3 thoughts on “Sharon, Time to Let Him Go? – Tikun Olam תיקון עולם إصلاح العالم
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  1. Good call, Richard. It’s pretty obvious Sharon is an atherosclerotic nightmare – a patent forman ovale (the “hole in his heart”) is the least of his problems. That’s something I think about in a 35 year old who has a stroke – not an 83 year old who weighs 300+ pounds.

    The real medical scandal though is that they put him on heparin after his first stroke – an anti-coagulant or blood thinner. That’s definitely not the standard of care for someone with an ischemic stroke. In fact, the danger is that the patient can hemorrhage into the area of the initial stroke, which is exactly what Sharon did. Plus, he was at his ranch, not at a hospital where the heparin treatment could be properly monitored.

    The strange thing about treating ischemic strokes is that the best thing you can do is nothing. You give the patient an aspirin, and keep an eye on him to make sure he doesn’t aspirate. That’s it. Anything else is likely to do more harm than good.

    Unfortunately for Sharon, the medical standard of care isn’t politically palatable. I think his doctors needed to show they were doing something, everything – so, they did too much, took unnecessary chances, and he suffered the consequences.

    I’ve always felt that wealty, powerful people get substandard care for exactly that reason.

    I won’t shed many tears for Sharon. But I’m suprised that his doctors let politics so badly skew their medical judgment.

  2. Victoria2: I’m not sure I’d say to a medical certainty that his chances of recovery are “zero.” People who’ve been through trauma sometimes remain in comas for a very long time before they awaken. Also, I understand that there is brain function. So it doesn’t appear he’s in a vegetative state.

    But if Sharon were in a coma, Judaism is generally against heroic measures like artificial respirators or long intubations. Life is an intrinsic value only in that it enables us to do good deeds. Life is a means to an end, but not an end in itself. Our view of life is not that of the anti-abortion folks as represented in their circus over Terry Schiavo.

    That being said, there are no hard & fast rules as to how to proceed. It’s left up to the family to decide as it sees best.

    There has been media coverage about Sharon’s medical condition & the controversy surrounding it in Haaretz. This is but one of many articles it has run on the subject.

    My understanding is that Sharon is not on a respirator, but is breathing freely on his own.

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