I have been watching this case since it first hit the news in Arizona. On May 30, Jesse Ramirez was arguing with his wife when their SUV rolled over. He was left unconscious. The doctors said his case was “hopeless,” that he would never wake up. The wife moved him to a hospice and had his feeding tube removed, that is, she decided to dehydrate him to death.
The parents objected. They obtained help from lawyers affiliated with the Alliance Defense Fund, and obtained a court order requiring sustenance to be maintained while the case was investigated.
And now, this news:
Two weeks ago, he was the center of a family battling over of whether he should live or die.Now, he can hug and kiss, nod his head, answer yes and no questions, give a thumbs-up sign and sit in a chair...Jesse is now ready to move from a hospice to a rehabilitation facility.
“We have had a lot of miracles,” said Betty Valenzuela, Ramirez’s aunt. “He would have been gone.”No, it wasn’t miracles: It was a family that refused to give up on their loved one. It was a judge who didn’t just decide that the wife had the right to pull the plug, especially given certain potential conflicts of interest in the case. It was the Alliance Defense Fund that was willing to step in to the breach and help a family in desperate need.
I also think that if Ramirez’s doctors really called his case hopeless, they have a lot of explaining to do. As we have discussed here previously, PVS is often misdiagnosed. More importantly, it can’t be done accurately after only a few weeks post trauma. So, why the rush in this case to write the man off?
This much is sure: But for parents willing to fight for his life, Ramirez would be dead today rather than entering the rehabilitation unit. And therein lies an important lesson for us all.