This is a very important story from some San Diego Journalists. inewsource.org
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They are played on my local PBS Radio, are based with SDSU and they are making a mark.
Deciding When a Life is No Longer Worth Living
What is this project about?
Reporter Joanne Faryon and video journalist Brad Racino gained access to one of these units to chronicle daily life for residents and their families.
Faryon heard the term “vent farm” when she was investigating hospice care and the closure of San Diego Hospice in 2013. It was a term that haunted her and her editor, Lorie Hearn, for months. In 2014, Faryon finally had time to dig into this topic.
Rafaela, 55, is severely brain injured. For the past four years, she has been kept alive with a feeding tube in her stomach and a breathing tube in her throat. She can’t walk or talk. It’s unlikely she knows who or where she is.
She is one of 4,000 men, women and children kept alive with machines in special wards in California’s nursing homes. (SS - imagine the number across the country)
On the books they’re called subacute units. But among some doctors, they’re known as “vent farms,” shorthand for the ventilators that keep so many of the residents breathing.
It is a gripping moral subject.