Comatose Man Jesse Ramirez Almost Euthanasia Victim, Now Enjoys Life

Bioethics   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jul 17, 2008   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Comatose Man Jesse Ramirez Almost Euthanasia Victim, Now Enjoys Life

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by Steven Ertelt Editor
July 17
, 2008

Phoenix, AZ ( — Jesse Ramirez was badly injured in an automobile accident in May 2007 and nearly became a victim of euthanasia when his wife made the decision to have his feeding tube removed. Now, Ramirez has recovered to the point that he is enjoying life and waking and running.

Ramirez suffered traumatic brain injury in the accident and had been in a minimally conscious state for just over a week when doctors told his family he may never recover.

A legal battle ensued over the man’s life and he almost became a victim of euthanasia in the same way Terri Schiavo was starved and dehydrated to death.

Last June, Ramirez woke up from the coma and appeared to be on the road to recovery.

Jesse’s sister recently wrote a note to bioethicist Wesley J. Smith and said he is happy and alive now and enjoying working out at the gym.

"Since you last spoke and saw Jesse, he has made such a miraculous recovery," his sister said. "He walks semi without the gait walk, but is now running and really working out at the gym three times a week for three and a half hours."

‘Wow — considering a year ago he was said to have been in a vegetative state," she explained.

His sister told Smith that Ramirez "was not a vegetable literally speaking at all" — "He was a human with a life and deserved his dignity."

"And 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," she added.

Ramirez’s sister told Smith she appreciated the support of pro-life advocates who helped the Arizona legislature pass Jesse’s Law.

The new law establishes a court process to obtain an emergency order to prevent a surrogate decision-maker from withdrawing the administration of food or fluid to an incapacitated patient.

Smith responded to the statement he received saying he was privileged to meet Jesse and his family when in Phoenix recently on a speaking engagement.

"This is the thing: How ready we have become generally to write people like Jesse off," Smith said. "How many have died as a consequence will never be known."

He concluded, "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."

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