January 22, 2005

NOT CO-OPERATING WITH THE CULTURE OF DEATH (via David Hill, The Bronx):


Baby Charlotte's survival sparks new legal battle
(Sarah-Kate Templeton, 1/23/05, Sunday Times of London)

A PREMATURE baby that the High Court ruled should be left to die by hospital doctors has survived against the odds. So remarkable is the little girl’s progress that lawyers for her parents will this week go to court and ask for the ruling to be lifted.

Charlotte Wyatt, who weighed just 1lb when she was born prematurely, was given only months to live after a hospital won the legal right last autumn not to resuscitate her if she stopped breathing.

Doctors secured the ruling, against the wishes of Charlotte’s parents, on the grounds that she was brain-damaged and it was in the baby’s own interests not to be resuscitated since it would prolong her suffering and would be “purposeless”.

Doctors expected that Charlotte, now 15 months old, would succumb to an infection that would prove fatal without emergency intervention. However, she has survived 3½ winter months since the ruling; there is also evidence that her breathing is becoming stronger and she is less dependent on an oxygen supply — an improvement confirmed by hospital sources. The family claims she has some sight and can hear clapping.


Purposeless? Do they know they sound like the Nazis and not care?

MORE:
Our own Holocaust (Sunday Telegraph, 23/01/2005)

Hitler's holocaust began in the 1930s with a policy which was not merely popular in other countries, but frequently practised by them: the forced sterilisation of those deemed "unfit to reproduce" because they were thought to carry a genetic predisposition to mental or physical handicap. Socialist intellectuals in Britain such as George Bernard Shaw were enthusiastic proponents of that policy. The US Supreme Court ruled that forced sterilisation was compatible with the Constitution in 1927, when Oliver Wendell Holmes confidently stated that it was "better for all the world if society can prevent those who are manifestly unfit from continuing their kind". Over the next decade, the United States forcibly sterilised more than 20,000 women - a number dwarfed by the Swedes, who only stopped forcibly sterilising women for carrying "defective genes" in the 1970s.

Forced sterilisation is not murder, of course. But the Nazis' slide from the forced sterilisation of the mentally handicapped to their mass murder suggests how slippery the slope from the one to the other can be. As the BBC's outstanding series on Auschwitz demonstrates, the Nazis decided that it was not worth feeding and nursing "gibbering idiots", and that they could not "burden future generations with their care". They claimed that the most "humane" alternative was to exterminate the people they called "useless eaters". They experimented with gas as a discreet method of killing the mentally handicapped before they transferred that innovation to killing Jews. By the summer of 1941, 70,000 disabled people had been killed by being invited into showers - which turned out to dispense not water but carbon monoxide. Three doctors would look at the medical records of a "patient". They would mark the records with a red cross if they thought the individual was a suitable candidate for "evacuation". A majority vote decided his or her fate. The advantages of gassing were that it was hidden from view: shooting people en masse had the effect of turning even SS men into
depressed drunks.

There are disturbing parallels with our present laws on abortion. To abort
an unborn child beyond 24 weeks' gestation is recognised in British law as
infanticide - but only if the child is thought to be "normal". If doctors
diagnose physical or mental handicap, including, it seems, a cleft palate,
it is lawful to kill the unborn child at any time up to its birth. This is a
programme for eliminating the handicapped. Its justification is that it is
better "not to burden" either the present or future generations with their
care. It differs in practice from the mass murder in Nazi Germany - but it
is not easy to articulate how it differs at the level of moral principle.
The state is killing unborn children because we do not want to live with
them, or to bear the costs of looking after them. It is a justification the
Nazis would have appreciated.

Posted by Orrin Judd at January 22, 2005 11:59 PM
Comments

Doctors expected that Charlotte, now 15 months old, would succumb to an infection that would prove fatal without emergency intervention. However, she has survived 3 winter months since the ruling; there is also evidence that her breathing is becoming stronger and she is less dependent on an oxygen supply

We need some prayers here, folks.

Posted by: Matt Murphy at January 23, 2005 3:11 AM

Regardless of her outcome (and I am not being heartless here), the advance of medical science will mean viability comes earlier and earlier, and will make abortion seem less and less a moral option.

Posted by: jd watson at January 23, 2005 4:47 AM

Can't we all see what is going on here? It is not that these people are "Nazis," it is that the same sort of people as did these things during the Nazi era are with us now and will crawl out to plague mankind again and always if we let them. Pray. Pray and strike.

Posted by: Lou Gots at January 23, 2005 8:41 AM
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