Print allIn new windowQuadriplegic COVID-19 Patient Starved by Texas Doctor because of his Disability

Quadriplegic COVID-19 Patient Starved by Texas Doctor because of his Disability

Michael Hickson, a 46-year-old COVID-19 patient, was starved and left without adequate treatment for his illnesses at St. David’s South Austin Medical Center. His wife, Melissa, says the hospital refused to treat his illnesses because of his disability.

Michael Hickson became quadriplegic due to receiving CPR after he went into sudden cardiac arrest while driving Melissa to work in May 2017. Melissa and their five children stayed by Michael’s side throughout his recovery. He landed back in the hospital in 2020 after contracting COVID-19 and pneumonia from a staff member at his nursing home.

Michael was conscious and alert but could not communicate verbally. He responded to jokes, shook his head, and puckered his lips on a FaceTime call when Melissa requested a kiss. Melissa asked if she could pray with her husband and their children, to which he nodded “yes.” 

But the doctor soon told Melissa her husband would be placed in hospice against her will. In a recorded conversation, the St. David’s doctor told Melissa her husband would not receive treatment because of his disability, despite her wishes. St. David’s doctor: “So as of right now, his quality of life – he doesn’t have much of one.”

Melissa: “What do you mean? Because he’s paralyzed with a brain injury he doesn’t have quality of life?” 

St. David’s doctor: “Correct.”

Michael was left without food or treatment for six days despite Melissa’s will to save her husband. He passed away from the untreated illnesses on June 11, 2020.

Now, Melissa and her children grieve their beloved husband and dad. Melissa stated, “I’m struggling to understand how and why this could ever happen. I lost my best friend, my better half, the other half of my heart.”

About abyssum

I am a retired Roman Catholic Bishop, Bishop Emeritus of Corpus Christi, Texas
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  1. jorgecerra says:

    Today there are “doctors” who don’t deserve their titles and reverence. They used to be, with Priests, the most knowledgeable and compassionate about the human souls. Now, some “doctors” look mainly for social recognition and glamour, if not only for money.

  2. I have listened to hundreds of videos, from medical doctors and other experts on the COVID-19 pandemic and from some in the USA as well as in Italy and the UK they say that not all patients are admitted for treatment in ICU and for ventilators after being evaluated. In some cases there were not enough ICU specialized personnel , beds, or ventilators, so patients most likely to have a good outcome were selected. They doctors also said that any time ICU is being considered, it is used when they think it will be of benefit to the patient based on his/her condition, and taking into consideration the existing
    history of illness and the new lab studies, x-rays, etc. So, in the last analysis, it is a doctor’s decision. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the overwhelming majority of ICU patients on ventilators did not survive.

  3. This account is confusing because food and some medications are an ordinary part of hospice treatment…so being placed on hospice is not the same as mercy killing. I do not understand the withholding of food and whatever medications were indicated for palliative care. If the patient was triaged out of ICU care, this did happen during the pandemic and does happen to some extent in normal times, since doctors select the patients most likely to have a good outcome for ICU care. Reports were that only 20 percent of patients placed on ventilators survived. Survivors of COVID-19 also have various levels of damage to lungs, heart, and other vital organs.

  4. Rose Stiftar says:

    If a doctor feels a person doesn’t have a chance what gives the doctor the right to make the call and refuse him help.  The doctor takes the hypocraticoath to save lives.  If he doesn’t they should have charges brought against himand he should loose his license. 

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