Celebrity gossipmonger TMZ offered an “exclusive” Monday that had the media buzzing. It was a story claiming that the plug will have to be pulled on singer Usher’s stepson because insurance will no longer pay for him to stay on life support.
Last week the stepson, Kyle Glover, sustained traumatic brain injury in a Jet Ski accident on Lake Lanier near Atlanta. A few days after the accident, doctors declared Glover braindead. Tameka Raymond, Usher’s ex-wife, apparently still hopes that her son will recover, according to TMZ.
But TMZ claimed that Tameka can only keep Kyle on life-support for as long as her insurance company will foot the bill.
“We’re told the insurance company hadn’t set a specific deadline, but they’ve made it clear … they’re only willing to shell out coverage for a couple of months,” TMZ reported.
At least one news source, Reuters, challenged the notion that the plug could be so easily pulled on Kyle.
“Putting aside the issue of the insurance company’s ability to cut off coverage, it’s also questionable whether a hospital can legally or ethically cut off life support simply because the patient cannot afford it,” Reuters wrote. “Different states have different rules regarding removing life support … But just because the insurance company stops footing the bill, does not necessarily mean the plug will be pulled.”
The insurance issue is one thing, but the declaration that Kyle is brain dead is quite another. Tameka could challenge the doctors’ contention that her son is brain dead.
It is not a simple subject. The American Academy of Neurology’s guidelines on determining brain death are roughly a dozen pages, in very tiny type.