BATAVIA TWP. (near Cincinnati, OH) – Ronnie Dragoo has been near death for a month. He has cancer. Mentally disabled since birth, the 56-year-old Clermont County man has been kept alive with the help of a respirator and a feeding tube……In December, Ronnie Dragoo had surgery to remove a tumor the size of a football, and he’s had three rounds of chemotherapy to treat lymphoma B cancer, his sisters said. He developed pneumonia and other complications. “Two weeks ago, they called us in and told us that Ronnie was going to die and to say our last words to him,” Theile (Ronnie’s sister) said. “I have prayed to God to have him die. No one deserves this.”
His sisters don’t have the legal authority to make medical decisions for him. He is a ward of the state. Tammy Murray, who is Ronnie Dragoo’s guardian (from the state), has talked with doctors and his sisters about his care. Medicaid has paid for it.
Ronnie Dragoo’s situation is complicated but not uncommon, said Karla Rinto, program director for Advocacy and Protective Services Inc. in Columbus. “We work on end-of-life decisions pretty much every day,” Rinto said of the agency, which provides guardians for about 4,600 mentally disabled people in Ohio. According to state law, two doctors must agree to sign off on ending life support before a guardian can authorize it, Rinto said. The patient must be diagnosed as having a terminal illness or be permanently unconscious.
“What we heard from the Clermont (hospital) doctors was they were not comfortable that this was terminal,” Rinto said. Ronnie Dragoo was transferred last week to the Regency at Deaconess in Clifton Heights (near Cincinnati), where two doctors agreed Friday to withdraw life support and sign a do-not-resuscitate order, Thiele (Ronnie’s sister) said.
The respirator and feeding tube were removed Monday, Cindy Dragoo said. It’s unknown how long her brother might live.
Why and when does personhood end?
1. The decision of life and death is not up to us humans, it’s up to God. God decides who lives and dies. We have been made perfectly in His eyes, not in the world’s view. We have all been known to Him since the foundation of the world with a purpose and ministry.
2. Being a ward of the state (loss of personhood) of ANYWHERE in this United States, you are subject to be judged of your viability to survive long-term, thus costing the state a bunch of money. Thus, loosing personhood status.
3. This is happening way more than what we read in the newspaper. Thousands more than this case or the Terri Schiavo case that is in the news. Usually because this is regarding wards of the state because of mental incapacity or disability.
4. In this particular case, the patient is terminal, meaning that if he is in the last stages of cancer and subject to die anytime anyway, why are they so willing to cut off life support NOW? Because it costs MONEY – money from the state.
5. How is it that all of the family members and friends KNOW the care that the patient would want in the event this would happen? Family members & friends want the situation over to get on with THEIR OWN LIVES and they truly do not believe this is a person any longer.
6. It takes days to die of starvation and dehydration. It’s the most painful death imaginable. And someone that is mentally disabled is suppose to understand this is what’s best for him???? Personhood is definitely over.