Man Kept In Vegetative State To Bolster Hospital Statistics


I knew the job was dangerous when I took it ...
Staff member
Jul 19, 2004
Out of Bounds
So much for ethics ... This hospital maintained a man in a vegetative state for a year, ostensibly to prevent his inevitable death from lowering the hospital's success statistics to the point regulatory scrutiny would be triggered. The patient exhibited signs of voluntary movement during this period, but remained unresponsive to external stimuli.

Not Brain Dead: Patient Trapped in Vegetative State by Unethical Doctors

A New Jersey hospital kept a patient alive in a vegetative state for nearly a year — not because the patient or his family requested it, but because the medical staff wanted to maintain the survival rate statistics used to evaluate their heart-transplant program, according to an investigative report by ProPublica.

As Caroline Chen reported, in recordings of his meetings with medical staff, the director of the hospital's heart and lung transplant programs said, "I'm not sure that this is ethical, moral or right," but it's "for the global good of the future transplant recipients."

What ProPublica uncovered was an incredible breach of medical ethics — and not just because his family was deprived of the opportunity to decide what was the best care option for him. To fully appreciate why, you only need to understand what being in a "vegetative state" really means. A vegetative state differs both from a coma and brain death. Being in a persistent vegetative state for over a year means that a person is unlikely to recover, but it does not mean that a person cannot feel pain or discomfort. In this case, the hospital staff prioritized their own prerogatives over their patient's quality of life. ...

Sixty-one-year-old Darrel Young underwent heart transplant surgery on Sept. 21, 2018, at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center. Young never awoke from surgery, instead falling into a vegetative state. If he had died, the hospital's heart transplant program survival rate would have dropped to 84.2% — which would have triggered scrutiny by the federal government. ...
FULL STORY (At Live Science):

ProPublica's Detailed Report:

maximus otter

Recovering policeman
Aug 9, 2001
It’s not just the USA where such manipulation of stats occurs. l’m sure that l read somewhere that the proliferation of street defibrillators allows the NHS to game its response times to calls for service, even if the incident is completely unrelated to cardiac trouble.

maximus otter