Dateline: Mon 21 Jan 2013

Is the Indianapolis Star over-covering the story of an 88-year-old Hamilton County attorney who is in a dying process at St. Vincent Hospital and the subject of a nasty family feud regarding his care and feeding?

A friend suggested so. It's just too much information, she said. 

I've read every word, but I agree with her....why is this particular case so newsworthy? Really, the only answer is that it's not; these cases are played out in private hundred of times a day in hospitals all over the state and beyond. A person ages, the Living Will is in place, and then stuff happens, including family dynamics -- one offspring disagrees with the care the parent is getting and a fight ensues. Probably, most of the time, the hidden agenda is money. Who is going to control the estate once the old guy/old lady is dead?

Now, thanks to the Star's exhaustive coverage and one daughter's desire to turn her father's ordeal into a public spectacle, protesters descended on the hospital Sunday to vocalize their displeasure with how the hospital is treating the patient.

Somehow, St. Vincent has not gotten out ahead of this story. But one aspect the Star is not covering is what the church teaches on Living Wills (there are Catholic versions of this document) and vents and feeding tubes. God knows, it's complicated. But a little more context would elevate the story beyond the way it is now being reported -- a family mini-drama with a lot of talking lawyer heads.

And now some busy-body protesters.





hendy [Member] said:

I'm sad for the patient's lack of privacy. All the "dirt" is being dragged out for public inspection. But I've also seen lots of fights that shouldn't have taken place. End of life care should have more dignity.

2013-01-21 10:56:58

Tom Greenacres [unverified] said:

Aside from the unseemly exposure of family laundry there is the matter of letting a dying man die. The expense of keeping a terminal or dying person alive with heroic measures when there is very little possibility of any subsequent quality of life beyond a heartbeat, is at the core of this story. And many others like it.

2013-01-21 17:35:45

Crossed Wires [unverified] said:

Ruth, Who do you think organized the busy-body protesters? It was easy for me to read between the lines and figure out who it is, and what agenda they are pushing at the sake of this family. It would have been very easy for the Star to write that angle as well, but alas, I imagine "they" buy a lot of ad space.

2013-01-22 12:24:15

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