Hospital asked wrong family to end another patient’s life

By Taxpayers Association of Oregon


KGW-8 has this amazing story of a Vancouver hospital.

It reads, “The family of a Vancouver man faced a heavy decision after an unexpected phone call in the middle of the night. Their loved one was on life support, hospital staff told them, after a horrible choking incident. “They said, ‘He’s basically brain dead,’” explained Debbie Danielson. “’Do you want us to keep him on life support or do you want to pull the plug?’” After a brief discussion with her husband, Danielson told the hospital to pull her 60-year-old brother off life support. “Michael A. Beehler, 60, Vancouver, died August 9, 2021,” read a death notice posted in The Columbian newspaper….Then came the phone call no one expected. It was her brother, Mike. He wasn’t dead. Instead, he was very much alive.” (read  more)

This is an incredible story, but at the end of the KGW-8 article we learn a little more about what causes mis-identification in hospitals.   Sometimes patients provide problematic identification because they are obviously under duress from the injury, while other cases involve mental health issues or illegal immigrants not wishing to provide their identity.    Here in the NW, we have a tidal wave of mental health victims due to the drug crisis and we have a national immigration influx by the millions due to the open border.  Add to that in Oregon, our State was rated the #1 worst hospitalization capacity state in America (meaning we have fewer beds available).   Also, In Oregon nursing was the #1 job shortage category.

If we wish to reduce hospital mistakes, we can help our local hospitals by providing an environment where they are not working under crisis conditions in addition to asking them to have better safeguards.