Things to note about being cut off life support like Ken Okoth

Life support entails being supported by machines (ventilator) to breathe due to the failure of organs such as the heart, brain and lungs.

Kibra member of parliament Ken Okoth had requested his family to pull him off life support which they did.

He rested on Friday at 4 pm, after hours of being in ICU.

The ventilator ensures that oxygen continues flowing into a patient’s body.

In most instances decisions to cut a patient off life support are made by clinicians and the family.

But in some instances a patient may advise his/her family to do so depending on how ill he is.

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Below are instances where life support is cut off

1-When a patient is in a vegetative state especially if his brain has stopped working.

2-When the cost of maintaining a patient in ICU is likely to skyrocket.

3-When there is no hope for recovery

A patient may not be in a vegetable state but his condition may be at its last stages.

In such instances, doctors and the family may decide to cut him/her off life support.

4-If the patient had made a prior request to NEVER be put on life support whether long term or short term.

5-If a court allows.

In some instances, a family may be torn between whether to switch off or not hence involving the court.

If a court allows the patient is be pulled off life support.

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