July 8th, 2010
04:27 PM ET

Visiting brain-damaged mom, a collision of instincts

I am not sure which instinct took over first. When I heard the story of Abbie Dorn, I remember listening with my "head" as a neurosurgeon, and also listening with my "heart" - as a dad. Like you probably will, I thought of Abbie's three children. I have three of my own.

Abbie was young, recently married, and wanting to start a family. It did not happen easily. She underwent IVF, and was finally told she was pregnant. Triplets. It was the most exciting day of her life.  Abbie's mother told me all of this, because Abbie cannot. You see, something went terribly wrong during the delivery. There was bleeding, more than two liters. Abbie's heart failed, and for too long her brain went without oxygenated blood.

Abbie survived, but she was left in a state where she can barely move, cannot speak and only blinks her eyes.  As you will see as I examine Abbie,  it is this blinking that is now at the heart of a bitter legal controversy.

Abbie's parents, her therapist and her lawyer believe she is communicating through those blinks. They believe she is letting them know: "I want to see my children." Her husband, who has since divorced her, thinks otherwise. He thinks that there is no way she could be communicating, and that it would be damaging for the children to see their mother in this condition. He worries the triplets, who are now 4 years old, might one day blame themselves for what happened to her, at the time of their birth.

There are gray areas of medicine, and that is especially true  when it comes to the brain. Doctors don't agree on Abbie's condition. And, now to try and settle this, medicine and the legal system will collide.

Of course, when sitting back and thinking about this whole situation, my dad instinct took over once again. I wondered if the focus regarding Abbie was misplaced. Regardless of her condition or her ability to communicate or interact, do her children have a right to see their mother? And, does Abbie have a right to be with her children? There are no easy answers, but I am eager to hear what you have to say.

Program Note: See Dr. Sanjay Gupta's full report on Abbie Dorn tonight on AC360° at 10pm ET.

soundoff (682 Responses)
  1. Samuel

    She carried them and gave them life. It was in the process of bringing them into the world that she suffered this fate. To at least be able to see them is the least she deserves. The children should know her. if when they get older they don't want to see her let them make that choice but if she passes away and they never get to see her ,when they are grown and the truth comes out it will be far more damaging to them to know why they never met the woman who gave them birth.

    July 8, 2010 at 21:13 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. doris

    One day, those children might hate their father for what he did. MIght?......will. How dare he keep them from their mother in whatever state she is in. They would love her any way she is. One day, when they are older and they realize what their father did, he will lose them, heart and sole. Tragic, this controlling man. His decision seems selfish to say the least. And cold.

    July 8, 2010 at 21:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. Julio

    The worst part of this is that people are kept alive in this condition for as long as they do. Even if there are enough neurons intact left to generate a sliver of consciousness, that woman died when she gave birth.

    July 8, 2010 at 21:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. DTR

    She needs to see the kids and they need to see her and get to know her too and spend as much time with her as they can till when they can. LIfe to too precious to waste. The father can have his reasons for dealing with her state the way he wants to, but she is their MOM. And she will always will be.

    July 8, 2010 at 21:24 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. zinger11

    Well said Cricket, my concern is if the father does not 100% get behind the idea of the mother and children having a relationship he could taint it and make it more harmful than what the children would otherwise just accept as is. All depending on the attitude of presentation........it could stengthen them immeasurably or turn them to toast, and unfortunately it's all on the father on which way it goes.

    July 8, 2010 at 21:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. Ellie

    Children are entitled to the truth. Of course they should see their mother and she should be allowed to see them. If not, the children will blame their father later when they are older and learn the truth, and it will be a bitter lesson for him that could have been avoided. God bless them all, and the grandparents too.....

    July 8, 2010 at 21:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. Rosemary

    Dr. Gupta,
    As A Nony pointed out, wouldn't a functional MRI might well be able to answer whether she is communicating or not. People tend to see what they want to see, not what is actually the case.

    Documented cases of people having any awareness or "waking" when though to be in comas are very rare. The press tends to publish (sometimes uncritically) such unusual happenings because they are news, but we never hear about what happened weeks, months, or years later. Personally, I'd be curious to learn more about the long-term results. I think these stories tend to give people false hope or instill guilt about "giving up too soon". How about doing a story on this someday?

    July 8, 2010 at 21:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. Jill

    The father is teaching her children to discriminate when they are not even old enough to understand what it means... Keeping her children away because she is different is WRONG... bottom line, those children will only ever have one mother!!! She is here, she is alive, what more could those children ask for. He should be deeply ashamed of himself, taking into consideration what he is teaching those children and doing to those children, he is NOT a father, he is nothing more than a sperm donor!!!

    July 8, 2010 at 21:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. Cheryl

    Dad feels guilty. He doesn't want to see what his (ex) wife has become. It's all about HIM!

    July 8, 2010 at 21:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. Jennifer

    Will the children blame themselves for what happened? Maybe, but hopefully not if their family explains the situation to them well. Either way, however, whether they see her or not, they will find out what happened to her, and may blame themselves anyway. Thus, that seems a weak reason for keeping them from her.

    July 8, 2010 at 21:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. Mary R.

    I remember Christopher Reeve talking about his children crawling all over him. Children get used to what is normal and if this Dad had not made the choices he has made, this Mom would have been normal to these children from day one. Also, if there is the slightest chance she has awareness it is absolutely unconscionable to prevent her from seeing the children she has given up her entire life for. I think Dad is going to have some 'splaining to do when they meet up again on the other side.

    July 8, 2010 at 21:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. Laura J

    The only reason this will be difficulty for her children is that they have been kept from her thus far. The responsible party for this is the father. Had the children had constant exposure to her during the years of their lives, there would be no trauma. At this point, at age 4, it should be minimal, unless, as I suspect is the case, the father makes it very traumatic for them. Sounds like he has his own issues of guilt or disgust or whatever. In any case, there is a strong argument for the kids to see their mother regularly, if only so that she does not become some specter of fear for them as they grow up. Nothing scary here other than the fathers terrible lack of maturity.

    July 8, 2010 at 21:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. Mary

    I am a psychotherapist who specializes in children. What this father is doing is criminal. Whatever "damage" these children might endure by having a relationship with their mother is nothing compared to what will happen to them 20 years from now when they find out she exists and everyone kept them apart. Children are not the stupid, senseless beings we want to believe they are. They can be compassionate, caring, understanding - even when they have a father who isn't.

    July 8, 2010 at 21:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. McBride Ryan

    Not for anything but... how in the world did that guy have the heart to leave someone so vulnerable... and so alone and helpless... what a weak man he must be.

    July 8, 2010 at 21:53 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Michelle

      Great point – this guys is a worthless coward in my book. I suppose he would run over his mother to save himself in a fire.

      July 8, 2010 at 21:56 | Report abuse |
  15. Michelle

    Bottom line – this mother has been through hell....whether or not she can or cannot communicate or knows what's going on is completely "beside the point", let her be with her children – she deserves 'that' much. The children will be fine and will not be damaged and no they will not blame themselves (when they're older) for something that was so obviously completely beyond their control. If anything they will be sorry they weren't 'there'.

    July 8, 2010 at 21:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. Sharon Ray

    She most certainly should be seeing her children on a regular basis. This is her right as a parent and it is the right of the children , who will love her as she is.

    July 8, 2010 at 21:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. Roger

    If the debate centers around the anticipation of the children one day blaming themselves for their mother's disability, has anyone considered the likely more detrimental outcome of not having had a relationship with their mother due to a disability? What kind of reasoning is this? This is to suggest that we can only maintain relationships with our loved ones if there exists no loss, disability, and self blame... things we all deal with and that are relatively normal developmental challenges. As for the mother, it is not always clear, even with advanced medicine, to discern consciousness after severe brain damage, so to make the assumption that the mother essentially died on the table is not a justification for taking a mother, however disabled or incommunicable, from her children.

    July 8, 2010 at 21:56 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Michelle

      Right on...Roger !

      July 8, 2010 at 21:58 | Report abuse |
    • Ken

      Agree with Roger. Mom made an unimaginable sacrifice for this family, she lost all. The kids can have a relationship with their mom, even with her severe level of disability.

      July 8, 2010 at 22:08 | Report abuse |
  18. Melissa

    Why is this even a question? OF COURSE she should be allowed to see her children. I thought this article was going to be about life support or something equally controversial – but a question of whether or not she should at least be able to see the children she gave her life for? I don't blame the father for divorcing her and leaving her; I'm sure that situation is impossible to deal with, but to deny her the opportunity to see her children is unforgivable.

    July 8, 2010 at 21:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. Tim

    Yes they should see their mother. The husband .... I don't know. Why haven't the kids already seen the mother??!!! This is terrible. So sad. The longer the wait and the older they get the harder it will be for them. They should be told every day the huge love their morhter has for them.

    July 8, 2010 at 22:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. Sonja

    There is more to this story that involves this woman's money. It is husband who wants it.

    As for visitation there is no doubt in my mind that her children should be able to see her. Even if she does not comprehend anything the children have the right to know their mother.

    July 8, 2010 at 22:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. BJ

    What about adopted children? They have biological mothers. Should those mothers be able to demand to see their children just because they gave birth to them? Don't most people think that taking an adopted child and introducing the to their "real" mother might be just a little traumatic? Get real people.

    Of course she shouldn't see her children. I'm a mother myself. I wouldn't be so selfish as to want to see my children if there was even the slightest chance that it might cause them any confusion or pain or anguish. Mothers should be selfless. She gave them birth. The children are happy. Job done. Let them be.

    July 8, 2010 at 22:10 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Mak

      These kids aren't being adopted by this woman- she is their biological mother so she has the right just as much as they have the right to see her.

      July 8, 2010 at 22:16 | Report abuse |
  22. Mak

    She definitely deserve to see her kids- she was selfless when she decided to get pregnant and was willing to take whatever risk there was just to have those kids. It's not like she is violent that she will put those kids in harm and they are too young to be told what happened to their mom so the truth should be revealed to them when they are old enough to understand it.

    July 8, 2010 at 22:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. Namewithheld

    Really? What a BASS Tard.... for keeping these children from their mother. This is just all kinda wrong. Sorry for the hickster comments.. but cant help it. If I met this guy on the street, he would get a good cursin out.. and he would know how wrong he is.. So Wrong.. REally!

    July 8, 2010 at 22:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. Mohamed Z. Rahaman

    Took my very small children to see my dad after he suffered a TBI. Dad was in a coma for 7 weeks and eventually came out of it but never fully recovered and was in a home for just over a year before he passed. We never regretted it one bit and the children are stronger and better for it. They learn about life, tragedy and the human spirit.
    These kids will one day understand and thank their dad – if he ever let them see their mom.

    July 8, 2010 at 22:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. red


    July 8, 2010 at 22:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. nursegillian

    Dr. Gupta, you and I both know that she was not blinking yes or no. But in my opinion, that is beside the point. Of course her children should visit their mother. One reason among many, the children will acquire wisdom and compassion, two admirable traits that they won't learn from their father.

    July 8, 2010 at 22:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. TK

    PS: My concerns aside...why doesn't the father consult a child psychiatrist to work the children into the relationship with the mother? Has he done so already? Children's rights is a legal question and not a medical question.

    July 8, 2010 at 22:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. Ed Reilly

    Good God, just skimmed down all the comments...there are one HECK of a lot of loving, compassionate people out there...and I agree with you all!

    July 8, 2010 at 22:24 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. jo

    my opinion still stands. I wrote about this issue on my blog here, back in April. http://asweetdoseoftruth.blogspot.com/2010/04/another-name-for-coward-is-daniel-dorn.html

    July 8, 2010 at 22:24 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. bethany

    Why has it taken 4 years? If the children were/are introduced at a young age, it would be a normal part of their lives. Hey thisw is my mom, She's in the hospital.

    July 8, 2010 at 22:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. Ryan

    It would be right to allow the mother to see her children or vice-versa, but the circumstances here are extremely delicate. I do think it is possible, though maybe not probable, that one of the children might blame themselves for the mother's condition, the ensuing divorce, etc. It is unfortunate the father has such a weak spirit b/c he is the only one who would be able to make this situation easier, but instead he chose to make it easier on himself. If the mother's state will remain unchanged for the foreseeable future, then when the time is right the four should meet. I think 4 years old is too young for such a meeting though.

    July 8, 2010 at 22:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. lisa

    Of course she should be allowed to see her kids it may help her recover! My mother had many strokes and i can guarantee u when she was paralyzed several times she told me she understood everything!!!!!
    What the hell is wrong with Dr Gupta-so politically correct and unable to understand the human anatomy-I hate when people who can't talk just get ignored.
    She's a human being give her some respect. Also, get her some medicine that shocks her system-remember the movie Robin Williams gives the people who are in a coma like state-this helps stroke victims. Try it, try anything to help her. If nothing can be done, try to see if she's able to use one of those computers that can pick up eye blinking.if it works, she can communicate, if not try everything and then turn the oxygen off if she does not get better. U can't let someone suffer indefinitely in this state.

    July 8, 2010 at 22:42 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. SANDY W

    None of you know what the father is going through. He has to take care of his children. This was not an easy descision for him. i don't know the history of whether she was able to "see" the kids when they were a younger age: but exposing them now at four years old is quite a decision. He has to think of what is best for the kids. I pray that he is praying and seeking professional counsel on this.

    July 8, 2010 at 22:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. NH

    The husband sounds like a douche bag. The children should be allowed to meet their mother. This is very heartbreaking.

    July 8, 2010 at 22:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. Joann

    I believe the children should be able to see their mother and have a relationship with her. Children are much smarter than we sometimes give them credit for. Example....when I was 8 years old my mother died from a ruptured appendix. My grandmother was telling my father to not allow me to see her in the casket...to see her dead lifeless body. My father consulted with a therapist and he was told that he should allow me to see her. So, now from the perspective of the child I can tell you that it was the best thing they could have ever done. Seeing my mother's dead body allowed me to have internal peace. I understood that she was gone, it was final and why. I understood that she was not with me because she had no choice. It was not her fault she was not there. It wasn't that she didn't want to be with me. It was that she couldn't and I understood why. I touched her hand and it was cold. I felt sorry for her but continued to have a relationship with her spiritually. I feel the children will see her and they will understand her condition. Their tender hearts will find love for her and they will want to bring her gifts and do things for her. It is wrong for their father to keep them away from her. If she has any cognition then she but can not communicate then she is dying inside for them and their love. A mother has a very solid bond with the babies she carries. My guess is that you will see a tear in her eye when she sees them for the first time. Maybe she needs to die but is just waiting until she can see them? Maybe the power of their love and her love for them will make her fight harder to come out of it and control her body through sheer will power. There once was a man who everyone said that he would never walk or be normal again. He is now normal. Maybe she has given up? It's a crime to keep them away from her. They are her children and she has a RIGHT to see them. Shame on your DAD for keeping them away. You are not protecting them. This comment I make comes from someone who has had a similar experience. Trust me...let your children love their mom. PLEASE!!!!!

    July 8, 2010 at 22:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. John

    This guy is a real P O S. I cannot believe that he would first abandon her, And then keep her kids from her. They will eventually know whats up, and will then hate him for life. So sad.

    July 8, 2010 at 22:49 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. Grace

    I very much like Dr. Sanjay Gupta – but really, is there a merciful grey area here? This woman gave her life for those kids and the man who is now denying her the simple right to see and spend time with them. The children do not need to know for quite some time how this happened to her. Please give a woman with so little to live for a bit of dignity to see her offspring. While yes, it might be uncomfortable for the former husband to confront this situation but certainly nothing like his former wife or her family's challenges with how things turned out. HUSBAND- do the right thing and stop this heartless effort.

    July 8, 2010 at 22:51 | Report abuse | Reply
    • JC

      It is her right to have people make decisions for her that in their best estimate she would make if she were not incapacitated. It is not necessarily true that she has a right to see her kids in that, she has an equal right to not see her kids if she were able to choose.

      July 8, 2010 at 23:19 | Report abuse |
  38. Julie

    My son fell into a vegetative state at age six, after suffering a permanent brain injury from viral encephalitis. For weeks he lay in a coma, but showed signs of occasional recognition. He survived, and although impaired at 19, is a functional adult. My point is, he was more aware of what was going on, while in the comatose state than anyone thought. The same year, I gave birth to triplets, and today have surviving twins. I would hope that if would have suffered a tragedy like this poor woman did, that my husband would not keep my babies from me. I think many people have a misconception and fear when it comes to seeing a person in a comatose or disabled condition, and their fear leads them to wrong conclusions. The father should be worried that his children will hate him one day for keeping them from their mother, regardless of her condition. She gave them life.

    July 8, 2010 at 22:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. Tammy

    The far worse case is that the man divorced his wife, is that even allowed for that reason in the jewish faith?

    July 8, 2010 at 22:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. Mother and Nurse

    Tragic, in all directions. Children are amazingly gifted, and I fear these triplets are being underestimated. When given the correct information in the correct format over time, they could certainly handle developing a relationship with the woman who gave her life for them. They deserve to have that opportunity. Sorry Dad, depriving them of truth is not helping them to cope and fill the void where her love belongs. Please consider being a little more open minded, as you once had the capacity to love and trust this woman. Honor the memory of your relationship by allowing her to hear, touch, and feel her own babies-just as she allowed you to do.

    July 8, 2010 at 23:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. kody

    It is clear after skimming through the posts that the majority of you guys feel that the children should see their mother. I do not feel that their is a right answer. It seems that justification for both sides is prevalent. There are so many unknown variables to factor in that the CNN community is unaware of and really has no potential of knowing. It seems so simple to come to the conclusion that this is their biological mother and they should meet her and cherish her to avoid potential regret later in life. Pending certain objective medical information such as an EEG it seems that the mother is most likely not present. Her physical body may be in the room but the woman that gave birth to these young children is no longer available and hasn't been 4-6 minutes after her brain lost perfusion of oxygenated blood. While right or wrong is not present I personally can't find the true benefit to the children being exposed to her now. There is the argument listed below that life is cruel and the world is harsh so why try to protect the children from reality. Well, they are four years old and not an adult or even a teenager. I agree that life is harsh but for now they should be allowed to be four years old and not have to be exposed unneccesarily to this. It will be exceptionally confusing if they already think she does not exist. They've obviously already lost their mother once. As infants they didn't have the critical bonding with their mother. Why make them do it again? Why at such a young age? Children are so easily impressionable and suprisingly have remarkable memories. Sometimes it is best to let go. Knowledge isn't always power and some things are best left unknown. They will have to deal with it one day, but now or later is irrelevant. It will be difficult for them either way, but I think as they grow and mature the acquired life skills will help them to answer the right questions at the appropriate time and with maturity will come acceptance. I'm not a parent though and maybe if I were my opinion would be much different.

    July 8, 2010 at 23:05 | Report abuse | Reply
    • kody


      July 8, 2010 at 23:08 | Report abuse |
    • Julie

      Those children will always wonder, about the mother they never met. They will hear mixed stories and shaded facts, and will never really understand. She will become a dark secret in their minds, always questions, never peace. It is a mistake to withhold her children from her.

      July 8, 2010 at 23:16 | Report abuse |
    • B

      Kody: I agree with you. Obviously we're in the minority here.

      July 8, 2010 at 23:52 | Report abuse |
  42. gita

    has the mother been separated from the kids from the time they were born? have the doctors considered the possibility that part of her condition could be because of the cruel abandonment by the husband and the heart-break that comes from not being able to see the kids that she craved so desperately for. i strongly believe that if she was to see her kids on a regular basis her will to get well will awaken and she would be on a road to recovery. maybe dr. gupta should push across this point. as for the kids they have the right to know that their mom is alive and loves them very much. shame on the heartless monster that this so-called dad is.

    July 8, 2010 at 23:11 | Report abuse | Reply
    • JC

      Maybe if one of the children gave her a daisy and dipped in unicorn tears she would awake from her slumber and grant them three wishes.

      Reality bites!

      July 8, 2010 at 23:16 | Report abuse |
  43. JC

    Dr. Gupta, I admire and at the same time cringe at your efforts to engage the public in medical topics.

    A majority of the posters have interjected their own desires as that of the will of this woman. It is possible that the husband is not acting out her wishes as her medical decision maker, and as his children's guardian, but it is also possible that based on their marriage and time spent together that he feels he is doing what she would have wanted. Patient autonomy doesn't mean public democracy.

    Many people choose to not have specific family and friends present while they are ill. For those of us who would not wish for tubes and lines to keep us alive once our body has given way, it may also be true that we would not want our children to see our bodies in that state.

    July 8, 2010 at 23:13 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. AmyJ

    I don't see where there is a question, here. There is a mother who has children; they have EVERY right to see each other and make memories – regardless of whether or not the mom is disabled.

    Seirously – – I thought we were past the times of shuttling people with differences away. The very thought of this makes me sick.

    July 8, 2010 at 23:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. Elaine

    Of course she has the right to see her children and they absolutely have the right to see her. The Dad is confused and he will be sorry later if he does not help the children visit their Mom. How will he be able to shield them from the truth of their lives - it is their life - it is what happened to them - they have a right to all their history. They will process it much more easily if he introduces this all to them at a young age, when children are very open, resilient, and creatiave in their thinking and problem solving. They will integrate this information in to their lives in a much healthier way if they know now. Plus, they will aways want to know their Mom and experience her in some form or fashion. Plus, she has the right - how cruel to keep her from her children - even if she has no idea they are there intellectually, there will be pleasure simply from t heir presence certainly - probably true if ANY child came to her bedside. She did pay the ultimate price for those children and it is ridiculou to even consider keeping her away from her children. Not to mention her family - the parents and grandparents, it must be so painful for them realizing their daughter won't ever get to parent her children... let alone now having to fight to even have them simply visit her!? Crazy. There must be more to this story Dr. Gupta...!?

    July 8, 2010 at 23:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. Fernando

    This should be treated like any other divorce. The question easy: What is the best for the children? The answer not so easy: We have a court system that will come up with a decision. What we don't need is outsiders forcing their morality on this family.

    July 8, 2010 at 23:24 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. Shae

    It seems to me that the father is the one who is fearful and uncomfortable about his wife's condition. I read an article a while back about Abbie's condition and her husband almost immediately abandoned her after the children's delivery. I think the kids will reflect the attitude of the father. If he's fearful and uncomfortable, they will be, too. If he's accepting and loving, they will be, too.

    July 8, 2010 at 23:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. Jen

    You know, no one here actually knows these people, or the details of what the father has gone through, or the details of her medical condition and hence I would say you don't actually know what you would do in his situation. We also don't know that they didn't discuss what they would do if something like this happened, triplets are a high risk pregnancy, and its possible that he is following something that they discussed before this happened. Everyone here who says she would definitely want to see the children is projecting their feelings on a stranger, because we can't actually know that that is what she would want. Personally I think her husband is more qualified to make that decision than a bunch of strangers on a message board.

    I think she would understand him, he's human, maybe this is the only way he can deal with the loss of his wife and being thrust into being a single parent to triplets, all at the same time. Sometimes you can only do what you can, and that's not always even close to the ideal. If this had happened to me, I'd want my spouse to do what he thinks is right for him and for our children.

    July 8, 2010 at 23:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. Elizabeth

    I have actually experianced something similar to this. My oldest son was 3 and a half when his nearly 2 year old brother became ill with Leukemia and desimating fungal infections. We nearly lost him very early on, and even thoiugh he looked a mess, had flesh missing from his elbow, his nasal cavitiy exposed and one of his eyes bulging we didn't stop our son from seeing his best friend. The baby was on life support and all his brother wanted was for him to get better so they could play together. I would never imagine keeping them apart, nor could I imagine keeping a child from their mother. Yes some things will have to be explained to the children, but I promise they will still love her. What I truly fear is if/when the mother is to die, and these kids go without having gotten to know her, no matter in what way, they will be missing that piece of themselves for the rest of their life. I personally never met my biological father and its something I wish I could experiance. Lets hope these children are given a chance. Let them be the ones to tell dad if its too much for them at that time. Don't rob them or cheat them out of a chance to have that whole feeling in their lives.

    July 8, 2010 at 23:30 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. Michael R

    Dad is a selfish idiot. Protecting the kids? Please, kids know more than adults give them credit for. The dad is doing a dis-service to this children by not letting them see their mother. No "And's" if's" or "but's"

    July 8, 2010 at 23:34 | Report abuse | Reply
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Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.