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Baby's status as human is on trial
Winnepeg Free Press ^ | 2/19/10 | Dr. Joel B. Zivot

Posted on 02/21/2010 10:59:34 AM PST by wagglebee

A disagreement is taking place in an Edmonton hospital that has national implications and has not received the media coverage that it deserves. What has been reported is information that misdirects the public from the fundamental issues.

I refer to the case of Baby Isaiah, whose fate has yet to be determined. He was disabled at birth due to lack of oxygen during his delivery and remains in the hospital, breathing with the help of a mechanical ventilator and occasionally taking unassisted breaths. His parents, devastated, remained cautiously optimistic until they received a letter dated Jan. 13, 2010, informing them that withdrawal of active treatment was medically reasonable, ethically responsible and appropriate. The letter further asserts that it would be in Isaiah's best interest to discontinue support and, with sadness, such support would cease on Jan. 20, 2010.

To date, the issue is unresolved and Isaiah remains on a ventilator.

As a physician, I specialize in the management of the weak and disabled. My task is clear: restore an individual's health if I am able, and protect my patient's rights as a human being. I must state categorically that I am not a vitalist. Patients may choose to decline my treatment and as a consequence, die. I will support this choice but need not enable it. The College of Physicians and Surgeons of Manitoba, my regulating body and proclaimed public defender, has a statement on end-of-life care available on its website: http://www.cpsm.mb.ca/statements/st1602.pdf.  It attempts to address the disagreements between physicians and patients or their identified decision-makers by following a protocol.

The statement empowers physicians in Manitoba to involuntarily withdraw care but they must provide a 96-hour window during which a patient may seek a legal injunction.

Stated in another way, if baby Isaiah were in Winnipeg, the "plug" may have already been pulled.

I am an intensive care physician practising in Manitoba. I provided care in a similar case involving an adult patient. During this patient's long intensive care unit stay, much distress was experienced by the medical staff and the family. Trust was lost on both sides of this conflict.

In my investigation of Isaiah, I learned that he had gained weight, moved and breathed occasionally on his own. His photos displayed an infant who by all accounts seemed normal in appearance apart from some paraphernalia of the critical care trade.

Although the issue before the court is the degree of brain injury incurred by Isaiah, I realize that it is Isaiah's status as a human being that is on trial. In contemporary thought, once born, humanity is considered automatic and should not be revoked by disability. The yardstick of being a human being is set too high for Isaiah. Discussion on the prediction of degree of disability, including mental capacity, is not relevant as are counter-arguments based on the physical appearance of normalcy. All that really matters, to be blunt, is if Isaiah is dead or alive. Brain death is complete and irreversible cessation of all brain function from the cortex to the brainstem. In some circumstances, the heart may still beat, the blood circulates and many organ systems can still operate. Patients who are brain dead are quite unstable even with the functions listed above working. Most patients with cessation of brain function experience rapid multiple organ system failure unless doctors intervene. If Isaiah is alive, which includes everything but brain dead, he is entitled to the full rights and privileges of any living Canadian citizen.

As a physician, I am profoundly concerned that I am allowed by college decree, or worse, potentially by statute, to take a life, as an agent of the state. I refuse to be a selector. My moral obligation as a physician demands that I not participate in the debate except to say that I treat all human beings the same. This rationing debate feels like code to me for something more sinister. There is no more important consideration to me than guarding against the abuse of my professional power in the way that I deal with vulnerable people who seek my care.

_____________________________________

Dr. Joel B. Zivot, an associate professor in the department of anesthesiology, University of Manitoba, is the director of the intensive care unit, cardiac sciences program, at St. Boniface General Hospital.


TOPICS: Canada; Culture/Society; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: babyisaiah; deathpanels; euthanasia; moralabsolutes; prolife; rationing
As a physician, I am profoundly concerned that I am allowed by college decree, or worse, potentially by statute, to take a life, as an agent of the state. I refuse to be a selector. My moral obligation as a physician demands that I not participate in the debate except to say that I treat all human beings the same. This rationing debate feels like code to me for something more sinister.

Perfectly stated!

1 posted on 02/21/2010 10:59:34 AM PST by wagglebee
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To: cgk; Coleus; cpforlife.org; narses; Salvation; 8mmMauser

Pro-Life Ping


2 posted on 02/21/2010 11:00:02 AM PST by wagglebee ("A political party cannot be all things to all people." -- Ronald Reagan, 3/1/75)
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To: GMMAC; fanfan

Canada Ping


3 posted on 02/21/2010 11:00:30 AM PST by wagglebee ("A political party cannot be all things to all people." -- Ronald Reagan, 3/1/75)
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To: 185JHP; 230FMJ; Albion Wilde; Aleighanne; Alexander Rubin; An American In Dairyland; Antoninus; ...
Moral Absolutes Ping!

Freepmail wagglebee to subscribe or unsubscribe from the moral absolutes ping list.

FreeRepublic moral absolutes keyword search
[ Add keyword moral absolutes to flag FR articles to this ping list ]


4 posted on 02/21/2010 11:00:59 AM PST by wagglebee ("A political party cannot be all things to all people." -- Ronald Reagan, 3/1/75)
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To: wagglebee; Clive; exg; kanawa; backhoe; -YYZ-; Squawk 8888; headsonpikes; AntiKev; Snowyman; ...
Great post wagglebee. Thanks for the ping.


5 posted on 02/21/2010 11:05:26 AM PST by fanfan (Why did they bury Barry's past?)
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To: wagglebee

Not just a clump of tissues.


6 posted on 02/21/2010 11:17:03 AM PST by GeronL (I pledge allegiance to the Principles of the Bill of Rights and to protect and defend it...)
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To: wagglebee

Any pictures of Baby Isaiah available? Thanks!

Regards,


7 posted on 02/21/2010 11:18:10 AM PST by alexander_busek
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To: wagglebee

Excellent article.


8 posted on 02/21/2010 11:19:22 AM PST by trisham (Zen is not easy. It takes effort to attain nothingness. And then what do you have? Bupkis.)
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To: GeronL
Brave New World.

It's here, and it's now.

The gov't, apparently, owns your life...
You have only a tenuous lease on it.

9 posted on 02/21/2010 11:25:13 AM PST by ARepublicanForAllReasons (Give 'em hell, Sarah!)
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To: All
Pinged from Terri Dailies


10 posted on 02/21/2010 11:28:11 AM PST by wagglebee ("A political party cannot be all things to all people." -- Ronald Reagan, 3/1/75)
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To: alexander_busek

Not that I know of.


11 posted on 02/21/2010 11:43:55 AM PST by wagglebee ("A political party cannot be all things to all people." -- Ronald Reagan, 3/1/75)
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To: wagglebee
I have been following this story, Canada already gives substandard care to the elderly and in some cases euthanize them, as Canada goes in this situation we can see the US going
12 posted on 02/21/2010 11:50:09 AM PST by RnMomof7
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To: wagglebee
Coming soon to a neighborhood near . . . uhh, your neighborhood.
13 posted on 02/21/2010 11:50:18 AM PST by YHAOS (you betcha!)
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To: wagglebee
All that really matters, to be blunt, is if Isaiah is dead or alive.

Everyone knows this. It's why the deathbots claim their victims and intended victims are already dead, even though they know it isn't true. If they were to admit Terri Schiavo was alive, they'd have to admit she had the rights of personhood. And they can't do that. I was reading posts from a Canadian website about Baby Isaiah. The overwhelming sentiment was that he isn't human, and shouldn't receive any care of any kind. Godless people are nauseating.

14 posted on 02/21/2010 11:53:58 AM PST by BykrBayb (Somewhere, my flower is there. ~ Þ)
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To: wagglebee

A dear family in VA ... their fourth baby daughter was born the exact same way-lack of oxygen during delivery. She was so severly disabled. But so loved and cared for by her family, extended church family, and those doctors, nurses, and home health providers involved in her care. Her name was Gabriella-Gaby for short, and it was nothing short of a miracle that she made it through her first year. There were many rough moments, but some good, heartwarming moments as well.

Gaby passed away last year at the tender age of 6. Her parents never imagined that given how she arrived into the world, she ever stood a chance of making it as long as she did. But through all of her precious young lfe, I don’t think one day passed without her parents having trusted in God to give them the grace, patience, dignity, perseverence, desire and assurance that they were to love and nuture Gaby—as unto the Lord.

I cannot begin to tell you of what a testimony this family was and continues to be through such a trying experience. God used the life of precious Gaby to bring honor and glory to Him—her parents knew in their hearts they could never deny the privilege of serving Him through the love and care for one of His own.


15 posted on 02/21/2010 11:55:29 AM PST by nfldgirl (Tim Tebow=our real life (Francine Rivers' Redeeming Love...) Michael!)
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To: RnMomof7

I’ve done some business with Canadians and have gotten to know some of them fairly well. I’ve talked to quite a few Canadians who HATE their healthcare system and I’ve met a bunch of upper-middle class and wealthy Canadians who put money aside to travel to the United States, Mexico and Europe if necessary for medical care, they simply aren’t willing to wait for routine procedures to treat things like heart disease.


16 posted on 02/21/2010 11:58:24 AM PST by wagglebee ("A political party cannot be all things to all people." -- Ronald Reagan, 3/1/75)
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To: alexander_busek; wagglebee

I think I saw a picture of Baby Isaiah a few days ago. It was small, and didn’t show him very clearly through the hospital equipment. I could be mistaken. It may have been a picture of a different baby, just used to enhance the story about Isaiah.

If I can find a picture of him, I’ll post it and ping you to it.


17 posted on 02/21/2010 12:00:07 PM PST by BykrBayb (Somewhere, my flower is there. ~ Þ)
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To: alexander_busek; wagglebee; Mean Maryjean; BykrBayb

Isaiah James, born in October of 2009, is shown in a provided image.

18 posted on 02/21/2010 12:17:43 PM PST by rawhide
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To: alexander_busek; wagglebee; Mean Maryjean; BykrBayb

Isaiah

His parents

19 posted on 02/21/2010 12:23:21 PM PST by rawhide
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To: alexander_busek; wagglebee
I didn't find the picture I saw before, but I did find three others.

Baby Isaiah: Does Futile Care Hurt More Than It Helps?

.

Court case for baby Isaiah put over, infant to stay on life-support

Isaiah James, born in October of 2009, is shown in a provided image.

.


Alberta judge gives time for second opinion on brain-damaged infant
Little Isaiah May has been give more time to live so lawyers and medical experts can review whether he should remain hooked up to a hospital ventilator at Stollery Children's Hospital in Edmonton. The Canadian Press

20 posted on 02/21/2010 12:24:48 PM PST by BykrBayb (Somewhere, my flower is there. ~ Þ)
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To: rawhide


21 posted on 02/21/2010 12:25:23 PM PST by rawhide
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To: rawhide; BykrBayb

Great pictures! I didn’t remember seeing any.


22 posted on 02/21/2010 12:27:46 PM PST by wagglebee ("A political party cannot be all things to all people." -- Ronald Reagan, 3/1/75)
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To: rawhide; alexander_busek; wagglebee; Mean Maryjean

Wow! I had no idea there were so many photos of Baby Isaiah floating around. Isn’t he adorable?


23 posted on 02/21/2010 12:30:50 PM PST by BykrBayb (Somewhere, my flower is there. ~ Þ)
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To: Mean Maryjean

Thank you for sharing that story of love. Very heartwarming.


24 posted on 02/21/2010 12:36:07 PM PST by BykrBayb (Somewhere, my flower is there. ~ Þ)
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To: BykrBayb; rawhide

What a sweet little baby!


25 posted on 02/21/2010 12:40:14 PM PST by trisham (Zen is not easy. It takes effort to attain nothingness. And then what do you have? Bupkis.)
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To: rawhide

Thanks for posting the pictures. What a sweet baby! May God protect and bless him and his parents.


26 posted on 02/21/2010 12:49:21 PM PST by kalee (The offences we give, we write in the dust; Those we take, we engrave in marble. J Huett 1658)
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To: wagglebee

A hero.


27 posted on 02/21/2010 1:05:04 PM PST by little jeremiah (Asato Ma Sad Gamaya Tamaso Ma Jyotir Gamaya)
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To: wagglebee
My mom lived in Canada until a few months ago, she was US landed and so covered by OHIP She had a heart attack, the care was awful form the transfer to a "major hospital " in a heavily traveled tourist area.. there was no cardiologist on staff the only "specialist" on staff was an internist . She spent 2 days in ER with no treatment. They discussed sending her to cardiac care unit (without a cardiologist mind you) but then discussed the COST of that unit..at 89 they sent her to a geriatric unit where she was under a house md's care.. no treatment at all. They released her in 5 days.. I could not wait to get her to a US doctor, he did more tests and changed meds etc..

ya know Government health care does not treat the individual, they treat the group..old people..why bother?? My mother may be 89, but she looks and acts like a woman in her 60s..until a year ago she was doing curves 3 times a week.. until this attack she had her own home and cared for her garden , and had an active social life..

We kids have taken over and made her come home..

The old and the imperfect are just too expensive ...life now has a price tag on it

28 posted on 02/21/2010 1:15:18 PM PST by RnMomof7
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To: RnMomof7

I remember last year when Natasha Richardson (Liam Neeson’s) wife died after she fell skiing in Canada. There were some problems because she thought she was okay, but once problems developed the local hospitals simply didn’t have the equipment necessary to treat her. She was airlifted to NYC, but it was too late by then.

I’m not saying that she would have definitely lived if the injury occurred in America, but she would have had a much better chance.


29 posted on 02/21/2010 1:20:46 PM PST by wagglebee ("A political party cannot be all things to all people." -- Ronald Reagan, 3/1/75)
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To: wagglebee

Most canadians like it because they can see a doctor at no cost...(except VERY high taxes )

But the care there is 1960-70 care.. with the added burden of no specialists. I am a nurse and I was appalled with the level of medical care.. the staff tries but they do not know any different either


30 posted on 02/21/2010 1:24:26 PM PST by RnMomof7
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To: RnMomof7

The problem is that doctor’s offices are incredibly overcrowded because people will go to the doctor for minor things (colds, etc.) that we would just use OTC medication for. In many (probably most) cases when a middle-aged American is diagnosed with a heart disease they can be treated and live a fairly normal life, in Canada it is also a death sentence.

From a fiscal point of view, Canada also has a HUGE advantage that America doesn’t. Their defense spending requirements are FAR LOWER than ours are. They have the benefit of knowing that they are protected simply because of their proximity to the USA. American defense spending is approximately 4% of GDP, Canada’s is just over 1%. This alone gives them a savings of over $50 billion per year and their population is only 34 million.


31 posted on 02/21/2010 1:40:51 PM PST by wagglebee ("A political party cannot be all things to all people." -- Ronald Reagan, 3/1/75)
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To: wagglebee

Has it come down to “your money or your life” yet?


32 posted on 02/21/2010 4:54:29 PM PST by pray4liberty
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To: wagglebee
The people who are doubters need to take a look at this very graphic site. Consider yourself watned.

Priests for Life Resources

Click here to see the images of aborted babies

33 posted on 02/21/2010 5:40:09 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation

Excellent link!


34 posted on 02/21/2010 5:41:45 PM PST by wagglebee ("A political party cannot be all things to all people." -- Ronald Reagan, 3/1/75)
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To: BykrBayb

I agree; Godless people are. It’s a shame there are so many of them.


35 posted on 02/21/2010 8:11:01 PM PST by Pinkbell
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To: Coleus; nickcarraway; narses; Mr. Silverback; Canticle_of_Deborah; TenthAmendmentChampion; ...

Pro-Life PING

Please FreepMail me if you want on or off my Pro-Life Ping List.

"It is the duty of every patriot to protect his country from its government"
--Thomas Paine

It is impossible to rightly govern a nation without God and the Bible.
--George Washington

36 posted on 02/22/2010 7:15:12 PM PST by cpforlife.org (A Catholic Respect Life Curriculum is available FREE at KnightsForLife.org)
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To: wagglebee
The baby's picture is also here. but I can't seem to find the properties for the jpeg. Perhaps somebody else could find it and post it.

http://www.vancouversun.com/news/thewest/Baby+Isaiah+parents+await+results+assessment/2587211/story.html

37 posted on 02/23/2010 7:05:36 AM PST by Mrs. Don-o (Nothing can separate us from the love of Christ.)
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