In response to a report that Newark Beth Israel Medical Center staff allegedly kept a patient in a vegetative state to maintain the cardiac program’s survival rate, Chair of the Assembly Health and Senior Services Committee Herb Conaway (D-Burlington) released the following statement:
“If this report is legitimate, I am absolutely appalled by the actions of every staff member involved in this horrific scheme. A man who suffered a tragic surgical outcome should never have been kept in a vegetative state to falsify a program’s statistics while his family remained in the dark about all possible means of care.
“As doctors, we take the Hippocratic Oath to do what is best for our patients, which includes remembering that we are treating not a chart, ‘but a sick human being, whose illness may affect the person’s family and economic stability.’
“How these doctors could look Darryl Young’s family in the eye every day and knowingly conceal information regarding their loved one’s health is unfathomable to me. Not only did his extensive life support likely cause financial difficulties for the family, but they never even knew about the option for a potentially more humane, palliative approach to his end-of-life care.
“While I can understand the desire to continue a cardiac program that helps patients, I can never condone that goal when it comes at the cost of even one person’s wellbeing.
“The implicated doctors must face consequences if the allegations are indeed accurate. Their actions are a stain on the entire medical community, and they must be held accountable for what they have done to both this patient and his family.”