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Doctors pushed paralyzed Irish man to refuse ventilator and die
LifeSiteNews ^ | 4/12/11 | Hilary White

Posted on 04/14/2011 12:45:28 PM PDT by wagglebee

Simon Fitzmaurice with his wife and children

DUBLIN, April 12, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) – In a powerful op-ed in today’s Irish Times, an Irish man with degenerative motor neurone disease (MND) has revealed how he was heavily pressured by the medical community to refuse the ventilator that is keeping him alive.

After having been admitted to intensive care for pneumonia, a common complication for paralyzed patients, Simon Fitzmaurice began receiving assisted breathing and a feeding tube. Shortly after being admitted, Fitzmaurice said, a doctor came in and told him it was rare and expensive for patients to have a ventilator at home.

According to Fitzmaurice the doctor told him, with his wife and mother present,  “That it is time for me to make the hard choice. He tells me that there have only been two cases of invasive home ventilation, but in both cases the people were extremely wealthy.”

“He looks at me. ‘This is it now for you. It is time for you to make the hard choice, Simon.’ My mother and my wife are now holding each other, sobbing.”

But Fitzmaurice’s instinctive reaction was for life: “While he is looking at me, my life force, my soul, the part of me that feels like every part, is unequivocal. I want to live. It infuses my whole body to such an extent that I feel no fear in the face of this man.”

Two days after this encounter, he wrote, he and his family were informed that the home ventilator he needed was covered by Ireland’s national health insurer, the Health Services Executive (HSE), and that the home care package needed to run the machine could be covered by the HSE and his family.

Fitzmaurice recounts that was later asked by a neurologist why he wanted to live, even though he had a degenerative disease that would eventually kill him. His answer: “Love for my wife. Love for my children. My friends, my family. Love for life in general. My love is undimmed, unbowed, unbroken. I want to live. Is that wrong?”

“Motor neurone disease is a killer. But so is life,” continued Fitzmaurice. “Everybody dies. But just because you die, just because you will die at some point in the future, does that mean you should kill yourself now? For me, they were asking me to take my own life. Or to endorse euthanasia. I refused.”

Experts say that Fitzmaurice’s experience is not uncommon and that incidents like these are becoming a trend in medical practice – a trend that has become nearly universal in developed countries, especially those with nationalized, government funded health care.

“Sadly, his story is all too common,” said Alex Schadenberg, head of Canada’s Euthanasia Prevention Coalition.

Schadenberg said that philosophical trends away from traditional medical ethics, combined with massive tax-funded health care systems, have given rise to a new utilitarian-based ethical paradigm in treatment decision making.

Under this paradigm, called bioethics, Schadenberg said, “value judgments and negative attitudes toward people with degenerative conditions have led to imposing death on people who are vulnerable.”

Hospital bioethics committees now routinely decide to withdraw treatment that could save lives, based on the principle of “patient autonomy” that holds it is in the patient’s “best interests” to be “allowed to die,” often by the withholding of food and water. 

These decisions are increasingly being taken without the consent, and sometimes actively against the will, of the patient and his family. In some countries such as Belgium and the Netherlands, the new ethical system has led to legalized euthanasia and widespread abuse of the legal “safeguards” surrounding it.

Recent studies out of Belgium have shown that 32 percent of all legal euthanasia deaths are committed without request or consent by patients or families and only 47.2 percent of all euthanasia deaths are reported. In the Netherlands, the number is 550 deaths without request or consent each year and at least 20 per cent of all euthanasia deaths unreported.

Schadenberg said, “Everyone needs to be aware, society is already imposing death on vulnerable people and if euthanasia or assisted suicide becomes legal then it will simply be done in a quicker and quiet manner.”

As for Fitzmaurice, he writes: “I do not speak for all people with motor neurone disease. I only speak for myself. Perhaps others would question whether or not to ventilate. But I believe in being given the choice, not encouraged to follow the status quo.”

“I am not a tragedy,” he said. “I neither want nor need pity. I am full of hope. The word hope and MND do not go together in this country. Hope is not about looking for a cure to a disease. Hope is a way of living. We often think we are entitled to a long and fruitful Coca-Cola life. But life is a privilege, not a right. I feel privileged to be alive. That’s hope.”



TOPICS: Culture/Society; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: disabilities; euthanasia; moralabsolutes; prolife
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“Motor neurone disease is a killer. But so is life,” continued Fitzmaurice. “Everybody dies. But just because you die, just because you will die at some point in the future, does that mean you should kill yourself now? For me, they were asking me to take my own life. Or to endorse euthanasia. I refused.”

What an amazing man!

1 posted on 04/14/2011 12:45:31 PM PDT by wagglebee
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To: wagglebee

Right to die = Duty to die


2 posted on 04/14/2011 12:46:12 PM PDT by dfwgator
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To: cgk; Coleus; cpforlife.org; narses; Salvation; 8mmMauser
Pro-Life Ping
3 posted on 04/14/2011 12:46:20 PM PDT by wagglebee ("A political party cannot be all things to all people." -- Ronald Reagan, 3/1/75)
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To: 185JHP; 230FMJ; AKA Elena; Albion Wilde; Aleighanne; Alexander Rubin; Amos the Prophet; ...
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 04/14/2011 12:47:27 PM PDT by wagglebee ("A political party cannot be all things to all people." -- Ronald Reagan, 3/1/75)
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To: BykrBayb; floriduh voter; Lesforlife; Sun; EternalVigilance
Ping!
5 posted on 04/14/2011 12:49:57 PM PDT by wagglebee ("A political party cannot be all things to all people." -- Ronald Reagan, 3/1/75)
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To: wagglebee

Excellent story! He truly is amazing!


6 posted on 04/14/2011 12:51:05 PM PDT by gimme1ibertee ("Criticism......brings attention to an unhealthy state of things"-Winston Churchill)
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To: wagglebee
Let me fall now into the hand of the LORD; for very great are his mercies: but let me not fall into the hand of man. 1 Chronicles 21:13.

May I not fall into the hands of those who have forsaken God in the perverse and wicked age we live in.

7 posted on 04/14/2011 12:51:19 PM PDT by Jim 0216
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To: wagglebee

Similar scenario under Obamacare except you will just get a form letter in the mail with regrets and a disconnected 800 number to call.


8 posted on 04/14/2011 12:51:34 PM PDT by palmer (Cooperating with Obama = helping him extend the depression and implement socialism.)
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To: wagglebee

In this country, motor neuron disease is known as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) or Charcot’s disease.


9 posted on 04/14/2011 12:52:45 PM PDT by Taft in '52
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To: wagglebee

In The Netherlands, many older people who are sick avoid the hospital because they know that if they check in, they will never check out.


10 posted on 04/14/2011 12:56:01 PM PDT by Haiku Guy (If you can read this / (To paraphrase on old line) / Thank a TAXPAYER!.)
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To: wagglebee

He’s a beautiful young man with a beautiful family. I know that they want to have him there to love until the very end. Rotten health service!


11 posted on 04/14/2011 1:00:00 PM PDT by afraidfortherepublic
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To: wagglebee

How many times can my heart be broken. I read and feel like crying. Jesus certainly knew of what he spoke.


12 posted on 04/14/2011 1:01:12 PM PDT by Hans
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To: dfwgator

Right to die = Duty to die


Liberals will take it to “race quota killing = who must we kill today?”

Our left loooooooves killin’ innocent people. We will have death mills under a well funded group of lefties that defines killing yourself and others as glorious freedom.


13 posted on 04/14/2011 1:01:41 PM PDT by SaraJohnson
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To: wagglebee
But Fitzmaurice’s instinctive reaction was for life: “While he is looking at me, my life force, my soul, the part of me that feels like every part, is unequivocal. I want to live. It infuses my whole body to such an extent that I feel no fear in the face of this man.”

“Motor neurone disease is a killer. But so is life,” continued Fitzmaurice. “Everybody dies. But just because you die, just because you will die at some point in the future, does that mean you should kill yourself now? For me, they were asking me to take my own life. Or to endorse euthanasia. I refused.”

How many in similar situations can't refuse? Don't have the strength, or the supportive family? This is a must read article. Note that "bioethics" actually means "let's kill helpless people".

Note to self - must get 1984 and read it.

14 posted on 04/14/2011 1:04:28 PM PDT by little jeremiah (Courage is not simply one of the virtues, but the form of every virtue at the testing point. CSLewis)
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To: wagglebee

Anybody that wants a ventilator or other seriously expensive technology to stay viable beyond the obvious expiration date that God has stamped on them should be able to have one at their own expense. Tax payers should not have to pay for it. This is especially true, IMHO, if the root cause of your underlying disease process can be attributed to poor lifestyle choices on your part. Tax payers should not be subsidizing irresponsible lifestyle choices. Furthermore, if Doctors warn you hat if you gte pregnant you will give birth to a child with massive medical complications that will result in large financial obligations and you choose to become pregnant and go forward with the birth, that’s on you, not me.


15 posted on 04/14/2011 1:11:43 PM PDT by RC one (Donald Trump-I'm listening.)
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To: RC one; Dr. Brian Kopp; trisham; DJ MacWoW; little jeremiah; Coleus; narses; Lesforlife; ...
Anybody that wants a ventilator or other seriously expensive technology to stay viable beyond the obvious expiration date that God has stamped on them should be able to have one at their own expense. Tax payers should not have to pay for it.

The people in Ireland already pay for their healthcare through TAXES.

This is especially true, IMHO, if the root cause of your underlying disease process can be attributed to poor lifestyle choices on your part. Tax payers should not be subsidizing irresponsible lifestyle choices.

You should call Zero and suggest this, "lifestyle police" seems to be a natural fit for death panels.

Furthermore, if Doctors warn you hat if you gte pregnant you will give birth to a child with massive medical complications that will result in large financial obligations and you choose to become pregnant and go forward with the birth, that’s on you, not me.

Wow, it's not often that someone who claims to be a conservative embraces every fact of the culture of death.

Were you aware that Free Republic is a PRO-LIFE forum and not some libertarian cesspool?

16 posted on 04/14/2011 1:31:12 PM PDT by wagglebee ("A political party cannot be all things to all people." -- Ronald Reagan, 3/1/75)
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To: wagglebee

Good for him! His family needs and loves him. What arrogance on the part of his doctors to assume that his life is not worth living!


17 posted on 04/14/2011 1:33:11 PM PDT by trisham (Zen is not easy. It takes effort to attain nothingness. And then what do you have? Bupkis.)
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To: Haiku Guy

That is right. Older people in the Netherlands are treated like horses with broken legs.


18 posted on 04/14/2011 1:33:16 PM PDT by getarope (Paddle faster, I hear banjo music!)
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To: wagglebee

And this government power of life and death is exactly what Obama was proposing yet again yesterday, as he touted his council of health experts that will make those decisions for us. NO WAY, BO. NO WAY.


19 posted on 04/14/2011 1:34:29 PM PDT by kittymyrib
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To: RC one; wagglebee; Jim Robinson
Anybody that wants a ventilator or other seriously expensive technology to stay viable beyond the obvious expiration date that God has stamped on them should be able to have one at their own expense. Tax payers should not have to pay for it. This is especially true, IMHO, if the root cause of your underlying disease process can be attributed to poor lifestyle choices on your part. Tax payers should not be subsidizing irresponsible lifestyle choices. Furthermore, if Doctors warn you hat if you gte pregnant you will give birth to a child with massive medical complications that will result in large financial obligations and you choose to become pregnant and go forward with the birth, that’s on you, not me.

Jim Robinson has suffered some severe health problems lately, God bless him. How is your statement here any different than promoting termination of care for someone who is disabled like Jim Robinson, just based on cost considerations? Who would you appoint to decide who does and does not deserve medical care?

20 posted on 04/14/2011 1:46:17 PM PDT by Brian Kopp DPM
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