The latest on Bobbi Kristina: While Bobbi is still fighting for her life, CNN is reporting that they have removed her breathing tube and has gone through a tracheotomy. This means she will be now breathing through a hole in her throat. This choice lowers her risk of infection and is said to be a standard procedure.”This is an indication that the patient will need this for weeks and months to come, as opposed to hours and days,” said CNN’s chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta.
On January 31, 2015, Bobbi Kristina Brown–the daughter of the late Whitney Houston and Bobby Brown–was found face down in her bath tub in Roswell, Georgia. Speculations as to what happened to her have been swirling for weeks: from an intentional drug overdose to possible criminal allegations against her “husband” Nick Gordon. Due to the numerous false reports surrounding her state of being and the family’s plans regarding her health, her immediate family has slowed down tremendously on talking to the media regarding her progress and their plans based upon her up-to-date prognosis.
We have seen the family of both Bobbi Kristina and Bobby Brown grieve, fight and plead for prayers for their loved one, and we have also learned that, despite numerous reports stating otherwise, she is still on life support, with the breathing assistance of a ventilator. Questions as to who actually has decision making authority over her health have come up numerous times as we have learned that she is not legally married to Nick Gordon. With very few details being offered weeks after this unfortunate incident, the public, in general, remains in the dark about her current health status and who will ultimately make the decision regarding her future.
WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?
Life support, or a breathing ventilator in Bobbi Kristina’s case, keeps oxygen flowing throughout the body by pushing air into the lungs. When certain body functions fail, such as the heart, brain or lungs, this is used to keep you alive until your body is “ready to take over again.” When a loved one has suffered organ failure and has been placed on life support, the next of kin (i.e. – either husband, wife, mother, father, daughter, etc.) makes the decision as to whether or not they should remain on it, or if preparations for death should be put into place.
As Bobbi Kristina is not legally married and is of age, her next of kin is her father, Bobby Brown. Unless she had a DNR (Do Not Resuscitate) or a health care proxy in place, giving authority specifically to someone else should she be hospitalized or facing immediate health issues, then Bobby is the person who has authority to make a decision about what happens to her. This includes everything from continued hospitalization to a decision to take her off of life support.
HOW DOES THIS AFFECT YOU?
As an adult, you can make a determination now surrounding what you would like to happen before something unfortunate like this takes place. A Health Care Proxy (information surrounding a New York HCP may be found here), appropriately drafted and executed according to your state’s standards, can assist loved ones in defining and understanding who can make ultimate decisions regarding your health care and also may include language regarding you not desiring resuscitation, and also whether or not you want to continue on life support.
Rashida Maples, Esq. is Founder and Managing Partner of J. Maples & Associates (www.jmaplesandassociates.com). She has practiced Entertainment, Real Estate and Small Business Law for 9 years, handling both transactional and litigation matters. Her clients include R&B Artists Bilal and Olivia, NFL Superstar Ray Lewis, Fashion Powerhouse Harlem’s Fashion Row and Hirschfeld Properties, LLC.