In response to this comment from a friend regarding “life support” for a young girl who was declared “brain dead”: “It seems to me the first problem was putting her on life support…if that had not happened, nature could’ve taken its course. As it is, it seems difficult to take her off.”
Personally I believe so-called “brain death” has caused more harm than good and should be abolished. Regarding life support systems, they are very often ordinary means of treatment and sometimes they are disproportionate. In some cases beginning as ordinary and then becoming disproportionate. There are countless people alive and well today who would otherwise be dead had they not been placed on a ventilator at a critical time during their medical treatment or recovery period. To refuse such measures in order to avoid the possibility of having to eventually terminate them would be negligence and worse.
I have paid attention to these matters for quite some time. It all started when I read an awful “living will” my mother had signed many years ago. She tore it up after I explained the situation to her. At that point I proceeded to do some research and in order to make such a task easier for others; I documented some of the material I thought was important to share and posted them online. You can read those here. I recommend sharing this webpage with your family.