Human Exceptionalism

Jesse Ramirez: Working Out Instead of Dead

I have heard from the Jesse Ramirez family–and the news is good. Readers of SHS may recall that Ramirez was badly injured in an auto accident and quickly pronounced in a PVS. His wife wanted his feeding tube pulled, but this was resisted by his family. Litigation ensued, and–he woke up. Later, when I was in Phoenix speaking, he and his family came to meet me. It was a real thrill to shake Jesse’s hand.

This is the latest news from Jesse’s sister, which I share in an abridged and slightly edited form with SHSers with her kind permission:

Just a brief update since it’s been just over a year when we experienced our hasty ordeal in the fight for Jesse’s life. Since you last spoke and saw Jesse, he has made such a miraculous recovery! He walks semi without the gait walk, but is now running and really working out at the gym 3 times a week for 3&1/2 hours. WOW, considering a year ago he was said to have been in a vegetative state.

Why? He was not a vegetable literally speaking at all. He was a human with a life and deserved his dignity. What he has not experienced is his eye sight. He can see to some degree and he continues to get some eye sight back daily…[A]nd yet the medical staff and facility participated and agreed on what could of happened- days away to his door of death all by the means of starvation and dehydration and nothing related to the accident that could have killed him.

He wanted to Thank You for all your support on his case…Thank God for A D F [Alliance Defense Fund] they were Angels sent from up above. Again, Thank You for sharing Jesse’s story to many others/organization speeches, this should inspire them to know that our family just didn’t [stay] quiet there, the processing of saving brother’s life, we took still another step [“Jesse’s Law”] by making it clear that no one has that authority to remove hydration and nutrition from someone who is incapacitated…Our family believes Jesse was that statistic of being misdiagnosed. God Bless

This is the thing: How ready we have become generally to write people like Jesse off. How many have died as a consequence will never be known. But before we decide the time has come for “death with dignity,” let us recall the lessons of Jesse, Haleigh Poutre, and Seema Sood: When in doubt, choose life.