As Bobbi Kristina Brown enters her third month in a coma, her family faces an excruciating choice: Keep the 24-year-old alive on machines with little hope for recovery, or withdraw life support and let nature take its course.
The agonizing decision is one faced by many families, and each situation is unique, a top expert tells Newsmax Health.
But one thing is common to all end-of-life situations: They are easier if the patient has left instructions about how they want to be treated.
Brown, the daughter of the late singer Whitney Houston, was found face-down in her bathtub on Jan. 31 and now is being kept alive in a critical care facility.
Like most people, especially patients so young, Bobbi Kristina apparently did not have an end-of-life directive that would instruct her family of her wishes, according to reports.
“Whether they’re young, old, or in-between – people need to make their wishes known,” Marc Leavey, M.D., told Newsmax Health.
“Years ago, we didn’t have the means to keep people alive this way. If something happened, you were going to die. But now, we can use machinery to take care of a person’s life functions.
“We can keep them breathing, their heart beating, and their kidneys functioning. The only thing we really can’t fix is their brain. But if the body is otherwise intact, we can keep someone going indefinitely, and that’s actually a real problem,” said Dr. Leavey, an internist at Mercy Medical Center in Baltimore.
SOURCE: Charlotte Libov