Skip to comments.Bobby Schindler: Legacies of Terri Schiavo, Robert Schindler Inspire My Family
Posted on 08/31/2011 4:46:55 PM PDT by wagglebee
LifeNews.com Note: Bobby Schindler is the brother of Terri Schiavo and he and his family now work for Terris Life & Hope Network to help disabled and incapacitated patients like her. The anniversary of the death of his father, Robert Schindler, was earlier this week.
The passing of both Terri and my father is what helps inspire my family and the work we do at Terris Life & Hope Network to continue fighting for our most vulnerable every day.
My father was a man of incredible strength, and loved his family so much that he essentially gave up his life for Terri, doing everything he could possibly do to try and care of her. He would have done the same for any one of us. With so much attention on Terris case, my dad showed the world, with remarkable strength, what it means to love without condition.
What I admired most about my dad was that even following Terris horrific death, he had the fortitude to keep fighting for others, dedicating the remainder of his life to help fight for the lives of others, not wanting any family to have to experience what his family experienced with Terri.
As you know, Terris Life & Hope Networks mission, first and foremost, is to provide resources and support to those with cognitive disabilities, the elderly and countless others that are facing life threatening situations due to the threat of not receiving adequate health care and medical treatment. In the six years since we began advocating for others we have been involved in several hundreds of cases.
Specifically, this year we have either supported or have been directly involved in close to a hundred situations with families who needed help to protect a loved one from the threat of an inhumane death by the actions of others.
For example, we just had a case where a daughter was advocating for her mother. The mother was doing very well, living on her own, but dealing with some dementia. Sadly, the daughters, sister placed their mother in a nursing home and because of this, her mother began to deteriorate. The daughter, who contacted us, feared that her sister was taking the steps to end her mothers life in order to make claim of her mothers estate. After several conversations we were able to use our resources to recommend an attorney for the daughter so she can take the necessary steps to take over the care of her mother, so she would be out of harms way.
These situations of our elderly, cognitively disabled, those suffering from Alzheimers and others in similar situations where life is constantly at risk of being taken prematurely is only becoming more frequent.
The horror stories we hear reveals just how prevalent imposed death has become in our society. This is why we believe education is so valuable. Educating our youth, our future attorneys and medical professionals, our clergy and even the average person on this threat facing our vulnerable is vitally important.
In fact, since Terris Life & Hope Network has been established in 2006, we have spoken in 44 states, over 150 cities, at 29 universities, colleges, and Medical Schools and in 9 countries abroad, which includes addressing members of Parliament in Canada and Australia.
Clearly this is an issue that is only going to get worse. Because of the Terris horrible experience, we are fortunate to be put in the position to help others. With Gods graces, we will continue to do that.
Thanks for the ping!
One could easily believe that Mr. Schindler’s heart was literally broken by the cruelty he witnessed against his precious Terri.
May we never forget the evil ones who tormented that family!
Lord, bring her perpetrators to justice in our lifetimes . . .
Thread by RnMomof7.
WASHINGTON Although churches have dispensed health care in Europe since the fourth century and in North America for at least 350 years, the Obama administration has just stepped forward with its own definition of what constitutes a rel i g i o u s -o r i e n t ed health institution.
Briefly, the legal definition to be used for the 2010 Affordable Care Act is that a truly religious hospital or clinic hires only those who believe in that faith and admits for treatment only fellow believers.
So-called Obamacare would define a religious hospital or clinic that using an imaginary example hires and treats only those who followed Swedenborgianism, or in another instance, supplicants of the Rosy Cross.
More to the point, the proposed rule poses a massive conscience problem for the more than 630 Catholic hospitals, and for Catholic health professionals, in the United States.
Congress has refused many efforts to pass such a proviso. President Obama himself pledged in the health care fight there would be no more assaults on freedom of conscience for religious institutions and professionals.
Yet this new restriction is in a regulation published by Obamas Department of Health and Human Services that will become law after the completion of a comment period on Sept. 30.
In reality, no such hiring or admission limitations exist in any American hospital, dispensary or health insurance program whether religious, government, voluntary or for-profit. If any hospitals abided by this severely narrow definition, they could in many states and municipalities be denied Medicare or Medicaid money, and federal construction loans.
Religious gerrymandering is what lawyers for the U. S. Conference of Catholic Bishops called the proposed rule in a detailed comment filed with HHS last week.
The rule, 45CFR Part 147, centers on the mandate that all citizens buy health insurance by 2014. It requires, according to the bishops, all Americans to pay for insurance coverage of contraceptives, sterilization and medicines the bishops believe prompt abortions processes that conflict with traditional Catholic belief. The bishops urged Obama to scrap the regulation.
Asked for a reaction, HHS spokesman Keith Maley said, We welcome comment to ensure that we have struck an appropriate balance between access to preventive services and respect for religious beliefs. Its true that the bishops power is sapped because of ongoing scandals over clerical sex abuse worldwide. But answers to exactly why Obama chose this place in his pock-marked political landscape to open up a brand-new front in the culture wars with traditional Christians may be found only on the analysts couch.
Helen Alvarez, a law professor at George Mason University, thinks she has part of the answer. A circle of secularists that Obama has placed in the top ranks of HHS to draft new regulations, she says, just cant help themselves.
They live in a bubble, said Alvarez, a longtime pro-life advocate. This circle does not rate religion as a positive force. They dont want religious [health care] providers in the public square any more. This administration is trying to function in every place where it can make it difficult for people to act on their deep-seated beliefs.
Proponents would call it tolerance. But if the HHS rule is affirmed as written, the bishops and others will surely take it to the Supreme Court and their litigation will be piled on to the other challenges to Obamacare.
Some traditional Catholics and evangelicals are urging Congress to pass H. R. 1179, which applies freedom of conscience protection to the entire Affordable Care Act. Introduced in March, the bill has only 50 sponsors, none from Western New York. Neither New York Democratic senator supports the Senate companion.
Thread by me.
I have been fighting the international campaign to legalize and normalize doctor-prescribed/administered death since 1993, and this much I know: Once euthanasia is let in the door, ultimately, enough is never, ever enough.
Par exemple: Euthanasia activists often assure that no doctor will be forced to participate in medicalized killing. But I have been warning that this right of conscience is really an expedient, intended to give false assurance while the euthanasia consciousness gestates and matures.
And now the very pro euthanasia Dutch Medical Association (KNMG) has stated that all doctors have a professional duty to be complicit in euthanasiaeither by killing legally qualified patients directly who ask, or if they dont want to do the deed personally, by referring suicidal patients to a death doctor who they know will kill. From The Role of the Physician in the Voluntary Termination of Life position paper:
Patients, too, often have difficulty telling a physician they have an authentic wish to die. Physicians, for their part, are under an obligation to take such requests seriously. This also means that if a physician cannot or does not wish to honour a patients request for euthanasia or assisted suicide he must give the patient a timely and clear explanation of why, and furthermore must then refer or transfer the patient to another physician in good time. Vague promises, failure to transfer patients during absences, causing delays or indicating at a late stage or too late that the physician has reconsidered his decision to perform the euthanasia all demonstrate a lack of professionalism. The KNMG therefore calls on all physicians to act as they would wish themselves or their loved ones to be treated.
Do the Dutch really want doctors to have to choose between their careers and being complicit in killing? Are doctors to be punished professionally because they still believe in the Hippocratic Oath? Because while that is not yet Dutch law, by asserting that Dutch doctors have a moral and professional duty to refer, forced complicity is precisely where this is heading. Dissenting Dutch doctors need to forcefully stand against this encroaching tyranny.
It is also worth noting that if a patient does not qualify for euthanasia, according to the KMNG position paper, a doctor may refer him/her to how-to-commit-suicide literature:
There is no punishment for physicians and other persons if they provide information about suicide. Physicians are also legally permitted to refer patients to information that is available on the Internet or to publications sold by book vendors, or provide these on loan, and to discuss this information with patients. (30, 31) In fact, it is the physicians professional responsibility to engage the patient in discussion if the latter voices an intention to stockpile drugs with a view to using them to end his life. The physician can, but is not obligated to, refer the patient to available resources and experts, including spiritual care providers such as a pastor, minister or humanistic counsellor.
So, lets recap: It is unprofessional for a doctor to refuse to kill or refer for that purpose when a patient asks for euthanasia. But it is okay to help patients learn how to commit suicide if they dont qualify for euthanasia under the law. Culture of death, Wesley? What culture of death?
And the moral of the story? Once the culture of death sinks into the bedrock of a society or culture, it brooks no dissent.
Thread by me.
September 9, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) My remembrance of the 9/11 terrorist attack is the same as that of many Americans. I was on my computer working when I heard about the first plane hitting. Minutes later, I watched live as the second plane made its deadly impact. Nevertheless, despite my personal recollections, what strikes me most about 9/11 when I think of it now is story of a local New Yorker a story which I only heard about last year.
I was in Rome in October 2010 giving an address at the HLI World Prayer Congress there. The heroic pro-life leader Msgr. Philip Reilly, the founder of Helpers of Gods Precious Infants, was also there as a speaker and he delivered a fascinating address.
Monsignor Reilly told of how he was outside in New York City, with a clear view of the twin towers, when the planes hit. On the morning of 9/11 I was praying and counseling outside of a large abortion clinic in Brooklyn, said Msgr. Reilly. The abortion mill is located a few blocks from New York Harbor, at a point where you could look across the Harbor and easily see the Twin Towers.
The wind was blowing that day from Manhattan to Brooklyn, recalled the 50-year-veteran pro-life leader. So when the Towers came down, an incredible black cloud came over our heads. Outside the abortion mill, it became midnight at midday.
Monsignor said he wanted nothing more at that moment to go to Ground Zero to help and to pray. However, he knew that his duty at the time was to care for and pray for those women entering the abortion centre outside of which he stood praying.
Reilly noted that due to the disaster all businesses stopped, but, he said, There was a bizarre exception, namely the killing of unborn babies continued, especially at the mill where I was counseling. Inside the abortion mill, they were actually watching the events unfold on TV, yet the killing of the babies inside continued.
Thus I could not leave the mill at that time to go to Ground Zero, he said. I didnt get to Ground Zero until it was midnight.
When he finally did arrive at Ground Zero he says he felt totally helpless. As is his custom in such situations, he decided to pray his rosary. And as he prayed he had the following vision (Since the day I heard this vision, every time I hear of 9/11 my thoughts gravitate to these thoughts):
As I prayed the rosary, I closed my eyes and with my eyes closed, I suddenly saw the people in the Tower getting ready for work at 9 a.m. Some were getting a drink of water, others a cup of coffee, all feeling safe and secure inside their office. Then I saw the terrorist plane breaking into their secure quarters and exploding like a great bomb with the people in the office having no place to hide, no place to flee. Then still standing at midnight at Ground Zero, I saw not the people in the Towers, but I saw a womb with an unborn child inside, feeling so safe and secure and suddenly breaking through the wall of the womb was this terrorist object, the instrument of the abortionist, with the child having no place to hide, no place to flee from this terrorist instrument.
Msgr. Reilly concluded his address noting that when he opened his eyes, there at Ground Zero, it became absolutely clear to me that Ground Zero is ongoing. Be not afraid then to go Golgotha, to the abortion clinic, to Ground Zero near you, to rescue the unborn children.
"We will not be silent.
We are your bad conscience.
The White Rose will give you no rest."
Thanks for the ping!
“Reilly noted that due to the disaster all businesses stopped, but, he said, There was a bizarre exception, namely the killing of unborn babies continued, especially at the mill where I was counseling. Inside the abortion mill, they were actually watching the events unfold on TV, yet the killing of the babies inside continued.
Thread by Publius804.
Imagine yourself, a senior in college, sitting in the middle of your dream medical-school interview. Because you have done your homework, the interview is going exceedingly well. You seem to have established a rapport with the interviewer, and your answers are crisp, clear and intelligent. Its going so well that you are starting to feel confident regarding your chances of gaining admission.
That is, until the interviewer hits you with this question: Suppose a young pregnant woman and her boyfriend come to you seeking an abortion. What would you do?
What would you do? How would you answer? For pro-life medical-school candidates, there is only one answer: You counsel the couple not to have an abortion. The problem is that, in some cases, this answer could ruin the candidates chance of admission.
It is routine for medical-school admission interviews to include open-ended questions on ethical issues. Primarily, these questions are included in the process to see if students can articulate clearly and defend adequately their thoughts on complex issues. If this were the sole reason for their inclusion, questions about abortion and abortion access could play a legitimate role in the interview process. But that is often not the intent of such questions.
The reality is that many schools are using abortion-related questions to screen out pro-life candidates.
(Excerpt) Read more at ncregister.com ...
Several threads by me.
September 12, 2011 (rtl.org) - Pregnancy was a natural and normal part of life for Bernadette and her husband Phil. After having seven children, the Grandville, Michigan couple thought their family was complete, but the couple received a surprise when they found out they were expecting their eighth child, Hannah.
Though the pregnancy was unexpected, Bernadette and Phil were happy to be blessed with another child. But during the first ultrasound, the routine of another otherwise uneventful pregnancy was replaced with anxiety after the surprised sonographer left the room to consult with a doctor.
What I see is not good, the doctor told the Smiths after looking at the screen.
Bernadette said the doctor needed her to make an appointment with a specialist to see what the problem was, but he didnt give them any details. While parents are not prepared to hear a troubling diagnosis for their child, Bernadette and Phil were even more unprepared for how differently this pregnancy would be treated than the first seven.
The building that housed the specialist was the first sign of trouble in Bernadettes eyes. She said she clearly remembers how obscure the office building looked as they walked in, and said she felt very unsettled from the beginning.
It didnt feel right, thats the only way I can express it, she said.
After a long series of questions probing their health, eating habits and family history, the Smiths finally received a diagnosis for Hannah: Trisomy 18. The genetic disorder, also known as Edwards Syndrome, is caused by an extra copy of a chromosome in a persons DNA. The disorder can cause several types of birth defects, and according to the National Institutes of Health, only half of unborn babies diagnosed survive the birth process, and those who do survive have an extremely poor prognosis.
Bernadette said the specialist told her that Hannah had a grim outlook and would either die during the pregnancy or would die shortly after birth. The specialist told the couple bluntly that they had a choice to make. Bernadette said that though the specialist didnt mention it, everyone in the room knew that choice meant abortion. Phil said very clearly that they would not abort their child, but that was not good enough for the specialist.
Then the specialist said to just me, ignoring Phil, You have a choice to make, Bernadette said.
Fortunately for Hannah, Bernadette and Phil both strongly believed in the right to life for all unborn children. Being firm in their convictions didnt make it any easier, however, when the specialist continued to badger them about making a choice. Bernadette said the doctor told her that with seven children who needed her it would be wrong for her to be spending time in the hospital dealing with a miscarriage.
Fear tried to grip me, but I did not receive those words, she said. I heard a voice say you can choose to fight.
Bernadette said she continued to feel embattled by medical professionals throughout and after the pregnancy. She said even her obstetrician seemed like he didnt want to deal with the situation, and had to be convinced to carry on as Hannahs doctor. Bernadette developed a constant refrain, she will live, to counter all of the negativity.
These were dark, dark trying times for me, Bernadette said.
Despite the prognosis and pessimism, Hannah was born on June 19, 2007. Doctors had said Hannah would likely die before birth, but she was born a week late during a caesarean section. Hannah wasnt breathing at first, but Berndattes faith that Hannah would live continued.
The Smiths experience with medical professionals wasnt completely sour. As Hannah was lying in intensive care, the hospital was very reluctant to let them take her home. Fortunately, Bernadette was able to befriend some nurses and even led Bible studies with them while recovering in the hospital from the birth. One nurse in particular promised Bernadette she would help her bring Hannah home. She also received support from her own doctor after Hannah was born.
Our family doctor was good through it all, he was the encourager, she said.
Years after the birth, Bernadette ran into one of her former nurses. She said the nurse was very tender, thinking all the predictions of Hannahs fate had come true, but was shocked to discover how it turned out. Now, four years later, Hannah is a joy and constantly laughing, Bernadette said. Hannah has had several problems, including a hole in her heart that eventually healed and difficulty walking and talking on her own, but shes a smart little girl who is most definitely alive.
Everything they said turned out wrong, she said. What if I had an abortion?
Bernadette said she thinks the doctors who were being pessimistic throughout the pregnancy thought they were trying to help. She said they refused to believe that Hannah had any hope, and thought a child with disabilities was too much for her family to handle despite their faith that God would see them and Hannah through.
They were not happy with me because I didnt do what they wanted me to do, she said. They thought I was in denial.
Bernadette is emphatic in her desire to help others facing crisis pregnancies, and is working on a book to tell her full story. She said the most important thing for people facing a troubling prenatal diagnosis is to not listen to those preaching doom, and to never give up hope or faith in God.
Your baby can make it, your baby can live, she said. Do not give this baby over to death.
Prenatal testing for Down syndrome should not be considered preventive medicine. Such tests cannot prevent the presence of Down syndrome in a child; but they can decrease the likelihood of a child with Down syndrome surviving beyond the womb. Expectant parents need accurate information, including the many positive outcomes, about life raising a child with Down syndrome.
Last month, my daughter Juliet began second grade, where her mother and I expect her to maintain her B+ average on spelling tests and straight As in Chinese. In addition to being a loving daughter and big sister, Juliet also is endowed with Down syndrome. At the start of the month, the Department for Health and Human Services (HHS) announced that future births of children like Juliet should be prevented. Down syndrome is the most common genetic cause of intellectual disability and, as such, will be targeted in the new HHS regulations free nationwide prenatal testing program.
Discussions of HHSs new regulation have focused on the required availability of free contraceptive services under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA). The regulation is the result of HHSs adopting, in its entirety, the Institute of Medicines (IOM) report on Clinical Preventive Services for Women. Buried in the IOM report is the recommendation for no-cost well-woman visits; these visits include prenatal careand thus prenatal testing for genetic or developmental conditions. The regulation was issued as part of the PPACAs coverage of preventive services. This prompts the question, how does prenatal testing prevent Down syndrome?
The IOM report defines preventive services to be measures . . . shown to improve wellbeing, and/or decrease the likelihood or delay the onset of targeted disease or condition. Down syndrome occurs at conception. Prenatal testing simply identifies whether a pregnancy is positive for Down syndromea prenatal diagnosis after which most women choose to terminate their pregnancy. A prenatal test does not decrease the likelihood of Down syndrome in a person; it does allow for a decreased likelihood of a person with Down syndrome surviving beyond the womb. If this is how HHS is justifying prenatal testing for Down syndrome as preventive care, then HHS has ushered in a program meant to target future children like Juliet.
The targeted elimination of people with Down syndrome is, in fact, the goal of other countries that have adopted nationwide prenatal testing programsa goal some other countries are now realizing. Indeed, according to the Copenhagen Post, Denmark could be a country without a single citizen with Downs syndrome in the not too distant future, due to its nationwide prenatal screening program, in place since 2004.
Perhaps the HHS is not purposefully trying to sneak in a modern-day eugenics program to eliminate Down syndrome by regulation. It is likely that the IOM report relied on professional guidelines that recommend the offering of prenatal testing for Down syndrome. Actual experience, however, has shown that such tests do not improve wellbeingcertainly not for the aborted child, but also not for the expecting parents.
Robert Resta, a Genetic Counselor, notes in Augusts American Journal of Medical Genetics that there is very little empirical evidence that prenatal knowledge improves medical, developmental, emotional, or adaptational outcomes. Further, studies have found that prenatal testing increases the mothers anxiety, regardless of the test results; that women often do not make informed decisions about accepting prenatal testing or decisions made after a diagnosis and that, when abortion is the chosen response, a significant number of women experience post-traumatic stress.
The lone dissent to the IOM report by a committee member makes the point that clinical guidelines were never intended to provide a basis for insurance coverage determinations; they are intended as guides to physician practices. Yet, if the IOMs incorporation of such guidelines is the HHSs justification for covering prenatal testing, then why does HHS not provide for the other information required to accompany prenatal testing?
The IOM report states that informed decision-making is structured to give an individual all the information needed to choose from among different clinical options, such as whether to undergo genetic testing. Professional guidelines require that physicians be well-informed about Down syndrome, offer accurate information, and recognize that parent support organizations can be very helpful. This summer, the National Society for Genetic Counselors and the American Academy of Pediatrics required that this balancing information be part of prenatal care. Both further note that families benefit from hearing a fair and balanced perspective, including the many positive outcomes of children with Down syndrome and their effect on the family.
The need for this information is so apparent that, in 2005, two senators from opposite sides of the abortion issue, Senators Ted Kennedy and Sam Brownback, co-sponsored legislation that recognized the need to provide accurate, balanced information and support by parent organizations. In 2008, the Prenatally and Postnatally Diagnosed Conditions Awareness Act was signed into law, but it has yet to receive any appropriations. Similarly, the HHS regulation only requires coverage of the testing itself, but says nothing about covering the provision of proper training, accurate written materials, or support to or through parent organizationsthings that could, in fact, improve the parents and childs wellbeing after receiving a prenatal diagnosis.
It seems hard to believe that Congress and the President meant for the PPACA to institute a national prenatal screening program that targets Down syndrome and also fails to provide all of the required information to expectant mothers. Sen. Mikulski introduced the provision for preventive services for women, yet she was also the lead sponsor of Rosas Law, a law that replaces mental retardation with intellectual disability in federal publications. Rosas law was named after one of her constituents, who, like Juliet, happens to have Down syndrome. Further, given that HHSs regulation not only encourages prenatal testings discrimination against Down syndrome, but also disrespects a womans exercise of informed choice, it is unlikely that members of the bipartisan Congressional Down Syndrome Caucus would allow the regulation to remain in effect.
Prenatal testing for Down syndrome should not be labeled as preventive medicinean inaccurate and misleading description of a procedure that may prevent Down syndrome births, but certainly does not prevent Down syndrome. A regulation should not be allowed to target a portion of our society for elimination without public debate by accountable elected officials. If the regulation is to remain in place, then additional funding should be provided for all the information required to respect a womans choice following a prenatal diagnosis. The President and the Congress should see that the new HHS requirements for preventive care expressly exclude coverage of prenatal testing for Down syndrome unless and until there is public debate and balanced funding for the needed resources.
You can help them do that by leaving a comment on this new regulation here.
Meet Bernadette and Phil Smith. After giving birth to seven beautiful children, the gift of pregnancy became a natural and normal part of this couples life.
Just when they thought their family complete, an eighth child came as an unexpected surprise. Hearing the news, the Smiths eagerly looked forward to the wonderful opportunity of welcoming another precious little one into their family.
Then came some disturbing news. According to their doctor, there was a problem with the pregnancy and Bernadette would need to see a specialist to explore the specifics. But the information was vague, so Bernadette and Phil were unprepared for the possibility that this pregnancy was going to be very different.
After the specialist questioned them about their health, eating habits and family history, the Smiths received news that forever changed their world. Their little baby had Trisomy 18 (otherwise known as Edwards Syndrome). Its a genetic disorder caused by an extra copy of a chromosome in a persons DNA. Only half of babies diagnosed with the condition survive and have a very poor prognosis in life, so Bernadettes specialist pressured them to pursue only one choice of actionabortion.
Cherishing the lives of each and every one of their children, Bernadette and Phil went through with the pregnancy. Their little one, whom they named Hannah, was born on June 19, 2007.
Four years later, Hannahs story of overcoming health complications has shocked the former nurses and doctors who said the odds were stacked against her. Bernadette is now passionate about helping others face crisis pregnancies, and is even writing a book to tell about the experience of giving birth to Hannah.
The Smith familys experience is just one example out of countless others that show many doctors think the initials MD after their name stand for Medical Deity. What Bernadette and Phils first doctor basically said was, Since your baby might die, lets kill her by abortion to make sure she dies. Just stop and think of how barbaric this so-called professional advice is. They present intentional killing as a good and caring thing to do.
Not all doctors have betrayed the trust of their patients. There are lots of good physicians dedicated to healing and preserving lifeI know many of them personally. But I cant begin to tell you how many mothers and fathers have relayed similar advice by physicians like that given to Bernadette and Phil. This is why 90% of babies diagnosed with Down syndrome in the womb are aborted. What these so-called medical professionals ignore is that all life has been given by the Creator, and its wrong to intentionally take their lives.
Please join me in speaking up for them when you have the opportunity. More babies will die if we remain silent.
Shame on the jury who, in effect, agreed that a now happy child born with disabilities would be better off dead via abortion. From the Palm Beach Post story:
During a roughly two-week-long trial that ended Wednesday, Mejia and Santana claimed they would have never have brought Bryan into the world had they known about his horrific disabilities. Had Morel and technicians at OB/GYN Specialists of the Palm Beaches and Perinatal Specialists of the Palm Beaches properly administered two ultrasounds and seen he was missing three limbs, the West Palm Beach couple said they would have terminated the pregnancy. Instead, they went to the hospital in October 2008, believing they would have a healthy son. They went from the heights of joyous expectations to the depths of despair, their attorney Robert Bergin told the jury during closing arguments Wednesday.
Lets be clear: This is not a case in which a doctors negligence caused the disability, in which case an award would be proper. Rather, it is a case in which a doctor failed to catch an already existing problem, the knowledge of which, the parents say, would have caused them to eugenically abort. As such, it is a wrongful life case, which should be rejected as public policy out of hand.
Let us hope this boy never finds out that his parents would have prevented him from being born.
Disability rights advocates should be very alarmed. Nay, we all should be. There is no such thing as a wrongful life.
Thread by me.
I watched an old woman die of hunger and thirst. She had Alzheimers, this old woman, and was child-like, trusting, vulnerable, with a childs delight at treats of chocolate and ice cream, and a childs fear and frustration when tired or ill.
I watched her die for six days and nights.
I watched her suffer, and I listened to the medical practitioners, to a son who legally decided her fate, and to an eldest daughter who advised him and told me that the old woman, my mother, was comfortable, except when she was in distress, at which times the nurses medicated her to make her comfortable again.
I watched the old woman develop ulcerations inside her mouth as she became more and more dehydrated; the caregivers assured me these were not painful.
I listened to her breathing become more and more laboured, as her lungs became congested from the morphine administered every three to four hours, and later every hour.
That is what morphine does, you see. It relieves pain, but its cumulative effect is that eventually it shuts down the respiratory system.
No one explained why the old woman was given morphine in the first place, since she was conscious and trying to speak. It is normal that a mild stroke causes temporary inability to swallow, slurred speech, and a severe headache, but all of these are often reversed when the stroke victim is treated and the treatment includes nourishment and water.
The explanation for not giving nourishment and water a feeding tube and IV (intravenous) is that these were extraordinary measures for keeping someone alive.
I watched the old woman day and night for six days. The first night, after the first shot of morphine, her mouth hung open and her tongue started to roll and flutter. At the same time, her jaw trembled continuously.
This went on all night and into the early hours of the morning. Her mouth never closed again, except to clamp tightly on wet cloths placed on her lips. Her eyes were partially closed, but they moved back and forth, back and forth, becoming small slits after seven or eight hours, not closing fully until that long first night was over.
She opened her eyes only once after that, when the nurse was late with the morphine, on the third, or maybe the fourth, day.
The old woman started to moan. Not moaning, said the nurses and the old womans eldest daughter. Just air escaping from the lungs. Not moaning at all.
The old womans eyes started to open, and the air escaping from the lungs sounded exactly like a moan of agony, as the old womans face twisted in horrible contortions. I screamed, Her eyes are opening! Oh, God. Oh, God!
Even as the morphine, quickly injected by a disconcerted nurse, caused the old womans eyes to close and her face to relax, I doubted its efficacy. I thought back to the night before, when I, in tears at the old womans slow dying, had been confronted by a delegation of four of the nursing staff, each of them in turn trying to convince me that the old woman was not suffering in any way at all. The morphine, they said, takes away all pain.
But, I answered them, she can feel: shes squeezing my hand, and if I try to take my hand out of hers, she squeezes tighter, and when I hold a little piece of gauze to her lips, she tries to suck the water out of it. Shes thirsty! This is a horror; this is cruelty!
No, they said. Shes not thirsty. Its just reflex. But, I tell them, I watched her clamp her lips on the gauze so tightly that I had to pull to get it out of her mouth.
She reacts when you touch her feet, her legs, and her hair. If she can feel that she can feel thirst, I plead with them.
Its not the same, they tell me. Shes not in pain.
I look at her. But what if youre wrong? I say. What if youre wrong?
They stand there, saying nothing. Then one looks at the old woman and says, wed better turn her now. She and another care worker go about the business of repositioning the old woman, to keep her comfortable and the other two leave.
The days and nights went in and out of focus. I sat in a chair at the side of the old womans bed, one hand grasped tightly by her hand. I slept an hour or two, here and there, waking always with a start.
Im here, I murmured, so the old woman would know I was keeping the promise I made to her on the first night, after her son and eldest daughter left to get some food, drink, and rest. I promised her then, I will not leave here until you do.
The old woman was fading by the fourth day. Her eldest daughter had been visiting for an hour or so each day, usually mid-morning. This daughter, a former hospital worker, lightly stroked her mothers face and hair and timed the length of her mothers breath apnea, the length of time her mother stopped breathing.
She announced the number of seconds, and then counted the number of breaths between each stopped breath. Seven breaths, she said, 11 breaths.
Sometimes she described the progress of her mothers death, Shes probably down to about 60 pounds now, she pronounced.
Sometimes Im not sure when I noticed it first the nurses asked us to leave while they attended to the old woman. Other times they didnt. Once, perhaps on the fourth day, I told them I didnt have to leave: I had watched them turn her, I had seen her tiny naked body as they gently washed her. I didnt even flinch anymore when they injected the syringe of morphine.
We have to give her a suppository, they said. A suppository? Why?
For anxiety, they said. Anxiety. So that she would appear to die with dignity. The morphine was no longer enough. This courageous old woman, who could face, who had faced, unimaginable hardships with nothing but her faith and her dignity, she could teach you about dignity, I thought to myself.
On the fifth day the eldest daughter visited twice. On her second visit, several staff members entered the room with her. They were all talking loudly, about nothing in particular, except for one care worker, fond of the old woman, who walked over to the bed and called the old womans name loudly enough to interrupt the others light conversation. She examined the old womans hands, lifted the sheet covering her and looked at her legs and feet. She called the old womans name again, and the care workers face showed alarm.
How long has it been? she asked. Shes not even mottling! (Mottling is the term given to describe the blackening of the feet and hands as the body, dehydrating, tries to preserve the vital organs by stopping the flow of blood to the limbs).
You know, continued the care worker, I dont think its her time. Its been, what, five days? If she had been ready to go, shed have gone in 24 hours.The room went quiet. The care worker and I looked at each other. Youre right, I said. The eldest daughter and one of the nurses began to tell her she was wrong, and a nurse hustled her out of the room.
By the sixth night I was not sure I could go on. I slept for an hour or so every four or five hours. I still sat in the chair by her bed, but now I slept with my head on bed, near her stomach.
The old womans breathing was laboured, her will to live defying the system and the foolish young doctor who, on that first night, gave her 24 hours to live, as though he were God Himself.
My heart was breaking for her. I could do nothing to save her, could do nothing but suffer with her. I cried much of the time, but softly, so she would not know. I didnt want to add to her agony.
I had been there six days. She could no longer hold my hand, so I slipped my hand gently under hers. I felt an anguish so profound that I began to wonder if I could survive it.
The old womans breathing was suddenly no longer laboured. Her breath eased from her, and her face oh, her face had become the colour of pearls.
In a split second, the frown that had creased the line between her brows was smoothed away. Her head rested gently to one side. Two care workers entered the room. I saw them in my peripheral vision, but I kept my gaze on the old woman. Were just going to turn her, one of the workers said.
No, I said, my mother is dying.
One of them left to get a nurse, and then the old woman my dear mother, my little, child-like, beautiful mother died.
I put my arms round her, kissed her poor, closed eyes and her now relaxed mouth, and held her limp, tiny body, no more struggling for breath.
I watched an old woman die of hunger and thirst. I watched her die for six days and nights. I watched her suffer, and struggle, and hold onto life.
She had not often found life easy, but she had always found it worthwhile. She was 94 years old. She had been born and had lived all her life in Canada. She had worked hard all her life, married, raised three children, voted, paid taxes, saved enough money to buy her own home, obeyed the laws, donated to charity, done volunteer work, paid her bills, and given much love and brought much joy to many, many people in her 94 years.
In return, in the spring of 2009, her son and her eldest daughter, with the permission and assistance of the law, because this old woman had had a mild stroke, refused her food and water. She could not swallow, so she would have needed the food and water administered artificially.
And the youngest daughter could do nothing except watch her mother die slowly, and write this, in the hope that my mothers death, like her life, will have made a difference.
Thread by me.
Country music singer Collin Raye to be a new voice for the cognitively impaired and those at risk of euthanasia
Contact: Kristina Hernandez, 703-373-0632, firstname.lastname@example.org
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla., Sept. 14, 2011 /Christian Newswire/ -- Terri Schiavo's Life & Hope Network, a foundation created by her parents and siblings following her death by starvation in 2005, announced today that country music star Collin Raye will serve as their national spokesperson.
"I am truly honored and humbled to be representing those who have no voice and appreciate the opportunity to help families and loved ones who are in similar situations like those of Terri Schiavo," said Raye.
Collin Raye charted 16 #1 hits through the 1990's and his career includes 24 top ten hits. Raye has sold over eight million albums and has been nominated five times as country music's Male Vocalist of the Year. In 2001, he was presented with the Humanitarian of the Year award by country music legend Clint Black.
Bobby Schindler, the executive co-director of the Life & Hope Network and brother of Terri Schiavo is excited to have Collin Raye as their national spokesperson: "With Collin's help, we hope to reach many more families in need of our network of attorneys and doctors who are dedicated to protecting the rights of vulnerable, disabled and elderly persons who are at risk of being denied the medical care that they deserve."
Terri Schiavo was dehydrated and starved to death after her husband won the right in court to remove her feeding tube. In March of 2005, almost 14 days after the tube was removed and all legal options to save her were exhausted by her family, Terri passed away. Since the inception of the Life & Hope Network, over 1,000 families have contacted the group to ask for assistance and the group has brought their message to nine countries, 42 states and 30 universities.
"There has been a growing number of families faced with the same situations as Terri's family in recent years and the number is sure to continue to grow as the passage of Obamacare takes away medical decision from families and doctors and put them into the hands of bureaucrats," said Raye.
"This is about the future of whats going on in this country and how we can help the disabled, the physically and cognitively impaired, and the elderly. Every life is precious," Raye added.
Raye shares his own, personal family experience with end of life issues in the heartbreaking death of his 10-year-old granddaughter, who died last year as a result of an undiagnosed neurological condition.
"As Terri said when she was healthy, where there's life there's hope. In my granddaughter's illness we were blessed to have the support and care of wonderful doctors and healthcare workers. It is my hope to be a voice for those who are suffering and need help obtaining the proper care and medical attention that every one of us deserves regardless of age, creed, color, or cognitive ability," Raye said.
Terri's Life & Hope Network has launched a nationwide effort to establish a "Safe Haven" network where hospitals and nursing homes pledge to never withhold medical care, food, or water from any patient.
"We are thrilled to have someone like Collin Raye become an advocate along side of us to help these families and patients in need. Obamacare puts bureaucrats in charge of life and death decisions, so this battle to defend family rights and life is only just beginning," added Suzanne Schindler, co-executive director of Terri's Life & Hope Network.
For more information or to join the Life & Hope network: www.lifeandhope.com.
So sad for the mother and her daughter. I fought this battle for my mother. I fired the hospice agency that tried to drug and starve her. She lived 3 months after I fired them. The day before I did it I expected her to die that night.
Thanks for the ping!
Thread by marshmallow.
An elderly priest on the Acadian Peninsula has been barred from performing church services in the Bathurst diocese after he made remarks about homosexuals and women who have had an abortion.
Rev. Donat Gionet, 85, gave the sermon at the Roman Catholic church in Saint-Léolin while replacing the regular parish priest late last month.
He stands by the comments he made in Saint-Léolin, a village of about 730 people located about 50 kilometres east of Bathurst.
Reached in Caraquet on Wednesday, Gionet declined an interview but did provide a written statement.
In a letter written in French that he provided to the Telegraph-Journal, Gionet stated the sermon in question was about the destruction of the Church and the need to seek forgiveness for past sins:
"I said: 'Today, it is we Catholics who are destroying our Catholic Church. We need only look at the number of abortions among Catholics, look at the homosexuals, and ourselves.' (That's when I pointed at my chest - through that action I wanted to say, we the priests) and I continued saying: We are destroying our Church ourselves. And that's when I said that those were the words expressed by Pope John Paul II. At that point, in the St-Léolin church only, I added: 'We can add to that the practice of watching gay parades, we are encouraging this evil' ... What would you think of someone who seeing what was happening on (Sept.) 11, 2001, the crumbling of the towers, had begun clapping? We must not encourage evil, whatever form it takes."
Bishop Valéry Vienneau has revoked Gionet's rights to serve mass across the Diocese of Bathurst, a decision welcomed by Joseph Lanteigne, the openly gay mayor of Saint-Léolin.
"The action taken by the diocese is good and I know it isn't easy for............
(Excerpt) Read more at telegraphjournal.canadaeast.com ...
Threads by metmom and Salvation.
Our community will be one of many cities from coast to coast joining together for the 40 Days for Life campaign. Here in Syracuse, we are praying in front of the Planned Parenthood located at 1120 E. Genesee Street. (see a map)
40 Days for Life is an intensive effort designed to raise awareness, save lives, bring healing, and lead our nation to repentance for the sin of abortion through three components: prayer and fasting, peaceful vigil, and community outreach.
40 Days for Life takes a determined, peaceful approach to showing local communities the consequences of abortion in their own neighborhoods, for their own friends and families. It puts into action a desire to cooperate with God in the carrying out of His plan for the end of abortion in America.
The 40-day campaign tracks Biblical history, where God used 40-day periods to transform individuals, communities ... and the entire world. From Noah in the flood to Moses on the mountain to the disciples after Christ's resurrection, it is clear that God sees the transformative value of His people accepting and meeting a 40-day challenge.
Vision and Mission 40 Days for Life is a focused pro-life campaign with a vision to access Gods power through prayer, fasting, and peaceful vigil to end abortion in America.
The mission of the campaign is to bring together the body of Christ in a spirit of unity during a focused 40 day campaign of prayer, fasting, and peaceful activism, with the purpose of repentance, to seek Gods favor to turn hearts and minds from a culture of death to a culture of life, thus bringing an end to abortion in America.
Largest 40 Days for Life ever! September 28 November 6
301 locations will take part in the next 40 Days for Life campaign (and a few more may be added, as we're working out final details with a few more).
Take the leap of faith and get involved with 40 Days for Life
Have you been to pray at a 40 Days for Life vigil yet? You may ask, What do I do? or What sign should I bring? The answer is simple; the only sign you really need to bring is yourself, for you represent Gods love.
Concern about going to pray at the abortion facility is common and normal. 40 Days for Life campaign director Shawn Carney shared some thoughts at the national Students for Life conference.
What 40 Days for Life has witnessed (so far!)
There have now been eight coordinated 40 Days for Life campaigns since 2007, mobilizing people of faith and conscience in 337 cities across all 50 of the United States plus communities in Canada, Australia, England, Ireland, Northern Ireland, Spain, Denmark, Georgia, Armenia and Belize.
During these unified efforts, participants witnessed countless blessings from God:
After so many years of legalized abortion, many people of faith are experiencing a renewed sense of HOPE!
Two threads by me.
The criminal law in Australia holds that the intentional taking of human life is a major criminal offence. This accords with the United Nations' Universal Declaration of Human Rights, to which Australia is a signatory, which declares that the right to the integrity of every person's life is equal, inherent, inviolable, inalienable and should be protected by law.
Since the intentional taking of human life is the specific aim of every euthanasia law, such a law would be unique in the following critically important ways:
This would present an impossible task, if honesty were to prevail. It would have to rely on such things as asserted but non-existent human rights, shades of deceit, inexact definitions and words or clauses allowing loose interpretations, rather than objectivity and specificity.
The push for legalised medically assisted death in Australia has now increased to the point where bills are before several State parliaments and another is before the Australian parliament to reverse the previous overturning of the Northern Territory Act. I have analysed most of the previous failed bills and noted their weaknesses. Rather than debate the pros and cons of the social role of euthanasia, I believe that members of Parliament, who have sole responsibility for making safe laws, should direct their attention to ensuring that draft euthanasia bills cannot imperil the lives of innocent people who do not wish to die.
The trouble with safeguards
It is evident that the authors of those bills have not read any of the extensive literature on this subject because they invariably include, as so-called safeguards, provisions which are known not to work in practice. A common feature of those who advocate euthanasia bills is their touching reliance on the fact that certain things will happen, just because the draft prescribes it. If that were true, no crime would ever be committed because all crime is currently forbidden by some law.
In 1958, Yale Kamisar, a renowned American professor of law in this field, wrote a seminal paper in which he listed these basic difficulties: ensuring that the person's choice was free and adequately informed; physician error or abuse; difficult relationships between patients and their families and between doctors and their patients; difficulty in quarantining voluntary euthanasia from non-voluntary, and risks resulting from this overt breach of the traditional universal law protecting all innocent human life.
All these problems still exist and others have been added, such as the critical role of depression in decision-making and the evolution in the moral basis for requesting death from the relief of severe suffering in the terminally-ill to reliance on respect for personal autonomy. Some of these will be discussed below.
Definitions are often vague or at odds with ordinary meanings. For example, in place of 'terminal illness' one may find 'incurable illness'. Many illnesses are literally incurable but do not necessarily cause death or shorten life. Pain and suffering are both highly subjective experiences, neither being able to be measured or compared between persons, while suffering is often due to social causes rather then medical. According to the drafts, both have to be simply accepted as the person describes them, even when this may raise serious doubt. And, as most now allow, if the symptoms are said to make life 'intolerable', even though it is recognised that what one person finds intolerable others can bear, that claim has only to be made to be incontestable. The situation then will have become virtually one of death on demand.
All bills required the doctor to be 'satisfied' that the patient's request was freely made, though no one could ever know with certainty about coercion from sources of which he was totally unaware. But would coercion be likely? Brian Burdekin, a former Australian Human Rights Commissioner, reported that in his experience 'The most vulnerable were the most likely to be abused and the most likely to be coerced'. Subtle degrees of coercion would be almost impossible to detect.
If a well person asks for death he will be referred for counselling. If a sick person asks, he is as likely to be supported in his 'exercise of personal autonomy'. And what of autonomy in the presence of severe illness, especially terminal illness, with its frequent association with depression and unrelieved pain, which powerfully hinder careful evaluation of issues?
More importantly, no matter what the patient decides, in every case it will be the doctor's decision that determines whether euthanasia actually proceeds. Leon Kass, an eminent lawyer and prolific author in this area, wrote that, in view of the totality of the impediments to clear reasoning in such patients, 'the ideal of rational autonomy, so beloved of bioethicists and legal theorists, rarely obtains in actual medical practice'.
Doctors are well experienced in persuading patients to follow their legitimate advice over treatment options, to the point where some have been heard to say 'I can get my patients to do anything I want'. Their power, relative to that of the patient, is large even when there is no intention to manipulate.
Euthanasia draft bills require doctors to inform patients about the medical details of their illness and future alternatives. Since such discussions will usually occur in private, one could never know whether such information was accurate, adequate, non-coercive and impartial. If the doctor's personal view was that euthanasia was appropriate for a patient, we may be sure some would not be deterred from advocating it.
Faulty opinion polls
A lot of publicity has lately been given to the fact that some 85 percent of respondents to opinion polls favour legalised euthanasia. This refers to the Morgan poll which has been using this question for many years: 'If a hopelessly ill patient in great pain with absolutely no chance of recovering asks for a lethal dose, so as not to wake again, should the doctor be allowed to give the lethal dose or not?'
It is not hard to see why many respondents, whose understanding of the complex matter of euthanasia is unknown, might agree to such an emotionally charged question. Given that repeated polls have shown that most Australian doctors have not received adequate training in palliative care, and sometimes none at all, should anyone be surprised that too often pain is poorly managed?
Against that background, the poll question may be truthfully reworded 'If a doctor is so negligent as to leave his patient in pain, severe enough to drive him to ask to be killed, should the doctor be able to compound his negligence by killing the patient, instead of seeking expert help?' The community would be appalled to find that relatively few doctors who must care for dying patients are able to deal with severe chronic pain effectively. The only remedy for this situation will be to introduce mandatory levels of competence in palliative care training in all medical schools. In the meantime, legalising euthanasia will lead inevitably to many needless deaths. Australia has about half the palliative care specialists it needs, all of whom are in cities or big towns.
Depression and the desire to die
Too often, draft bills for euthanasia only require the doctor to obtain expert psychiatric advice if he 'suspects' the patient is 'not of sound mind', that is, has impairment of competence, which is not the key issue. The literature of psychiatry contains abundant evidence that the sustained wish to die is associated, in a large number of the seriously ill, with depression, which alters mood and inhibits the ability to reason coherently and to adequately understand the challenges they face.
Not to require consultation by a psychiatrist experienced in the treatment of dying patients whenever a sustained wish to die is encountered, is a negligent omission, especially as such depression is often difficult to diagnose. In a published retrospective review of the Northern Territory Act in its short life, it was shown that relevant psychiatric evidence had been withheld and treatable depression was missed in four of the seven patients whose lives were taken under its provisions.
The demoralising combination of depression or despair, anxiety and fear associated with a desire to die can usually be treated with a mix of empathy, psychotherapy and medication.
The usual superficial approach to this problem is in stark contrast to the following advice from expert psychiatrists: 'No request for hastened death can be understood without first attempting to understand the psychological landscape within which the request arises'. One advised 'Never kill yourself when you are suicidal - you are not yourself then'.
Accordingly, it has been suggested that the need for better training in the detection of profound psychological disturbance in these patients is as great as that for the relief of severe pain. Even in the Netherlands, there is awareness of past failings, as the former Dutch Health Minister in 1994-2002, Mrs Borst-Eilers, last year commented 'The government's move (to legalise euthanasia) was a mistake, we should have first focused on palliative care'.
Sliding from voluntary to non-voluntary
Wherever voluntary euthanasia is practised, legally or not, non-voluntary is also found, including in Australia. Many find this difficult to credit because, whatever their failings, doctors surely would not take life without any request. In fact, they do it because it seems logical. Once euthanasia for patients who are suffering and ask to be killed is regarded as providing them with a benefit, it will appear, at least to some, that it would be wrong to withhold that benefit from others who suffer as much, but who, for some reason, cannot ask. In their eyes, this would be compassionate.
Because the same rationale can be the justification for euthanasia for both groups, the extension of one to the other must be regarded as inevitable and so, will be unable to be prevented or controlled. The Dutch have long since given up trying to prevent non-voluntary euthanasia.
Protecting the powerful
Bills require the doctor to notify the Coroner, following euthanasia. Since he will be its sole author, the chief actor and the sole survivor of the event, what chance is there the doctor will include anything he would not wish the Coroner to know?
Some may have found the earlier reference to deceit too strong, but it was not. At length, the draft bill must somehow directly confront the present law which outlaws euthanasia. So, the doctor is required by the bills to certify the death as due to the underlying illness, that is, to lie (though falsifying a death certificate is currently a punishable offence), and the death is not to be regarded, for the purposes of the Act, as any form of homicide, even though it was unquestionably homicide. Truth must yield to weasel words for these bills to succeed.
After euthanasia, the doctor may not be subject to any civil or criminal action, nor to any penalty or loss of privilege by any professional body. With only a few exceptions, every medical association in the world holds that euthanasia is forbidden to doctors because it is unethical, that is, morally wrong. Australian State governments establish Medical Boards and Medical Tribunals to regulate medical practice and they all regard medical life-taking as deserving of deregistration because those doctors are no longer fit to practise, on ethical grounds. These clauses in the bills are included without the consent or authority of the regulators, who regard them as necessary to protect patients against attacks on their lives, in recognition of their genuine human rights.
Just now, when it is being more widely recognised that there is a need for more emphasis on ethics in many areas of moral significance, the supporters of euthanasia want to dispense with them altogether. It may be wondered what benefits the community can expect to gain from having unethical doctors.
In conclusion, when all euthanasia draft bills so far put before the State parliaments over many years are reviewed, it can be observed that they go to extreme lengths to shield the doctor from the effects of current law, no matter what he or she may have done negligently or by omission, while including many opportunities for endangering the lives of patients who did not want their life ended.
In justice, it is the vulnerable who need protection, not the powerful. This danger is exactly what all the large committees of inquiry into the consequences of legalising euthanasia have predicted in their published reports, even those which included some members who were in favour of euthanasia. No other reasoned conclusion was available to them after extensive oral and written evidence had been taken from a wide range of community and professional sources. Every law to permit euthanasia will be inherently and unavoidably unsafe.
Dutch euthanasia doctors must wait up to eight months to find out if they will undergo criminal investigation. An enormous surge in the number of cases has flooded an already strained reporting system. The Dutch Medical Association calls the situation serious and says there is unrest among doctors.
Under the 2002 law, doctors are obliged to report voluntary euthanasia (where a doctor ends a patients life at his or her explicit request) and assisted suicide (where the doctor helps a patient take a deadly drug) to one of 5 regional assessment committees made up of a doctor, a lawyer and an ethicist.
The committee must be convinced that the doctor has adhered to all criteria for due care or the case must be passed to the public prosecution service and the Healthcare Inspectorate. These criteria include that the patient must be suffering unbearably and hopelessly, and must have made a free and considered request. The patient must also be referred to an independent doctor, and the euthanasia must be conducted in a medically thorough manner.
No prosecutions have been made under the current law, but about a dozen cases are scrutinised each year. A preliminary investigation is undertaken, questioning the doctor to see if there is a criminal case to answer. So far, these have only resulted in conditional warnings.
Thread by This Just In.
For those of us committed to the fight of saving Western Civilization from collapse, stories like the one that recently emerged from West Palm Beach, Florida are not reassuring. It seems that Ana Mejia and Rodolfo Santana, the parents of a young disabled boy named Bryan Santana, have received a $4.5-million court victory over a doctor and ultrasound technician they accused of malpractice.
What makes this story uniquely disturbing is the alleged offense of the two medical professionals. According to the Palm Beach Post, "[the parents] claimed they would have never have brought Bryan into the world had they known about his horrific disabilities ... the West Palm Beach couple said they would have terminated the pregnancy." In other words, since Bryan was born with only one limb, his life isn't worth as much as it would be if he had all of them. Therefore, the doctor and ultrasound tech are responsible for Bryan being alive rather than in a trash bin, and so they should have to pay for him.
The $4.5-million decision is half of what the parents requested, allegedly to help pay for Bryan's lifetime medical costs. That two individuals could be so shameless as to even publicly attach their names to a lawsuit of this nature, that our court system would even hear such a case, and that a jury of citizens would disgracefully reward the plaintiffs with anything but a callous lecture on their own moral degeneracy amount to a shocking commentary on how far our culture has fallen in terms of its respect for the value of human life.
(Excerpt) Read more at americanthinker.com ...
Two threads by me.
During the CNN Republican debate in June, Mitt Romney pressed on his switch from pro-choice to pro-life by Rick Santorum- declared: "I believe in the sanctity of life from the very beginning until the very end."
Romney has spent much of the last two presidential campaigns defending his evolving positions on abortion. But his stance on end-of-life issues, another perennial hot-button issue with the party's conservative base, has been far less scrutinized.
But Romney does have a history on the issue, and a controversial one at that. In 2005, aides to then-Massachusetts Gov. Romney pressed vigorously in court for a pull-the-plug order on a severely-beaten 11-year-old girl who appeared to be brain dead, only to rescind the request when the child unexpectedly emerged from a vegetative coma.
In late 2005, with the GOP fight over Terri Schiavo still fresh in the mind of party conservatives, Romney's social service department, presented with a damned-if-you-do-damned-if-you-don't scenario, petitioned the state's Supreme Court to remove life support for young Haleigh Poutre, who was sadistically, horrifically abused by her adoptive mother and stepfather for months.
When doctors examined the girl's brain stem, they were shocked to find it had sheared - an injury most often associated with high-speed car crashes.
In Sept. 2008, officials with Romney's Department of Social Services - admitting they ignored numerous signs the girl was being battered over a period of months obtained custody of Haleigh, determined that the had "no possibility of regaining a meaningful existence" due to the extent of her brain damage, and began to consider judicial end-of-life options including removal of life support and feeding.
Haleigh's jailed stepfather, possibly trying to dodge murder charges if he was able to keep the child alive, objected; The girl's birth mother and another close relative supported the state's request to obtain a "do not resuscitate" order.
On Jan. 16, 2008, the state's highest court sided with Romney's DSS and gave permission for the removal of a respirator and feeding tube.
But a day after the decision, Haleigh regained consciousness and began responding to simple commands, to the astonishment of doctors at Baystate hospital in Springfield.
A few days later, Romney, who had remained mum on the case up until that point, was pressed by reporters to articulate a broader position on end-of-life, but demurred, telling them:
"My concern is with this young girl and her current status," he told the Boston Globe. "In light of reported improvements in her medical condition, it should be clear to everyone that no action should be taken to end this girl's life."
In the months that followed, Romney tapped a three-member panel to examine the Poutre case and offer recommendations. Their findings: Errors were made by caseworkers and state officials, in the future, would seek outside medical advice and conduct more thorough physical examinations prior to proceeding with any end-of-life requests of people in their care.
Romney implemented the suggestions and told reporters, "The process of deciding to remove life support for a child In state custody has been inadequate," adding, "We must implement a far more comprehensive and robust process."
But he didn't embrace several reforms proposed by right to life groups and the Schiavo family, including more stringent benchmarks for ceasing life-giving care and greater transparency for judicial proceedings involving such cases.
"We do not think the Massachusetts Department of Social Services, under Governor Romney, acted properly by going to the courts to seek permission to remove Haleigh's food and water (via feeding tube) and breathing machine," Schiavo's brother Bobby Schindler, executive director of Terri's Life & Hope Network, a Florida non-profit, wrote in an email to POLITICO Thursday.
"Romney's campaign presents him with a prime opportunity to clarify his positions on crucial life issues. We hope Mitt Romney was encouraged by Haleigh's recovery and will vow to respect the dignity of all life, regardless of disability," he added.
A Romney spokeswoman declined to outline the former governor's overall philosophy on end-of-life cases but said, "Gov. Romney criticized the state's handling of the case, ordered an investigation and put in place safeguards to prevent it from happening again. His actions speak for themselves."
Andrea Saul, the spokeswoman, added: "Gov. Romney was the one who ordered an immediate investigation of Haleigh's case. He appointed a panel to review the entire case history. Once the panel completed their investigation, Gov. Romney ordered implementation of all of their recommended changes for future cases. These include requiring DSS to obtain a second opinion from a physician outside the institution where the child is being treated before any decision can be made on withholding life sustaining treatment as well as a requirement that DSS obtain more detailed medical information from the doctors in the case."
Haleigh Poutre is still recovering at a Catholic rehabilitation center from her injuries and new reports indicate that she has spoken with caregivers about the circumstances of her beating.
It is oft said that a society is judged by how it treats its weakest members. (Humans only. Animals are not members of the moral community. Their proper care is an important ethical issue, but irrelevant to this post.) And there are no weaker among us than those who experience profound cognitive disability.
Former Governor Mitt Romney is taking some heat for the scandalous attempt made during his governorship, by Massachusetts bureaucrats, to dehydrate a then unconscious 11 year-old child abuse victim, named Haleigh Poutre, to death. (I covered her case extensively here at SHS and in other media. Had not dotting all the bureaucratic is taken several months, Poutre would be dead today instead of in school!) From the Politico story:
In 2005, aides to then-Massachusetts Gov. Romney pressed vigorously in court for a pull-the-plug order on a severely-beaten 11-year-old girl who appeared to be brain dead, only to rescind the request when the child unexpectedly emerged from a vegetative coma.
Well, thats an unfair description. As I recall the circumstance, those pushing for the dehydration were bureaucrats from the state social welfare agency, not personal aides of Romney, as Politico implies, pushed by doctors who declared her not worth maintaining within days of her savage beating. But, back to Politico:
On Jan. 16, 2008, the states highest court sided with Romneys DSS and gave permission for the removal of a respirator and feeding tube. But a day after the decision, Haleigh regained consciousness and began responding to simple commands, to the astonishment of doctors at Baystate hospital in Springfield.
A few days later, Romney, who had remained mum on the case up until that point, was pressed by reporters to articulate a broader position on end-of-life, but demurred, telling them: My concern is with this young girl and her current status, he told the Boston Globe. In light of reported improvements in her medical condition, it should be clear to everyone that no action should be taken to end this girls life. In the months that followed, Romney tapped a three-member panel to examine the Poutre case and offer recommendations. Their findings: Errors were made by caseworkers and state officials, in the future, would seek outside medical advice and conduct more thorough physical examinations prior to proceeding with any end-of-life requests of people in their care.
Romney implemented the suggestions and told reporters, The process of deciding to remove life support for a child In state custody has been inadequate, adding, We must implement a far more comprehensive and robust process.
To be sure, but that begs an important question: Should tube-supplied hydration and nutrition ever be ordered removed by the state when it is medically appropriate, in other words, when it maintains life as opposed to those times at the verge of death when the body cannot assimilate sustenance. I say no. Anyone who dehydrated a dog would go to jail. Were Osama bin Laden dehydrated to death over two weeks, instead of shot in the head, President Obama would be up on charges in the Hague. And the symbolism of deciding that a human being isnt worth feeding is just too denigrating. Yet, in America we routinely dehydrate the cognitively disabled, and it is shrugged off as medical ethics.
Dehydration raises a lot of issues and emotionalityand hence most politicians prefer to avoid it. But events happen occasionally that force them to take a stand.
I recall when Congress rushed to pass Terris Law, which attempted to prevent Terri Schiavos dehydration based on the perceived need for the federal judiciary to independently investigate what were consideredand I think werehighly irregular state court proceedings in that case. (The federal judge assigned to the case effectively refused comply with the law, and Terrie died slowly over 14 days, bleeding in her eyes at the end from hyper dryness.) That law was later criticized harshly by Democratsbut only after polls showed it was unpopular.
Yet, when they could have stopped the legislation from becoming law, they didnt. Indeed, it would only have taken one U.S. Senator to prevent Terris Law from passing. Both (then) Senators Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton acquiesced in the unanimous consent of the Senate. So, did Harry Reid and every other Democratic senator. (Obama later said it was his worst mistake as a Senatorwhen running against Clinton and after it was clear that Senator McCain would be the Republican nominee. Such courage to say he did something wrong when his opponents had done the same thing.)
Dehydration remains an important ethical issue in the country precisely because it is a proper measure of our morality as a people. And, it is one that can cut both ways politically. A society is judged by how it treats the least among us.
"We will not be silent.
We are your bad conscience.
The White Rose will give you no rest."
Thanks for the ping!