My Little Blog

Sending my thoughts out into cyberspace to keep my sanity.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

HLHS ethics and Dr.Norwood

The above link is from a CHD support group called saving little hearts. I don't know much about the group yet, but the link above features a news story about Dr. Norwood. It is an interesting article, but very long if anyone wants to read it. If you are a parent with a HLHS child, I strongly reccomend that you do read it. I heard that Dr. Norwood was fired and there was some controversy over a new procedure, but I didn't have much information on it.

Anyway, the article is interesting. Here are some of my thoughts.

Question everything and make sure you understand what you are signing giving consent too, etc. I don't think I questioned Hunter's procedures enough. I was in shock still, even for the second operation. I remember that the doctors didn't even mention leaky tricuspid valve until we were checking out of the hospital after his first operation.

Would I allow an experimental procedure be done on my child? Of there was no choice of course, but what if it could have saved him from the third open heart operation he now faces. I hear some hospitals in Canada are performing new second surgeries that allow the third to be done by catherzation.

Did Dr. Norwood go too far "perfecting" his procedures? If he didn't work so hard in the 70's then Hunter wouldn't be alive today, but how much is good enough? No parent would want to risk thier child's life just to save future children. You just can't. So if it worked should he have left it alone? I think so ,and I think the parents of the children who died think so too.

Dr. Norwood definately has a God complex and went too far. However, look at all the lives he saved. It is sad that his brillance is being wasted.

Today's parents have a duty to research, research, reasearch, but I wish there was a list of questions to ask. Support groups do help.

There still isn't enough information on HLHS, even after 20 years. Doctors have still said we don't know. They don't know the long term effects and the link to many other complications.

Do I know where Dr. Norwood is now? No.

If anyone knows what happened after this article was written please tell me via my website.