Skip to comments.Danger Zone - (Haleigh Poutre)
Posted on 02/01/2006 7:29:10 AM PST by Ohioan from Florida
In the court (and courts) of life and death, a little 11-year-old Massachusetts girl named Haleigh Poutre could be the next Terri Schiavo. For those who have not heard the tragic story, Haleigh was beaten nearly to death last September, allegedly by her adoptive mother and stepfather. The beating left her unconscious and barely clinging to life.
Within a week or so of the beating, her doctors had written her off. They apparently told Haleigh's court-appointed guardian, Harry Spence, that she was "virtually brain dead." Even though he had never visited her, Spence quickly went to court seeking permission to remove her respirator and feeding tube. The court agreed, a decision affirmed recently by the supreme court of Massachusetts.
And so, no doubt with the best of intentions, a little girl who had already suffered so much was stripped by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts of even the chance to fight to stay alive. If she didn't stop breathing when the respirator was removed, which doctors expected, she would slowly dehydrate to death.
Then came the unexpected:
(Excerpt) Read more at nationalreview.com ...
Ping. Does anyone know if someone has a Haleigh Poutre ping list?
There is a huge difference between this story and Schiavo. But you all know that.
very good article Ohioan!!
I didn't know where was a good place to end the excerpt. My apologies.
what's the difference? She is alive, brain damaged, and still some want to dehydrate her to death!
Of course there are differences, and there are similarities. But you all know that.
Then maybe I did excerpt it in the right place! I just want people to read the whole thing, and I would have posted the whole article, but I'm not up on all the posting article rules, and I don't want FR to get in trouble with copyright stuff.
The huge difference is that this young girl is still alive because the death ghouls have not succeeded in killing her, while Schiavo is forever dead.
I don't think anyone has a Heliegh-specific list, but I will ping my pro-life list.
If anyone wants on or off my ProLife Ping List, please notify me here or by freepmail.
Can you add me to this list..
Isa 5:20: Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil;...
I think it's sad that the media isn't paying attention to this either, but I hope they will as time goes by. Haleigh is far from out of danger.
Please don't think that Terri was 'brain dead' as was commonly reported by the media. She wasn't. She wasn't in a coma either. They misrepresented a lot about Terri.
With brain death, the person cannot even breathe on their own without the help of a respirator or ventilator. Terri did so for 15 years. She was no longer in a coma, as was commonly misreported early on. She came out from her coma within several weeks of her trauma, just as Randal McCloy, the surviving Sago miner, has recently done.
One, but not the only, difficulty for Terri was that of the Persistent Vegetative State. Whether Terri was truly in a PVS or had moved to another Minimally Conscious State was a point of debate even at her death. Smith brings up valid points in his article why it was only one thing that was problematic.
I hope that with more attention that Haleigh might have a brighter future.
There is a huge difference between this story and Schiavo. But you all know that
I am really glad you brought up this point. We can share it with all.
You will be glad to know there is an article stating just that! You can find it in the Boston Globe.
Moreover her brother made a fine response. Here it is.
Dear Ms. Young,
I writing in response to your column, Haleigh Poutre is no Terri Schiavo.
After reading all of the dishonesty that you purport as truths in regard to my sister Terri, I have to say that this is not only the most irresponsible article that I have yet to read from the media regarding Terris situation, but possibly the most egregious.
You wrote that, Schiavo had been in a persistent vegetative state for 15 years, and had undergone a barrage of tests showing that she had no higher brain functioning and no consciousness a fact on which all unbiased medical experts agreed.
I want to know how youve researched Terris case, and how youve obtained this information. Could it be that youve gathered your facts from the other opinion pieces similar to the one youve written about Terri?
If you are referring to autopsy that ostensibly proved that Terri was PVS, then you are entirely wrong. The Independent Medical Examiner who performed the autopsy, Dr. Jon Thogmartin, went to great lengths to caution those reviewing Terris autopsy that a post-mortem, forensic examination could neither confirm nor refute a diagnosis of persistent vegetative state. This is because PVS is a clinical diagnosis based on the behaviors of a living patient and not forensic pathology.
Moreover, Dr. Stephen Nelson a consulting pathologist who assisted Dr. Thogmartin with the autopsy report admitted that, while Terris symptoms were consistent with PVS, he could not rule out the possibility that Terri was in a minimally conscious state.
And there are numerous pathologists and physicians that have responded to the autopsy finding as being misleading and ambiguous. This information could have been and still can be easily provided to you.
I wonder if you were you aware that as indicated in Terris medical records she was talking when given rehabilitation in the months following her injury? This completely refutes the PVS diagnosis.
Additionally, did you know that there were more doctors on record with the court (from some of the most distinguished institutions from across the country) stating that Terri was not in PVS than there were doctors that said she was? Furthermore, most of these affidavits (there are more than 42 in total) submitted by these doctors said that if Terri was given proper therapy, her functioning capacity could have improved. Why was this never reported by the media?
Did you know that a recent British Medical Journal has reported that nearly 43% of all PVS diagnoses are, in fact, misdiagnoses? Based on this report, the Independent Medical Examiner findings, the sworn testimony and affidavits of over 42 physicians, neurologists and other healthcare professionals contradicting that Terri was in PVS, I believe it is incredibly reckless for you to make the sweeping statement that Terri was PVS.
The fact that my sister received no therapy for more than thirteen years, which also was rarely if ever reported by the media, only added to the deterioration of her condition. No autopsy report could have ever determined how much Terri would have improved if she was receiving proper rehabilitation and therapy during the past thirteen years.
To make the statement that, . . . all unbiased medical experts agreed as to the condition of my sister is so completely disingenuous that the only conclusion I can draw is that you did absolutely no research into the doctors that evaluated Terri.
Dr. Ronald Cranford, hired by Michael Schiavo, has testified in almost every major case that the removal of the feeding tube should be permitted. He even takes pleasure in the moniker, Dr. Humane Death. To call him unbiased is like calling Rush Limbaugh a liberal democrat. And one of the other doctors that testified in my sister trial, Dr. Peter Bambakidis, was later discovered as having ties to same organization as Michael Schiavos attorney George Felos.
But aside from all this, what is really sad is that your article and so many others like yours does nothing but discriminate against the disabled by labeling them with this dangerous and subjective PVS diagnosis. The PVS diagnosis was created for one reason and to serve only one purpose to kill those that are the weakest and most vulnerable among us.
No amount of damage to the brain or level of disability should give anyone the authority to kill. But this is exactly what you are saying - and is now happening all the time - that we can justify the killing of human beings because they have reached a level of profound brain damage that is unacceptable for us to care for them anymore. So, tell me, how long do you give Haliegh to improve before you give up on her and decide that she must die?
What is really shameful though is that I have to respond to articles like yours and defend my sisters life and explain why her family should have been permitted to love her.
Columnist Nat Hentoff commented on the media and how they have handled my sisters case. He said that it was so shoddy and inaccurate that it was the worst case of journalistic malpractice that hes seen in 25 years.