery."

    He declined to make doctors available for an interview to discuss Bolden's case.

    Dr. Cosmas Vandeven, who specializes in high-risk pregnancies at University of Michigan hospital, said Bolden's case is a "very exceptional scenario." He said an important ethical issue in cases like these is whether a brain-dead woman would suffer by being kept on a respirator and undergoing a C-section.

    "Almost every parent would give their life for their child," Vandeven said. "But you need to get truly independent opinions: Are we sure we're not causing harm to the mom?"

    He said 70 percent of babies born at 25 weeks survive, but the risk for long-term health problems is high. Rossman acknowledged that chronic conditions are possible even if the boys pull through.

    "We certainly hope they make it, but at this time they're too young to make a confident prognosis," he said.

    Bolden had two other children, an 11-year-old daughter and a 3-year-old son. Relatives said it was heartbreaking to see her die, but a relief to see the twins survive.

    "Every week was a good sign," said an aunt, Danyell Bolden, referring to March when her niece was being sustained by machines. "We felt like we lost her but, God willing, we'll have something of hers. There's a lot of prayer."

    Terrell recalled the phone call from his sister announcing that she was having twins.

    "She said, 'You're going be there for your nephews when I have them.' I just went crazy," Terrell said of his excitement. "I know she wants the babies to be with us. This has brought our family together."

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/47157430.../#.T5ix_9XleSo

    Stories like these drive me crazy, for realz. The first bold sentence is appropriate, but could be misleading. It tells the reader that the patient has been declared brain dead and explains that she was left on the respirator to allow for the twins to develop. I wish the writer's would elaborate on this, so people don't get confused. She was only an "incubator" at this point and was not alive by ANY means. Her organs were functional because of the ventilator providing mechanical profusion through out her body. She wasn't be kept "alive." The woman's death certificate will have the date and time that she was declared brain dead, not the day that the twins were born and the ventilator turned off. It will probably be a little weird for the twins because they were born a month after their mother's death.
    The sentence about the ethical issues with a brain dead lady, on a respirator, having a c-section, suffering is mind boggling coming from a physician. SHE IS DEAD. There is no need to worry if she is going to suffer, because she can't feel anything from being dead. Another thing is that the woman was not being sustained. Her body was. Big difference when explaining things to the public. It's these inconsistencies that confuse people on when death occurs and, "they're stealing my babies organs!" Drives me nuts!
    The reason the twins were delivered at 25 weeks is because of insurance. The mother was dead so her insurance stopped paying on March 6th when she was declared brain dead. The twins had never taken a breath, previously, and had not been born, so they are not covered on any health insurance due to their "incubator" being dead. Although, the mother's body's organs would start to fail, it is possible to sustain mechanical organ profusion for much longer. There was a case in Cleveland, I think in 1994, where a pregnant woman died and her body was supported for several months and the baby was delivered after the 30th week, and then the woman was an organ donor. It's actually happened a few times, but the Cleveland case was the first of it's kind and was a 48 hour or 60 minutes story.
    Whew! Ok, tl;dr

  9. #9
    sucks to your ass-mar Nancy Drew's Avatar
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    I didn't think the first part was misleading, since they said she was brain-dead. But I do think the "ethical issues" part is misleading. I think it's more like, "Don't ever keep me 'alive' if I'm a vegetable'" as opposed to "That woman is in pain." I think the ethical issues arise from *anticipating* that she would be fine with being an incubator.
    Quote Originally Posted by bowieluva View Post
    oMG, yeah, no, AMY is in no way superior to Tara. Never.

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    Senior Member morbidT's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nancy Drew View Post
    I didn't think the first part was misleading, since they said she was brain-dead. But I do think the "ethical issues" part is misleading. I think it's more like, "Don't ever keep me 'alive' if I'm a vegetable'" as opposed to "That woman is in pain." I think the ethical issues arise from *anticipating* that she would be fine with being an incubator.
    I think it could be misleading to people who have never heard of brain death. I use to travel the country educating the public and health care professionals about brain death. It's astounding the amount of health care professionals that don't even understand brain death and the public is worse. The possible misleading part is the part that says that she was left on a respirator for the twins. People associate respirator with the machine "keeping you alive." Terminology and delivery are very important when discussing brain and/or cardiac death. Medical professionals are not suppose to be using respirator or breathing machine anymore. It's suppose to be described as mechanical ventilation/profusion and what that means, "it's forcing air into the lungs and circulating the blood," not, "it's breathing for her," or "it's keeping her alive." People do understand mechanical ventilation when it is described appropriately, without using terminology like respirator or breathing machine. I get what you are saying about the ethical issues and being an incubator. It is definitely something that should be discussed, but the article didn't word anything like that. It is all about whether or not a dead person would "suffer from being on a respirator and undergoing a c-section." This statement blows my mind and it's coming from a physician. There is no suffering. Period. She's dead. The ethical issue of whether or not she would want to be an incubator is not suffering. The article makes it sound like it may have been possible she was feeling pain.
    I can't get everything out that I want to say, or how I want to say it. My head is spinning. This stuff really does drive me crazy. I read it and my blood pressure rises. I've mentioned it a hundred times, I am very passionate about organ donation and part of that is understanding brain vs cardiac death. This article was a step back in organ donation because of that statement from the doctor. I don't care if it is only one person who decides they don't want to be an organ donor because now they think they will feel pain during the organ procurement, it's one person too many and could potentially be eight lives that are lost because that one person said no to organ donation.
    I need to breathe........

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    Senior Member danakscully64's Avatar
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    Very sad. If it was safe for the baby (or babies) to stay inside me when I was in that state, I hope doctors and my family keep me "alive" for as long as they need. I don't know why it's ever up for debate, it makes no sense to NOT do it. And as Morbid said, there's no pain. Even if there was, I would do ANYTHING for my children.

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    Senior Member morbidT's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by danakscully64 View Post
    Very sad. If it was safe for the baby (or babies) to stay inside me when I was in that state, I hope doctors and my family keep me "alive" for as long as they need. I don't know why it's ever up for debate, it makes no sense to NOT do it. And as Morbid said, there's no pain. Even if there was, I would do ANYTHING for my children.
    Very valid point. Most mother's would. The ethical issue is also valid in that some mother's may not. Unless it was a conversation prior to death, the family has to speculate and make the decision for the mother, so I can see the ethical debate. If it were me, no question, pain or not, save my baby/babies. Some bitches be selfish. The ethical debate is also there with other medical issues. One of the most famous cases is Terri Schiavo. That is why it is important to discuss your wishes with family and have a Advance Health Directive in case something should happen to you and the family is left making medical decisions, on your behalf. If I'm dead, donate my guts to help people. My first preference is organ donation, but if my organs are not suitable for transplantation, I have a list of medical research facilities that should be contacted before throwing my guts in the trash. If I'm in a Terri Schiavo state, pull the freaking plug! My family does not have to make those decisions for me because of my Advance Health Directive. Maybe they should add a section for pregnant women, I dunno. I was getting off topic and rambling again. I hope she was an organ donor too.

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    Senior Member danakscully64's Avatar
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    But if the woman feels no pain, I don't know why people debate it. I would say that more than 99% of Mothers would be perfectly okay with their bodies being used to make sure the babies had enough time to grow and make it safely into the world. I definitely think everyone should plan for worst case scenario so there's no stress or guessing for the family. It's such a burden.

    What's sad in the Terri cause is they just removed her feeding tube, starving her to death. That was unethical. In cases like that, that's where euthanasia is the best option.

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    Senior Member morbidT's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by danakscully64 View Post
    But if the woman feels no pain, I don't know why people debate it. I would say that more than 99% of Mothers would be perfectly okay with their bodies being used to make sure the babies had enough time to grow and make it safely into the world. I definitely think everyone should plan for worst case scenario so there's no stress or guessing for the family. It's such a burden.

    What's sad in the Terri cause is they just removed her feeding tube, starving her to death. That was unethical. In cases like that, that's where euthanasia is the best option.

    Yeah, I'm with you. Most women would be okay with it, pain or no pain. It becomes an ethical issue when the small amount of mother's who would say no, if given the choice. If I'm not mistaken, they did provide Terri with "comfort care," which included pain medications and oxygen. I could be wrong though. My own personal choice is to yank the feeding tube, I don't want it. I don't want to be a vegetable, so I don't care if I have to suffer a little in order for it to be over. But that's just me and that's why cases like Terri's are up for the ethical/moral debate. It's also cases like Terri's why I have an Advance Health Directive. When there is an AHD, it isn't up for ethical or moral debate because it is the patient's wishes and the patient's wishes are clear and the family does not have to make those decisions. My family also knows my wishes and that if I am ever sustained by mechanical means, with a prognosis of no recovery, they better trip over the freaking cord.

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    sucks to your ass-mar Nancy Drew's Avatar
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    I don't think it's fair to say that more than 99% of mothers would be okay with this. It doesn't seem like she had a partner and maybe she wouldn't have wanted to have more children knowing that she wouldn't be there to take care of them. I don't think that would make her a "selfish bitch," at least.
    Quote Originally Posted by bowieluva View Post
    oMG, yeah, no, AMY is in no way superior to Tara. Never.

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    senior cunt emmieslost's Avatar
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    I don't think that would make her selfish either. Actually this is just another story that makes me happy I have a DNR tattoo.

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    Senior Member morbidT's Avatar
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    I think Dana's statement was just an exaggeration, not meant to actually mean 99%. I think it was meant that she can't imagine any woman who wouldn't incubate their child. Just as my "bitches be selfish" comment. I realize that after 1 1/2 years of me being on here, some members still don't get my sarcasm. This case reminds me of the cancer moms who decided to have their children even though they were suffering from cancer. One even past the cancer on to the kid, but I can't remember if that one was a thread on here or if I read it elsewhere.

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    Senior Member danakscully64's Avatar
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    It just seems like if the woman didn't want to be an incubator for their child, they would have had an abortion if they ended up pregnant. If the embryo is only a month or two, I could understand not sustaining the life of the Mother, but if she was already 4-5 months, knew she was pregnant, and planned on keeping the pregnancy, seems like we know what the Mom's will would have been.

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    Senior Member danakscully64's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Olivia View Post
    If they kept her alive for a month, why couldn't they keep going for a few more weeks to allow the babies to develop more?
    Other news articles said she had pre-eclampsia and high blood pressure.

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    sucks to your ass-mar Nancy Drew's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bowieluva View Post
    oMG, yeah, no, AMY is in no way superior to Tara. Never.

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    Quote Originally Posted by danakscully64 View Post
    Other news articles said she had pre-eclampsia and high blood pressure.
    That is likely the answer. It probably would have continued on, had she not become unstable. Insurance would have no bearing on this type of case.

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