Skip to comments.Haleigh Poutre Almost Victim of Euthanasia, Now Making Good Progress
Posted on 09/05/2006 4:45:45 AM PDT by 8mmMauser
Boston, MA (LifeNews.com) -- Haleigh Poutre was the victim of child abuse and was nearly killed via euthanasia when Massachusetts officials gave up on her after she entered a coma. Now Poutre, once termed "brain dead" by doctors, continues to improve and is speaking a few words, her grandmother says.
Sandra Sudyka, the girl's biological grandmother, is no longer allowed to visit her granddaughter and now says she is ready to speak to the media about Poutre's condition.
She told The Republican newspaper that she last saw Poutre on July 18 but indicated she was "doing well."
"She was bright-eyed and smiling. She is always responsive to us," Sudyka explained.
Department of Social Services had asked Sudyka not to talk with reporters about Haleigh, but since they will no longer allow her and Haleigh's biological mother, Allison Avrett, to visit the 12 year-old, she said she's going to talk to the media.
"I decided since they broke the deal, I am going to talk. People should know how well she is doing," Sudyka told the newspaper.
"They don't want people to know how she is doing after they wanted to pull the plug," Sudyka said.
DSS spokeswoman Denise Monteiro declined an interview with The Republican but said that the visiting privileges have been suspended, not terminated.
Haleigh first began speaking in June, her grandmother told the newspaper.
"I was saying to her 'I love you,' and she was trying to say 'love' and it came out as a vibration...'ove,'" Sudyka said.
Sudyka, who is working with an attorney to adopt the girl, said she has said hello, responds to comments and questions, speaks nonverbally and is able to write her name. Haleigh can't walk and is confined to a wheelchair.
Avrett, Poutre's biological mother, lost custody of her daughter after physically abusing her. Poutre was put into a foster home where her adoptive parents also abused her. Her adopted mother committed suicide after abusing Poutre so much she had to be hospitalized.
DSS took Poutre into custody and when she appeared to slip into a coma, the agency asked the state Supreme Court for permission to take her life. That's when Poutre began responding.
Poutre has been receiving physical, speech and occupational therapy since January 26 at Franciscan Hospital for Children in Brighton.
Gov. Mitt Romney appointed a commission to look into how the state failed to properly handle the girl's case.
(Original Ohioan from Florida's ping list, update to September 2.)
Thanks for the update.
Huh? To my knowledge while physician-assisted suicide is legal in Oregon, euthanasia is illegal in all US states. Am I missing something??
They just use a different name or term in other states. In Texas for example, it falls under the Futile Care law and in Florida, Terri Schiavo set the example for being killed legally, like it or not, all in the name of her supposedly wishing to be dehydrated to death for thirteen days.
My own Mom died in Oregon and I am still not sure if she weren't helped along, probably with legal sanctions.
It maybe be illegal but it happens.
Technically illegal, but difficult to prove in a court of law if both the so-called physicians and the so-called family conspire together to murder the helpless individual in question.
Last March (?), I sent Haleigh a birthday card. It had the kind of picture on it that would make a little girl smile -- a big silly elephant in a funny pose. Maybe somebody tucked it away for her and she'll see it when she gets better. (I can hope, can't I?) She WILL get better, with reasonable care and family love. Say a prayer for Haleigh, she's not safe yet.
thanks for the PING. It is amazing to know how this poor child is doing! Great news she is coming around. I hope she makes more recovery and is able to live a normal life someday soon.
Wideawake's comment was correct, but you can also look at it as a futile care case. Somebody has to make the decision to terminate medical care when the patient is beyond help and hope. The Massachusetts DSS, having custody, went to court to do just that. As discussed in other threads, we think they had ulterior motives for doing so, and at the very least, were extremely careless about verifying the futility of Haleigh's condition. In fact, the girl had snapped out of her comatose condition and was improving and responsive before the DSS went to court to stop treating her. It is appalling that they petitioned the court to kill her at that point.
Incidentally, children have a far better chance to recover from brain injuries than adults. It is normal to give them extra time and therapy, not to pull the plug in a hurry.
And that's the problem; people are too quick on the draw. Why are they so eager to kill people? Don't they realize it could be THEM next time?
I am sorry about your mother and certainly hope she was treated with the respect she and your family deserve.
I am not the one watering down the word, "euthanasia". The ones who are implementing euthanasia are watering it down, using softer terms that sell. But the effect is just the same. In the case of Haleigh, the officials wanted to euthanize her plain and simple. In the case of Andrea Clark in Texas the authorities wanted to euthanize her despite protests to the contrary and they used the softer term, "futile care" as their tool. Rather than interpret the term "futile" as treatment which would not help, they interpreted the life of Andrea as futile. That is how we are seeing them work.
A review of past discussions of Haleigh's dilemma makes clear the DSS intent and attempts to cover up the true nature of their deeds.
There is a difference between futile care, and futile lives. DSS determined that Haleigh's life was futile. There was nothing futile about her care. It was doing what it was designed to do. And DSS recognized this. What they didn't recognize was that Haleigh has as much right to live as anyone else. They intended to euthanize her, by depriving her of food and water, and giving her morphine. That is euthanasia.
There is such a thing as futile care. The state attempted to say that the care of this girl was futile as she was in a vegetative state from which she would never recover. Ends up that she was not, so in this case the care was not futile. You can't conclude from this that such care is never futile. The withdrawal of futile care is not euthanasia.
Futile care is that which is not helping the patient. Stopping all care because a doctor thinks one's quality of life isn't worthy of care is murder.
"Euthanasia" is itself a euphemism coined to sell murder.
It usually boils down to money. The common case is saving the cost of care, especially the heavy costs typical for people near the end of their lives. Former Colorado Governor Richard Lamm stated the matter plainly, saying that seniors have a DUTY to die. This kind of thinking infects all socialized medicine because in those systems, care must be rationed. It looks as if the elderly are hogging the care.
However, things don't work that way in private medical markets, which allocate resources differently.
Money plays a huge role in organ transplant cases (which is what I suspect was afoot in Haleigh's case). Here you not only escape the cost of care, you may make a six-figure profit selling the organs. The only trick is, you have to declare the patient brain-dead (a new definition of death invented at Harvard in the 1960s in order to make organs more accessible for transplantation).
Cases where money is not involved at all? Well, there are always a few sociopaths like Ted Bundy, Jack Kevorkian and George Felos, who kill for thrills or for the fun of it.
We agree, how nice.
Yes, there is such a thing as futile care. Futile care is treatment that fails to serve its intended purpose. Futile care is not the effective treatment of a patient whose life you don't value.
Once again, we agree.
We all agree...
Hadn't thought of that. What better source of a nice fresh *commodity*. Sick.
Er... sounds like you get the picture :-) Yes, the commodity must be fresh. Most big hospitals nowadays have a surgical team on call 24/7 in case they get a brain-dead patient or a very, very fresh cadaver. Organ transplants do save lives and we can't argue much with this. Trouble is, the demand for the organs is so great and their value so high, there is a constant temptation to cut corners and ignore moral niceties. Patients' conditions (like Haleigh's) may be portrayed as worse than they are, in order to harvest organs. Iow, chop them up fast and never mind if the patient was really "dead." Keep in mind that there is still controversy in the medical profession whether "brain dead" is even dead.
For the record, the original conditions for "brain death" were pretty strict. The brain stem had to be gone (too), so the patient would die without a ventilator. Patients who can breathe without life support are NOT brain dead -- for a surprising example, Karen Ann Quinlan. Terri Schiavo wasn't brain dead, of course, though she was called that all the time in the media. Terri wasn't on any kind of life support as people understand the term.
The once-strict "brain death" conditions have tended to get loosened over the years, in the face of demand for organs for transplant.
Much food for thought. I need to look into NY's laws.
Davis won a concession from state Sen. Rod Smith, who trailed 47 percent to 41 percent with 96 percent of precincts reporting. Davis' opponent in November will be Florida Attorney General Charlie Crist, who claimed the Republican nomination to replace Bush.
(Original Ohioan from Florida's ping list, update to September 2.)
Terri on the road to recovery before the second stage began.
There have been a half-dozen states or so that have introduced this legislatively but this is the only one that were aware of thats on the ballot in November.
In northeast Florida, King, one of the longest-serving members of the Legislature, was leading in his effort to fend off a challenge from conservative activist Randall Terry.
Several prominent anti-abortion politicians, including Orrin Hatch and Bill Frist, joined the Senate majority in endorsing the public funding of embryonic stem cell research. To the casual observer it might appear that the arguments against abortion must be stronger than those against publicly funding the destruction of embryos. This conclusion, however, would be mistaken. The funding of destructive embryo research is actually worse than legal abortion.
Good, that's a start. Finding a way to rein in a renegade judge will be... much... more difficult. Greer proved that in our so-called judicial system, judges are little godlings with absolute power. They can decide a case simply by manipulating what evidence they are willing to allow. Is that not prejudice? Denial of due process? Of course it is. But neither citizens nor other branches of government can stop them. We all watched this absolutist power murder a beautiful young woman for the crime of being disabled and helpless.
At the least we need to insure that patients who cannot speak for themselves have an attorney to represent their rights.
Any other suggestions for reform?
A glimmer of hope in an otherwise rather grim morning.
Florida appears to care naught for the destruction of innocent
Lord help us, we are desperate for justice!
And don't forget it was Dick Lamm who passed America's
first abortion law, signed April 25, 1967.
Lots of blood on those hands!
Pray for his repentance.
Please put me on your ping list for updates about this case. May the Lord protect her life and provide continued healing.
I didn't know that info about Dick Lamm, thanks for posting.
A requirement that the patient's lawyer, judge, and other interested parties actually see the patient and observe their condition. No one should be allowed to argue in court for the death of a patient they haven't even seen. No judge should be allowed to order the death of a patient they haven't seen.
Jay Wolfson came out publicly in support of killing Terri Schiavo. When he was selected as her guardian ad litem, he broke with tradition, and actually spent time with her, in addition to reviewing her records. He changed his recommendation real quick.
Judge Greer never saw or heard Terri Schiavo. Not in person. Not even on the videos that were played, but muted in court. He couldn't see the videos, or hear the audio. He knew less about Terri's condition than the average Internet blogger.
The one most important thing that needed to be done, to save Terri's life, was to clean up the corruption in Pinellas County, and the State of Florida. There's no easy fix there.
We have been watching the saga of Haleigh from the beginning and I don't know if we have missed even the smallest bit of update. Will keep watch.
With 53 percent of precincts reporting, Crist had 63.5 percent of the vote, compared to 33.9 percent for Gallagher.
A loud roar went up in Crist's hotel suite as he told family and supporters that the Associated Press had called the race. He will face the Democratic nominee, U.S. Rep. Jim Davis or state Sen. Rod Smith, in the Nov. 7 general election.
(Original Ohioan from Florida's ping list, update to September 7.)
Terri on the road to recovery before the second stage began.
Crist defied the conventional wisdom for how to win a Republican primary. He did not, as almost every moderate Republican in the past has done -- as Tom Gallagher did this time -- pander to the feed-Terri Schiavo crowd.
No, he would not intervene in that fiasco.
No, he would not force raped women to bear their attackers' children.
No, he would not pander to homophobia. When Gallagher hammered away at gay unions, Crist shrugged him off by saying, "Live and let live."
He tapped into the silent majority of fiscally conservative, socially moderate Republicans who are tired of seeing these issues dredged up every campaign.
Harris will win, Crist will lose. That's my two bits.
It has been a great disappointment to me that the Schiavo case did not produce a movement for the protection of the lives of the disabled. I am disappointed in the GOP especially (I long ago gave up on Democrats pursuing a worthy cause) for not re-visting the issue given the Courts' unconstitutional refusal to comply with the provisions of an Article III enactment to prohibit States from killing people absent a de novo federal review. Convicted murderers have more protection.
And so it is with great pleasue that I see that the famous liberal editor of the Village Voice, Nat Hentoff, has refused to let Schiavo's memory die. Hentoff is a true believer, and on issues of protections in the court system, he is a true consistent champion.
Thanks to Nat, who recounts the strong case for Schiavo, especially the fact that she was not terminal, was breathing on her own and that there simply is no justification for refusing someone food and water in the circumstances then and there prevailing.
This was not a "right to die case." It was a disability-rights case, which I also argued at the time.
read the whole thing
Initiative would direct state to err on the side of life.
A ballot initiative in Nebraska addresses humane care for people who are incapacitated. The goal is to prevent a repeat of the Terri Schiavo case, in which the handicapped woman's husband succeeded in getting a court to deny her food and water, resulting in her death.
Carrie Gordon Earll, senior analyst for bioethics at Focus on the Family Action, said the Nebraska initiative appears to be the first of its kind.
"There have been a half-dozen states or so that have introduced this legislatively," she said, "but this is the only one that we're aware of that's on the ballot in November."
Compassion and Choices, a pro-euthanasia group, is opposing the initiative, calling it a "health-decision restriction."
Sounds like a real possibility.
"Thou remainest" (Heb. 1:11).
Ironic that Michael Schiavo campaigned for Peggy Lamm, Richard Lamm's ex-sister-in-law (and ideological soulmate). Peggy was supported by Emily's List as well as Schiavo. She was supposedly running about even with her opponent, Ed Perlmutter; at least one poll put her ahead.
Look what happened!