Skip to comments.Bobby Schindler: Killing More Than Just the Patient
Posted on 04/01/2011 5:32:31 AM PDT by wagglebee
I recently read an article in the London Free Press (March 22nd) about the highly publicized Joseph Maraachli situation titled, Baby Joseph Case Becomes Political Issue in U.S.
As the Executive Director the Terri Schiavo Life & Hope Network, I was personally involved in helping Baby Joseph’s parents keep control of the medical treatment decisions that were being made for their son.
Joseph was diagnosed with a brain condition that doctors believe will eventually cause his untimely death. Joseph's parents, Moe and Sana, understood that their son’s case was terminal. Their only request was for a simple procedure to be performed that would enable Joseph to spend his remaining days at home.
However, attending physicians at the London Health Sciences Centre hospital in Ontario believed they knew what was in the best interest for Baby Joseph. Sadly, but not surprisingly, their decision was to remove Joseph's breathing machine so that he would die at the hospital.
Joseph's parents objected feeling their son deserved better. After much fanfare and wrangling, the one-year old was transferred to a SSM Cardinal Glennon Children’s Medical Center in St. Louis where the parent’s wishes for medical treatment are being respectfully considered.
Subsequent to the Baby Joseph case was the tragic situation of Ms. Rachel Nyirahabiyambere. An Alexandria Circuit Court ruled that Ms. Nyirahabiyambere's medically-assisted food and water was to be removed and that she should subsequently be dehydrated to death against her family's wishes.
An appointed guardian – a complete stranger to Ms. Nyirahabiyambere and her family – decided that she should be receiving only palliative care because she was "profoundly vegetative" and had no chance of recovery.
The family looked to the Catholic hospital (Georgetown University) for support. But much to their disbelief the hospital wiped their hands clean of Ms. Nyirahabiyambere's care. Apparently the case was too costly and she had no insurance. So therefore, this institution based on Catholic principles did nothing to stop the public guardian from carrying out Ms. Nyirahabiyambere dehydration death.
Fortunately, her family fought back and three weeks after Ms. Nyirahabiyambere's feeding tube was removed, a judge ordered that she be given food and water immediately while the legal issues were being weighed.
The cases of Baby Joseph and Rachel Nyirahabiyambere are not isolated situations. Indeed, this is the reason our family established Terri's Life & Hope Network. Following the brutal death of my sister, Terri Schiavo, we intend to keep issues like this at the forefront of thought when it comes to protecting the medically vulnerable. During this time, it has become abundantly clear that the basic right to receive life-sustaining medical care is being eroded more every day.
In fact, it has escalated to the point that physicians, attorneys, hospital administrators and others can make medical decisions that are completely contrary to an individual's wishes – even if this "medical treatment" involves basic and ordinary care such as food and water.
The people pulling the strings are commonly referred to as "ethics committees," people with unilateral power to make life and death decisions regardless of a patient's desires or those of his or her immediate family.
Leading experts on medical ethics like Wesley J. Smith and Rita Marker have been warning us about these committees long before my family has been helping other families fight against them.
Sadly, if you think you are protected from being denied food and water because you are in a Catholic hospital, you might want to think again. Many of the calls for help that we receive are from families that are up against Catholic hospitals and their so-called ethics committees. This is in spite of the fact that the denial of food and water from anyone is contrary to the fundamentals of Catholic teaching.
This is why I and others believe that a type of "death panel" already exists in the form of ethics committees that can subjectively make decisions to end lives.
Some, like Texas attorney Tom Malloy, may argue this point. According to this same March 22nd interview regarding the Baby Joseph case, Malloy (who has been a member on five ethics boards) said that all the dissent over last year's health care reform law and questions of how to treat vulnerable patients like Baby Joseph were simply "an all-out effort to defeat health reform." Malloy stated that decisions by ethics committees "have happened for years and they have nothing to do with Obama-care."
It is important to note that Malloy was instrumental in legislation to ensure that ethics committees have the last word over the removal of life-sustaining medical treatment and has admitted that "some" ethics boards "have ended the life of a patient, even children, over the objections of family."
Well, if these aren't a type of "death panel," then what will we be facing once the government controls our healthcare?
Consider attorney Thaddeus Pope, a professor at the University of Delaware School of Law, who confirmed Malloy's assertion regarding ethics boards. Professor Pope believes that if cases like Baby Joseph were to happen in states like Texas, it wouldn't even be newsworthy. "The mainstream media isn't even covering these [cases] anymore. It's not news." Pope added, "The idea is that it never happens in the U.S. – it happens all the time."
Terri's case, Baby Joseph and the situation involving Ms. Nyirahabiyambere are only a few of many tragic and controversial cases that have made it into the public spectrum for debate.
However, most people commenting on these situations have never been put in the position of having to fight the "system" in order to protect their loved ones – let alone care for someone with cognitive disabilities.
We chose to advocate for families like Baby Joseph's because our family knows firsthand how devastating it is to experience the needless and inhumane death of a vulnerable child or a loved one.
Though we don't believe people should be arbitrarily kept alive at all costs, cases like Baby Joseph's and Ms. Nyirahabiyambere's clearly illustrate how family and parents should maintain the right to make their own medical decisions.
Regardless, it is always gravely wrong to deny anyone our most basic care – food and water. When that simple right is stripped from a family member or from an individual and placed in the hands of a panel of strangers, nobody wins.
Certainly, no parent or family member should ever have to witness a child or loved one being deliberately put to death. Lawyers fight the causes, judges make the orders and medical staff members carry out the actions. They all return to their jobs and their daily lives while the parents and family members live with the devastation forever.
Or do they? Certainly not in the case of my father – who never recovered emotionally from his daughter’s barbaric death – those who succeeded in ending his daughter’s life, also ended his life as well.
Thread by topher.
April 6, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Myths about Planned Parenthood are spreading like grassfire. Thanks to a perfect storm of events, the abortion provider is scrambling to cauterize the biggest PR hit it has ever sustained. Novembers election of an overwhelmingly pro-life Congress, revelation of numerous violations by its staff and repeated calls for its defunding by social and fiscal conservatives alike have put Planned Parenthoods lifeblood on the line.
Planned Parenthoods bottom line is numbers. And, with abortion as its primary money-maker, that means implementing a quota. I know this is true because I worked at one of their Texas clinics for 8 years, two as the clinic director.
Though 98 percent of Planned Parenthoods services to pregnant women are abortion, Planned Parenthood and its political allies have sworn up and down that taxpayer dollars do not to pay for abortion. But of course they do. Planned Parenthood gets one-third of its entire budget from taxpayer funding and performed more than 650,000 abortions between 2008 and 2009. An abortion is expensive. Its cost includes pay for the doctor, supporting medical staff, their health benefits packages and malpractice insurance. As clinic director, I saw how money affiliate clinics receive from several sources is combined into one pot, not set aside for specific services.
Planned Parenthoods claim that abortions make up just 3 percent of its services is also a gimmick. That number is actually closer to 12 percent, but strategically skewed by unbundling family planning services so that each patient shows anywhere from five to 20 visits per appointment (i.e., 12 packs of birth control equals 12 visits) and doing the opposite with abortion visits, bundling them together so that each appointment equals one visit. The resulting difference between family planning and abortion visits is striking.
But thats not the only deception Planned Parenthood is spreading.
It also claims to help reduce the number of abortions. Not only is this not what Planned Parenthood actually accomplishes, but its goal couldnt be more opposite. As a Planned Parenthood clinic manager, I was directed to double the number of abortions our clinic performed in order to drive up revenue. In keeping, Planned Parenthood headquarters recently issued a directive mandating that all of its affiliates provide abortions by 2013.
Planned Parenthood is also spending a lot of money convincing its primary income providers taxpayers that its highest priority is womens health and safety. Live Action and the Expose Planned Parenthood coalition released numerous undercover videos showing clinic staff aiding and abetting alleged sex traffickers in exploiting underage girls some as young as 14.
After initially downplaying the first video as a scam, Planned Parenthood of Central New Jersey came under so much pressure that it fired the office manager in the footage. New Jersey Attorney General Paula Dow quickly called for an investigation, but Planned Parenthoods problems dont end with firing one office manager. Later Live Action videos revealed an unbroken chain of similar problems in clinics up and down the East Coast.
Planned Parenthood has found other ways to increase revenue at the expense of womens safety. Abortion consultations are now often done without a doctor in the room through online telemedicine. Abortion is a severely traumatic and potentially dangerous procedure. Even as Planned Parenthoods 2008 Employee of the Year, I saw this aggressive push toward more efficient telemedicine as risky.
Another nuisance the organization is seeking to do away with is reporting sex abuse of minors. It has sued to overturn a child abuse reporting law applying to minors under 14 on the grounds that it violated a girls constitutional right to privacy. Planned Parenthood called the bill unnecessary given that its medical personnel are already obliged to report such matters and that filing additional reports would only overload the government. Planned Parenthood doesnt want to bother the government with protecting minors.
It also cant be bothered to enable women to make informed decisions. Planned Parenthood has adamantly opposed laws in nearly two dozen states that require clinic staff to show a woman a sonogram before an abortion. With all the supposed health services these clinics provide, why should they fear sonograms? Because they cut down on its biggest income source.
With the Continuing Resolution battle before us, we can, at very least, stop making taxpayers perpetuate a culture that puts profit margins before womens safety. Congress has and must seize the opportunity to stop directing hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars to recipients who deliberately deceive the public and violate federal law.
I joined Planned Parenthood because I wanted to help poor women with real health care needs. I still do thats why I left. Planned Parenthood doesnt care about womens health care needs, it cares about abortion.
Its time to defund Planned Parenthood of our tax dollars.
Thread by me.
April 4, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) - The Canadian Paediatric Society - bioethics committee, released a statement on April 1 concerning the withholding and withdrawing of artificial nutrition and hydration.
The statement is similar to the statement from the American Academy of Pediatrics. Both statements approve the withholding or withdrawing of nutrition and hydration (fluids and food) from infants who may not be dying.
The Canadian statement allows euthanasia by dehydration (slow euthanasia) of infants with cognitive or other disabilities based on a quality of life assessment and with consent.
I refer to this as euthanasia by dehydration because there is a clear difference between withholding or withdrawing fluids and food from a person who is actually dying and nearing death and a person who is not otherwise dying.
When a person is actually dying and nearing death, the death occurs from the medical condition. But when fluids and food are intentionally withheld or withdrawn from someone who has cognitive or other serious disabilities or conditions but is not otherwise dying, the cause of death is intentional dehydration.
Many leading bioethicists would like you to believe that there is no difference between killing and letting die, but in fact there is a big difference. When we allow the killing of a person, we are allowing an intentional action or omission to directly cause death. Letting someone die means that we are actually allowing natural death to occur.
Some bioethicists will refer to the artificial nature of providing fluids and food as the issue. This argument is false. We always receive fluids and food by some means, whether it be by a spoon, straw, bottle or mothers milk, etc.
In a media release, the Canadian Paediatric Society stated:
ANH [artificial nutrition and hydration] refers to nutrition or hydration that is delivered by artificial means, such as via a feeding tube or intravenously. Legal and ethics experts say there is no difference between withholding or withdrawing ANH versus other therapies that sustain or prolong life. The CPS makes clear that any decision should be based solely on the benefit to the child, while considering the childs overall plan of care.
Food and drink evoke deep emotional and psychological responses, and are associated with nurturing, said Dr. Tsai. But artificial nutrition and hydration is not about providing food and fluids through normal means of eating and drinking. It should be viewed the same as any other medical intervention, such as ventilatory support.
Sadly, there was another time in history when euthanasia by dehydration of newborns was accepted. Those deaths became the T4 euthanasia program that progressed to euthanasia by injection and then euthanasia by gassing.
No, not everyone is willing to turn a blind eye to intentionally dehydrating infants to death. These infants are vulnerable people because they have been born with disabilities. Many medical professionals view their lives as life unworthy of life and their parents are afraid and have been told that these children will live lives that are wretched to the extreme.
Thread by BykrBayb.
GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. Grand Junction proclaimed Monday as National Health Care Decisions Day, urging all citizens to make their health care wishes known through advance care planning for managing a serious illness, or end-of-life care.
Living wills and advance directives are documents that spell out your wishes if you should become incapacitated due to a medical crisis.
Millions of people began filling out living wills and advance directives after the 1976 Supreme Court case of Karen Ann Quinlan, whose parents battled with hospital staff who sought to keep Quinlan alive through artificial means, even though she had lapsed into a vegetative state and doctors had determined she would never recover. The Supreme Court eventually ruled in the parents favor, who said they wanted Karen to die with grace and dignity.
People who make their wishes known in advance can avoid situations like Quinlan's, and that of another woman Terri Schiavo who suffered a cardiac arrest, that led to a vegetative state lasting 15 years before her mechanical life support system was removed.
The Mesa County Advance Care Planning Task Force, a group of local organizations, is offering Medical Decision Making in Colorado workshops on how to plan for end-of-life care, Thursday and Saturday, April 14 and 16. The sessions are free.
The sessions will include communicating end-of-life wishes to loved ones, and how to appoint a health care power of attorney. There will also be new information regarding living wills and other advance directive documents.
St. Mary's Hospital is hosting Thursday's session, and Hospice and Palliative Care of Western Colorado will host the Saturday workshop. Light refreshments will be provided.
Limited seating is available and reservations are required by calling Western Colorado 2-1-1.
What: Advance Care Planning Session - hosted by St. Mary's Hospital and Hospice and Palliative Care of Western Colorado
When and Where: April 14 - St. Mary's Saccomanno Education Center, 2635 7th St. April 16 - Hospice and Palliative Care of Western Colorado, 3090 N. 12th St. Unit B, Room 102 Both sessions are 9-11 a.m.
Info: Register before April 12 by calling Western Colorado 2-1-1
Two threads by me.
A SCOTTISH pro-euthanasia groups involvement in the death of a pensionerwho ended her life despite not being terminally illwas exposed this week in a case pro-life campaigners said showed the true nature of the pro-euthanasia agenda.
Nan Maitland, an active member of Glasgow-based Friends at the End (Fate), had campaigned for change in the law over doctor-assisted death for years before travelling to a Swiss suicide clinic and ending her life last month.
The 84-year-old had long been living with arthritis, and in a letter to friends, said she chose to escape the long period of decline, sometimes called prolonged dwindling, that so many people unfortunately experience before they die.
Two members of FateLiz Nichols and Dr Michael Irwinaccompanied Londoner Mrs Maitland on her final journey. In a goodbye message released by Fate, Mrs Maitland, who died on March 1, wrote: By the time you read this, with the help of Fate and the good Swiss, I will have gone to sleep, never to wake. I have a great feeling of relief that I will have no further need to struggle through each day in dread of what further horrors may lie in wait.
The mother-of-three was an occupational therapist and also founded a charity that offers accommodation to older people in exchange for help with household chores. She added: Please be happy for me that I have been able to escape from this, for me, unbearable future.
Dr Peter Saunders, campaign director of the pro-life Care Not Killing group said Nan Maitlands death was a shameful episode.
This case, involving an elderly woman with arthritis who was actively assisted by fellow campaigners to kill herself, yet again exposes the real agenda of the pro euthanasia lobby, he said. They claim that the law should be changed to help only those in the last days or weeks of a terminal illness, whilst actively pursuing much broader goals.
All the talk about demonstrating how assisted suicide and euthanasia could be legalised with safeguards is simply a front for an agenda of incremental extension. The true aim of those campaigning for a change in the law, as we have seen today, is to allow anyone who requests it, regardless of their age or health, to be helped to end their lives.
He added that all the evidence shows that any change in the law would place pressure on vulnerable people, especially those who are elderly, depressed or disabled, to end their lives so as not to be a burden on loved ones, carers, or the state.
This pressure will be much more acutely felt at a time of economic recession when health budgets are being cut and many families are feeling the financial pinch, Dr Saunders said. The current law, which has been debated on numerous occasions in parliament in recent years, is clear and ensures that the lives of vulnerable people are not exploited or abused. It provides a strong deterrent to abuse through the penalties that it holds in reserve. It does not need changing.
Fate in Glasgow
Dr Libby Wilson founded Fate, which is based in Glasgows west end, in 2000. The group promotes end-of-life choices and campaigns for a change in the law relating to assisted suicide and euthanasia. In 2009 Dr Wilson was arrested by Surrey police after the suicide of 43-year-old Woking academic Cari Loder, who was terminally ill with multiple sclerosis. Questioned by police, Dr Wilson admitted advising Ms Loder on how to kill herself by administering helium.
However, the Crown Prosecution Service decided that no charges would be brought against her, as it was not in the public interest.
"We will not be silent.
We are your bad conscience.
The White Rose will give you no rest."
Thanks for the ping!
Thread by iowamark.
When a society supports strong families led by one man and one woman, it has benefits for the economy as well, Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann said Monday during a visit to the University of Iowa.
Marriage between a man and a woman is a foundation block for a strong America, but marriage has been under attack, Bachmann, a potential 2012 Republican presidential candidate, said. She also noted the financial implications of pregnancies to unwed mothers, through welfare and other government spending.
Social conservatism is fiscal conservatism, Bachmann said to loud cheers from the crowd of about 200. You cant separate the two.
Bachmanns visit Monday was part of the presidential lecture series sponsored by Iowa conservative group The Family Leader. The lecture series has brought several prominent national politicians to Iowa City in recent weeks.
She talked of the three-legged stool needed to hold up American society: upholding life, marriage and strong family life; promoting a strong economy and job creation; and national security. Bachmann said she was a strong opponent of U.S. involvement in Libya, a situation she calls a big mistake.
He has no idea what our military goal is in Libya, she said of President Barack Obama.
But the greatest threat to national security is not Iran or Libya, its the national debt, Bachmann said. She rallied against Obamas health care overhaul, which she said will cost more than anyone imagines and provide people less care, and said she was disappointed with the federal budget plan released last week, which she believes doesnt go far enough to cut government spending.
There were some vocal protesters who repeatedly shouted questions during a portion of Bachmanns speech. When she took questions after the speech, Bachmann invited one of the protesters to ask the first question. The pair were asked to leave the ballroom a few minutes later. One of the protesters asked Bachmann how much oil do you want?
Bachmann, who lived in Waterloo until she was 12, responded that she wants a lot more than the United States has now, but she wants it to come from U.S. oil fields instead of from the Middle East. The United States could be the most energy-rich country in the world if it accessed its oil, its natural gas and developed more wind and solar energy, she said.
We could supply our own energy cheaper and be an exporter, she said.
Coralville resident Randy Crawford said after the speech he thinks Bachmann has a lot of common sense about the U.S. tax system and about societal stability, such as her opposition to abortion and gay marriage.
Its what we need a lot more of, Crawford said. Shes head and shoulders above Obama.
Thread by me.
Terri Schiavo was subjected to a painful 13-day starvation and dehydration death by her former husband who refused to provide her with proper medical care and rehabilitative treatment.
Not wanting to see other patients endure the same ordeal, the foundation Terris family started to help disabled people receive proper care announced today it is supporting the New Beginnings Community Center of Medford, New York that will help people in similar situations.
The Terri Schiavo Life & Hope Network told LifeNews that New Beginnings is a state-of-the-art outpatient rehabilitative facility for Veterans, Traumatic Brain Injury Survivors and other cognitively and physically disabled persons. It is designed to provide rehabilitation, management and recovery services in an exceptional, stimulating and safe environment.
The center reached out to the family to dedicate the building to the memory of Terri and her family agreed to do so.
Bobby Schindler, Terris brother and the director of the foundation, told LifeNews.com: We are truly blessed by the vision of New Beginnings Community Center. We believe that this grand opening will set an example for health care facilities across the country to begin to fully understand that just because someone experiences a cognitive disability, and their physical appearance may change, their human dignity does not.
We are dedicating New Beginnings Community Center in Terri Schindler Schiavos memory, Allyson Scerri, New Beginnings Founder and President, added.. This is our way of honoring Terris memory, her battle for proper treatment as a cognitively disabled person, and all others who did not have the chance for rehabilitation.
One of the goals at the Terri Schiavo Life & Hope Network is to partner with care centers that provide assistance for brain injured individuals and support for their families.
Suzanne Vitadamo, another foundation director who is Terris sister, said, This is a very special event for our family and our network. We are delighted to know that New Beginnings will be a great resource and safe haven for those that have experienced a brain injury. The underlying message is that there always remains hope for these patients and their families.
We remain optimistic that this will be the first of many extended health care facilities to embrace a safe haven concept of care which will not deny any treatment or therapy to the cognitively disabled and traumatic brain injury survivors, Vitadamo added.
The family of Terri Schiavo will be participating in this special dedication, at the grand opening on Sunday, April 17. To learn more about New Beginnings Community Center, visit their website www.nbli.org.
Thread by Rennes Templar.
A pro-life advocate in Kansas is battling to fight growing epidemic of abortion among blacks.
Reports indicate abortion is the leading cause of death within the African-American community in the U.S. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), since 1973 -- the year of the Supreme Court decision Roe v. Wade -- 13 million African-American lives have been lost to abortion.
Peggy Elliott Ministries was honored with a $2,500 grant at the recent Servant Awards celebration in Wichita, Kansas. Dr. Peggy Elliott, ministry founder and president, says it is time for the genocide to stop.
"Between abortion and black-on-black crime, as a people group we're exterminating ourselves. We're not loving our children in the womb or outside of the womb," she shares. "So I have to do whatever it is that I can do to help save babies' lives and to make an impact on our culture.
"We've become a culture of death -- and I want to be one of those used by God to move us from a culture of death to a culture of life."
Currently in Congress, every member of the Congressional Black Caucus identifies himself or herself as "pro-choice." Elliott laments that fact.
"Less than two percent of the African-American population is involved actively in the pro-life movement," she notes. "So any of the babies who have been saved -- our babies -- have been because there's been people who aren't concerned about the color. So [while] I say thank you to that...I also say it's time for my culture to wake up and to become involved."
We have more babies die from [Sudden Infant Death Syndrome] -- there's something wrong," says the ministry leader. I believe the something that's wrong is we've moved away from our first love, which is Jesus Christ."
(Excerpt) Read more at onenewsnow.com ...
Thread by me.
Simon Fitzmaurice with his wife and children
DUBLIN, April 12, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) In a powerful op-ed in todays 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 Fitzmaurices 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 Irelands 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 Fitzmaurices 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 Canadas 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 patients 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. Thats hope.
Thread by me.
I received an email from a reader today asking about the current status of Baby Joseph. The last I heard, he had the tracheotomy about a month ago. I decided to check, and here is what I found. From the story:
The child known as Baby Joseph remains at a St. Louis hospital, more than three weeks after receiving a tracheotomy to connect him to a portable breathing machine in an effort to extend his life. Joseph Maraachli has Leigh syndrome, a progressive neurological disorder. He came to Cardinal Glennon Childrens Medical Center from Canada, where doctors believed the tracheotomy was futile. He will eventually transfer to Ranken Jordan pediatric hospital in suburban St. Louis before going home. A spokeswoman for Cardinal Glennon told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that Joseph is in good condition and the extended stay has nothing to do with any surgical complications.
This surgery was clearly not medically futile, it seems to me. The only reason the Canadian hospital refused it, would be the doctors/bioethicists/administration considered the life he is living as futile, or at least, not worth the money to sustain. But that kind of quality of life judgmentalism should be looked upon as any other form of discrimination. And in any event, whether a life is worth living should not be a doctors call.
Thanks for the ping!
“This surgery was clearly not medically futile, it seems to me.”
No it was not futile. The purpose of healthcare is to extend our lives, and/or make us more comfortable.
Please, if you have a family member who is ill and needs hospitalization, make sure there is always another person there, day and night, to supervise.
Threads by BykrBayb and me.
Baby Joseph with his father Moe Maraachli
early this morning as they head home to Windsor, Canada.
WINDSOR, Ontario, April 21, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) Baby Joseph and his family arrived in Windsor, Ontario on a medical transport flight from St. Louis, Missouri this morning. He is now at the family home, according to Brother Paul ODonnell.
On behalf of Baby Josephs family, Brother ODonnell told LifeSiteNews that that their son was weaned off ventilator support 12 days ago and has been successfully breathing on his own since then.
Baby Joseph, who has been at the center of an international right-to-life debate over the past few months, has defied critics by responding so well to treatment. After the Ontario hospital treating Josephs progressive and terminal neurological disease threatened to remove his life support against his parents wishes earlier this year, pro-life groups rallied to Josephs cause.
With the financial support and assistance of Father Frank Pavone and Priests for Life, Joseph was taken to Cardinal Glennon Childrens Medical Center in St. Louis, Missouri where doctors performed the tracheotomy that Josephs parents had been requesting all along.
Sixteen-month-old Baby Joseph received a successful tracheotomy on March 21, responding well to the procedure, which gave him increased mobility and comfort while providing a stable, secure airway. With the tracheotomy, which created an opening into Josephs windpipe through an incision in his neck, Josephs airway has been kept free from secretions that would have caused him to choke.
Dr. Robert Wilmott, Chief of Pediatrics for SSM Cardinal Glennon and Saint Louis University School of Medicine, said Joseph has been breathing so well on his own there will be no need to take him to a local rehabilitation hospital and he can be transported to Ontario.
Joseph has been breathing on his own, without the aid of a mechanical ventilator, for more than a week, Wilmott said. By providing him with this common palliative procedure, weve given Joseph the chance to go home and be with his family after spending so much of his young life in the hospital.
Meanwhile, Josephs parents and 7-year-old brother, who have spent more than a month in St. Louis, have expressed their extreme gratitude to all who have made it possible to save the life of their son.
So many people from the United States and Canada and all around the world have reached out, sent letters and called my family to let us know they were praying for us and thinking about us, Josephs father Moe Maraachli said. This has really helped our family through this hard time, to know there is so much kindness in the world.
We are so grateful for the amazing care and compassion we have received from the doctors, nurses and staff of Cardinal Glennon. Our family also wants to thank the team at Windsor Regional Hospital for reaching out to our family and Dr. Wilmott and making the transfer back home a reality.
Commending the staff at Cardinal Glennon, Fr. Frank Pavone of Priests for Life said Joseph has defied so many critics.
Our mission to save Baby Joseph and help his family was never based on any prediction of the future, but rather on the value of his life here and now. Our critics, on the other hand, looking into the crystal ball that right to die advocates seem to always think they have, claimed our intervention was futile because Joseph would only end up having a machine do his breathing for him, said Fr. Pavone.
We dont have to answer their criticism; Joseph is doing that for us, with every breath he takes, continued Fr. Pavone. Baby Josephs victory over the culture of death is especially powerful now, as we prepare for Easter, a time when Christians everywhere celebrate Jesus victory over death.
Priests for Life is happy and humbled to have played a small part in making this joyous day possible. We ask everyone to join us as we continue to pray for Baby Joseph and his family.
WINDSOR, Ont. Baby Joseph napping at home in his crib on Easter Sunday is all the proof his father needs that his Ontario doctors were wrong.
Only months ago, the fate of 15-month-old Joseph Maraachli was a question mark. Doctors at London Health Sciences Centre in London, Ont., sought to take the infant off life support as he battled a progressive neurological disease.
But on Sunday, the round-cheeked baby was home in Windsor, resting in a cradle packed with plush toys. Now and then he opened his eyes or wriggled a little, or moved his arms beneath father Moe Maraachli's occasional touches and kisses.
When Maraachli held out a finger at one point, Joseph's own stubby fingers curled around it.
He's breathing without a ventilator, Maraachli said, after surgery in St. Louis the airway-opening tracheotomy his family sought but couldn't get in Canada as they battled to bring Joseph home to die.
"I feel victorious," Maraachli said, smiling broadly as he stood by Joseph's crib. "I feel I won and my baby's alive."
But he's also been left with questions about why he and wife Sana Nader had to go to the U.S. for help.
"That's what makes me mad," he said. "Why I have to travel to St. Louis?
"I trust my medical system. We have a perfect medical system in Ontario."
But the doctors in London, he said, let him down.
He's not angry at the hospital itself, Maraachli said. But he said he feels he's owed an explanation for the decision to refuse Joseph the tracheotomy.
He isn't sure how long Joseph will live. And he declined to to guess how much time he and his son have left.
"That's by God and by him," Maraachli said, his tone calm and positive. "I never think about that and I don't think about this day."
Joseph's progressive neurological disease was identified in the U.S. as Leigh syndrome. He was originally rushed to the hospital in October while the family was on the way back from Toronto.
When doctors at London Health Sciences Centre sought to take him off life support, his parents refused to give their consent. They wanted him to die peacefully at home. But the hospital refused to give Joseph a tracheotomy, calling the procedure futile and invasive.
Flocks of supporters, many of them high-profile pro-life groups from the U.S., came to the family's aid, and Joseph was ultimately moved to Cardinal Glennon Children's Hospital in St. Louis. There, he underwent the tracheotomy his parents sought.
The operation will allow Joseph to spend his last days at home, without the need for a mechanical ventilator. And indeed, said Maraachli, Joseph is breathing without one.
Battling the system, he said, was the most emotionally painful part of the journey.
The Consent and Capacity Board of Ontario, an independent body created to handle issues under legislation including the Health Care Consent Act, sided with the London hospital. A court appeal by the family failed.
For Maraachli, it seemed like no one was listening to him.
"All these people fighting me. I feel like I'm fighting justice. I'm fighting doctors, I'm fighting the hospital, I'm fighting the medical system. I'm alone."
As the growing controversy around Joseph saw the family divided by travel, Maraachli said it hurt all the more. He said it was hard on Joseph's brother, six-year-old Ali.
"I fight too much because I feel like I'm losing my family," the father said. "I feel like my family's upside down. I feel like (I'm) not (a) good father."
Faith, he said, kept him going.
"I have good faith in my heart and my wife is the same like me, so our faith made us very strong," he said.
Buoying him all the more was the outpouring of support from people across Canada and the U.S. A Facebook group entitled "Save Baby Joseph" had about 15,300 people Sunday. Various pro-life groups in both countries got involved, including U.S.-based Priests for Life, which provided a private flight to St. Louis for Joseph and paid for all his medical care.
Maraachli said if he named all the people he wanted to thank, he'd be talking for hours. The support, he said, gave him a huge boost as he fought to let his son die at home.
"I feel like I'm the hero," he said to describe how the support helped him. "I feel like I'm Superman."
Asked if he ever feared not finding a hospital that would take Joseph, Maraachli didn't want to talk about it. "I wasn't afraid," he said. "I always have a plan B."
As Joseph roused from his rest Sunday, his older brother Ali was quick to act. The beaming six-year-old clambered up into his younger brother's crib, a storybook in hand, ready to read to him and to give him a little kiss.
Ali has become a part of Joseph's care, too. Maraachli said he's taught him to be something of a nurse. An actual nurse does watch Joseph at night.
He's responsive to his family, Maraachli said. He said Joseph knows when he's being held by his father.
Now, he said, things are returning to normal for the Maraachli family. He said even after the tracheotomy, Joseph's daily routine isn't that different from a normal baby's.
"My life is normal," the father said. "It's back, not upside down, but I still need the answer why."
Baby Joseph is home, and apparently not as unconscious as the London hospital representative stated. From the story:
Baby Joseph napping at home in his crib on Easter Sunday is all the proof his father needs that his Ontario doctors were wrong. Only months ago, the fate of 15-month-old Joseph Maraachli was a question mark. Doctors at London Health Sciences Centre in London, Ont., sought to take the infant off life support as he battled a progressive neurological disease. But on Sunday, the round-cheeked baby was home in Windsor, resting in a cradle packed with plush toys. Now and then he opened his eyes or wriggled a little, or moved his arms beneath father Moe Maraachlis occasional touches and kisses. When Maraachli held out a finger at one point, Josephs own stubby fingers curled around it.
Love. Comfort. Touch. These are important to every baby.
Josephs father wants answers:
I feel victorious, Maraachli said, smiling broadly as he stood by Josephs crib. I feel I won and my babys alive. But hes also been left with questions about why he and wife Sana Nader had to go to the U.S. for help. Thats what makes me mad, he said. Why I have to travel to St. Louis?
Thats a good and important question. Joseph clearly was not on the verge of death when the hospitals wanted him off life support and refused a tracheotomy. The tracheotomy obviously provided him great benefit, and in fact, is apparently a normal palliative procedure in cases such as this. Indeed, hes off of machines and home where he can die peacefully in his own time.
So, why was Joseph and the family treated so badly? Why did the family have to go the USA to obtain proper care for their baby? Will Canada Medicare pay for the procedure that so clearly should have been provided to Joseph in his home hospital?
Dont expect answers to come readily. I have noticed that when a case goes against what the futilitarians predicted, they generally hide behind closed doorsuntil the next time they boldly assert that wanted, efficacious treatment for a dying or profoundly disabled patient is inappropriate. That shouldnt be allowed to happen. The Canadian authorities should investigate.
Perhaps a good place to start to right the wrong would be a sincere apology from Josephs doctors and the hospital administration to the family.
Threads by bruinbirdman, BenLurkin and me.
Elderly people in the Netherlands are so fearful of being killed by doctors that they carry cards saying they do not want euthanasia, according to a campaigner who says allowing assistant suicide in Britain would put the vulnerable at risk.
Kevin Fitzpatrick, a researcher with the pressure group Not Dead Yet, claimed that relaxing the law in this country would threaten old and disabled people as it would allow moral judgments that their lives were not worth living.
He said it is nonsensical to say that we all have a right to die, when what is really being sought is the right to a premature death that is not sought by all in society.
But a former professor of geriatric medicine, Raymond Tallis, also writing online in the BMJ, argues that countries which have legalised assisted dying have neither seen trust in medics eroded nor the procedure imposed on vulnerable people.
The debate comes amid an increasingly high-profile campaign in Britain to decriminalise assisted suicide. A court victory last year forced the Director of Public Prosecutions to admit that individuals would not be prosecuted for helping terminally ill loved ones die in most cases, and in recent months a series of public figures including Ian McEwan, Chris Broad and Sir Terry Pratchett have spoken out in favour of the law being relaxed still further.
But charities and groups supporting disabled people and the elderly fear that any change in the law would leave them feeling under pressure to end their lives.
In an article published on BMJ.com on Friday, Mr Fitzpatrick wrote: Disabled people, like others, and often with more reason, need to feel safe. Thus eroding what may already be a shaky sense of safety in medical care poses a further threat to disabled peoples wellbeing, continuing care, and
(Excerpt) Read more at telegraph.co.uk ...
She is a 91-year-old grandmother, who is not known for knitting afghans and scarves, but she does lovingly fashion hoods that kill.
Charlotte started making and selling these suicide kits out of her cozy Southern California home after watching her husband die a slow and painful death from colon cancer. She blames doctors for keeping him alive.
It was terrible to treat people that way To make them suffer to the bitter end, Charlotte said.
Charlotte, who sells her controversial kits for $60, demonstrated how they work in front of our cameras.
To die with this helium just takes you a couple of minutes and [you] die peacefully, said Charlotte, who only wanted to be identified by her first name.
A loophole in California law makes selling these kits legal...
(Excerpt) Read more at losangeles.cbslocal.com ...
A right-to-die pressure group provoked outrage yesterday over plans to sponsor the UK's first helpline aimed at speeding the terminally ill towards 'a good death'.
The free phone line, to be set up by a charity called Compassion in Dying, will 'promote greater patient choice and control where possible'.
The charity is an offshoot of euthanasia campaign Dignity in Dying and is led by the right-to-die group's chief executive Sarah Wootton, a former sex equality and abortion campaigner.
Its plan to provide the desperately sick with advice on how to end their lives sparked protests from anti-euthanasia activists, who said the helpline would be used to shorten lives.
The charity says it exists to exploit 'existing end-of-life rights' and will pass on information to callers.
However, it comes against a background of growing tolerance of assisted suicide by prosecution authorities, increasing political pressure for the legalisation of assisted dying, and a rising toll of Britons travelling to the Dignitas suicide clinic in Switzerland to end their lives.
The charity said the helpline would be 'dedicated to supporting patients, loved ones and carers through the dying process, promoting greater patient choice and control where possible'.
Elspeth Chowdharay-Best of the pressure group Alert said: 'Dignity in Dying used to call itself the Voluntary Euthanasia Society.
'The aim of the helpline exercise is to shorten people's lives.'
(Excerpt) Read more at dailymail.co.uk ...
Thread by me.
Rome, Italy, Apr 30, 2011 / 05:03 am (CNA).- A proposal to allow premature or sick newborn babies to die even when their life would be deemed worth living by medical staff has been condemned by a leading member of the Pontifical Academy for Life.
Doctor Carlo Bellieni says the suggestion being made by the Oxford-based physician James Wilkinson is both flawed and an erroneous way of considering life.
Dr. Wilkinson outlines his controversial argument in the American Journal of Bioethics. The prevailing official view is that treatment may be withdrawn only if the burdens in an infants future life outweigh the benefits. ... I conclude that it is justifiable in some circumstances for parents and doctors to decide to allow an infant to die even though the infants life would be worth living, Dr. Wilkinson wrote.
But as Dr. Bellieni explained to CNA, such a suggestion makes for bad ethics and poor patient care. Firstly, babies are not the property of their parents. Secondly, at birth parents are often stressed and full of pain and suffering. The mother has the pain of childbirth. The father has the shock and stress of being faced with a very premature baby. When youre in such pain and stress, youre not really free to make clear-minded decisions that are so important for your offspring.
Most importantly, Dr. Bellieni said, the decision about life should only be taken on an objective basis and in the interest of the patient, not in the interests of a third party.
Dr. Bellieni, who is a Director of the Neonatal Intensive Therapy Unit at Siena University Hospital, is internationally recognized as an expert in the field of neonatal care. In addition to being a member of the Pontifical Academy for Life, he is also the Secretary of the Bioethics Committee of the Italian Pediatrics Society.
Although the Italian neonatalogist said he doesnt know whether hospitals in the Western world are actually practicing Dr. Wilkinsons radical approach, he pointed towards recent research in Canada suggesting that newborn babies are now receiving less guarantees of treatment than adults. Its a very sad scenario. I believe that babies should receive more care than other patients but many philosophers now believe that newborns are not persons and so they actually are receiving fewer guarantees than older people.
Even when burdens do seem to be high, for example in the case of severe disability, this is not a sufficient reason to withhold life-saving treatments. After all, a disabled baby has a full right to life too, Dr. Bellieni stressed.
Dr. Wilkinson claims that the prevailing clinical view is contrary to this. If that is the case then its very worrying indeed and we cannot possibly accept such a viewpoint as ethical.
Dr. Brian Kopp is one of the organizers for this conference, thread by him.
"We will not be silent.
We are your bad conscience.
The White Rose will give you no rest."
Thanks for the ping!
Gee, Baby Joseph doesn’t look ill. Was Canada’s medical system lying about his current status? The kid looks fine.