The fate of a 12-year-old boy who was injured by a gunshot to the head has yet to be determined after his mother, who is refusing to let doctors remove the boy’s organs for donation, had discovered that his food and water supply had been stopped by the doctors who were caring for him after the gunshot.
The boy, Zach McDaniel, suffered a severe head injury two weeks before the story was published when he was caught in the crossfire of an alleged drug dispute in Abilene, Texas. He was placed on life support under heavy sedation at Cook Children’s Medical Center in Fort Worth.
Rachel Bohannon of Texas Right to Life said her group was first contacted by Zach’s mother for help when she learned last Thursday that doctors had placed a Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) order in the boy’s medical files and stopped giving him food and water.
Bohannon told LSN that doctors removed the DNR and restored McDaniel’s food and water at his mother’s request, but reinforced that they would not provide treatment for the boy.
Unlike ventilation, food and water is considered by conservative ethical standards to be ordinary care, as long as such measures don’t cause a patient harm. It was unclear how long McDaniel had gone without food or water. Terri Schiavo, a brain injury patient who famously succumbed to dehydration after a judge ordered her feeding tube removed in 2005, survived thirteen days without water.
Seago said Texas law would protect the hospital in removing even food and water from the patient, if given approval by an ethics committee and notification of the family ten days prior. Seago said his attempts to meet informally with the hospital have been unsuccessful.
McDaniel has reportedly been moved to Hendricks Medical Center in Abilene, where a neurologist is expected to perform more tests on the boy’s brain. Seago said the family was distressed that Cook refused to do further tests, and argued that McDaniel’s independence from a ventilator or other life support except a feeding tube indicated significant brain function.
If you or someone you know has been injured, you can bring personal injury charges against a negligent third party with the help of a personal injury lawyer in Texas. Only an attorney can provide legal advice. Instead of going through your case alone, contact a dedicated New Braunfels injury attorney for help.