It’s every patient’s worst nightmare, lying helplessly in a hospital bed, unable to move and hearing doctors talk about what they’re going to do. But the worst part is, it happened to Jim Fritze. The Swedish stroke victim, age 43, was powerless to do anything. Semi-conscious, but not fully awake, he could only hear what was being discussed around him without having the physical capacity to speak. The true horror lies in the fact that doctors were ready to pull the plug on the Swedish stroke victim before he had died, like it was their right to do so, not to mention harvest the organs in his body. It appears that society has gotten to a point where saving a life is of no consequence, but taking a life for the purpose of “saving” another is more important. Playing God is now in the hands of doctors, and patients are dying prematurely because of it.
A Swedish man who was paralysed by a stroke is filing an official complaint against a Gothenburg hospital after he listened in horror to his doctors telling his girlfriend and relatives he was going to die and discussing transplanting his liver and kidney.
“I heard them tell my girlfriend and my relatives that there was no hope,” Jimi Fritze, 43, told The Telegraph.
“I couldn’t do anything. I could only see and hear. I couldn’t move my body.”
Jim Fritze was awake. He was paralyzed, but he was conscious. Lying frozen in a bed, in a coma, he could hear every word around him, but he could not respond. Doctor’s had already declared him dead. Even worse, they discussed taking his organs, while he was comatose. Paralysis does not make one unable to hear, only unable to speak or respond. This Swedish stroke victim experienced the most sinister event imaginable: Listening to doctor’s discuss his certain death, and their desire to take what organs they could from him. Not caring if he lived or died, or waiting to give him a chance to recover, they had already predetermined his fate.
“They looked at an x-ray of my brain, and when they had done that, they told my girlfriend that it wasn’t good and that I wouldn’t live,” Mr Fritze said.
“I could hear her crying the whole time, but I couldn’t do anything.”
He drifted into unconsciousness, waking later to hear the doctors discussing his case.
“I heard them talking about donation, they wanted to do some tests on my liver and my kidney, so they could give them to some people,” he said.
Still, he could do nothing to alert anyone to the fact that he was fully conscious.
The horror of not being able to move or do anything to alert anyone would be the most terrifying prospect imaginable. But even scarier is the power doctors have in determining that a patient is “dead,” even though there was never any indication in Mr. Fritze’s case that he was brain dead. He was merely paralyzed, in a coma. They were determined to pull the plug regardless.
As collective societies move toward death panels because of the costs of socialized medicine, the case of the Swedish stroke patient becomes even more disturbing. Death is less expensive than saving a life. One such case of a Swedish man being denied a power wheelchair after a double amputation, because authorities were “uncertain if the impairment was permanent” truly highlights the nightmare that is socialized medicine.
“I was scared because I thought that I was going to die then, and a hard death,” he said. “I remember I thought, what will happen if they cremate me, will I see the fire and feel the fire?”.
When his family came in to say their final farewell, the doctors discussed organ donation with them, even though Mr Fritze had yet to be declared officially brain dead, something he believes violated official guidelines.
If a more experienced doctor had not returned from holiday three days after his accident, he is in little doubt that he would not be here today.
As it happened, when the new doctor took another look at the x-ray, she immediately realised that there was a good chance that Mr Fritze might recover. Within days, he was able to communicate by nodding his head.
After nearly two years, and constant rehabilitation therapy, Mr Fritze can now speak and move, although he remains confined to a wheelchair and reliant on an assistant.
By the grace of God, a more experienced doctor did come along and reinterpret the X-ray. However, this does not negate the ethics involved in this case. Fritze was declared dead and ready for organ harvesting, before doctors even made any definitive determination about his brain function. He was never declared brain dead, but this is a modern day reality, with doctors deeming themselves as the final authority, ready to pull the plug like it’s a trigger. Fritze has filed a claim against Gothenburg’s Sahlgrenska Hospital, in hopes that this does not happen to someone else. But it has, and it will.
In California, doctors wanted to pull the plug on 13-year-old Jahi McMath, when her family wanted to keep her alive in hopes of her recovering. The pressure to take the young girl off a ventilator was an all out war, and her family finally won permission to transfer McMath to a care facility. Today, people have to fight for life in the face of overwhelming pressure to declare someone dead, and not worth saving, much like the case of Teri Schiavo. Just as Swedish stroke victim Jim Fritze narrowly escaped death from those who are supposed to save lives, the march toward death panels continues, and everyone is in the cross-hairs.