Family pulls plug on man in food coma

Groups clash over the controversial decision to take over-fed man off feeding tube. 

By Gary Lim

VANCOUVER — The ICU at Vancouver general hospital was the site of substantial ethical debate late Thursday evening, after housewife Miriam Wilheim signed the final termination orders to take her husband, Walter, off of the breathing machines which had been hooked up to the food-comatose man. Walter has been in a persistent vegetative state (that vegetable being candied yams) since consuming his third slice of pumpkin pie Thanksgiving Monday.

Doctor Richard Hartman, one of the on-call physicians, describes the chilling circumstances the night Wilheim was brought in.

“We knew it was bad when we saw the paramedics unloading him. They’d already unbuttoned the top button of his pants. But we didn’t know the full extent of the damage until we had him in intensive care. He was already in the early stages of meat sweats and fading in and out of consciousness. When we got finally him into the MRI, we could see clear indicators of the onset turkey brain and immediately transferred him into emergency sweatpants.”

Since his admittance to VGH, the food comatose man has attracted a lot of attention from various groups around B.C. One of the most prominent, Right to Life, received media attention in 2009 for their protest against the removal of feeding tube of one Alice Peterson, a woman determined to be brain-fed after being examined by prominent neurologists.

In a strongly worded letter to the editor in Tuesday’s Vancouver Sun, Penelope Fink, vice president of Right to Life, posits the question: who among us should have the right to choose between life and death for our most enfeebled?

“Look it boils down this. If it were you, and you were temporarily incapacitated from having eaten too much ham, who would — nay, who could you trust with making sure the doctors did everything they possibly could before selling your organs off? That’s not a responsibility that your loved should have to bear and it’s certainly not something the government should be able to decide.”

Besides, there are dozens of cases of people emerging from extended periods of gastrointestinal unconscious, so who are we to choose when someone is really “gone?”  Brendan Mayfield, a 32-year-old plumber from Yorkton, Saskatchewan suffered a brief shank-based stroke in 1994, leaving him temporarily lambatose. But 10 years to the month, his nurses found him sitting up in his bed asking them how he got there. ”

According to the Society for Gastro-comatic Health, this affliction affects over 200 Canadians each year, whit cases typically spiking during the holiday months. The GHC reminds Canadians that they can reduce their likelihood of illness relating to meat consumption by having a protein spotter, and eating a salad once every goddamn while.

At press time, Walter Wilheim has lazily rolled over in his sleep.

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