Marlowe's Shade

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Judge Rules In Favor of Baby MB

Hat tip evariste at Discarded Lies

The parents of a severely disabled baby boy at the centre of a right-to-life case have thanked the judge for ruling that he should be kept alive.

They were fighting a hospital's bid to turn off the ventilator that keeps the child, known only as Baby MB, alive.

The 19-month-old boy has genetic condition spinal muscular atrophy - which leads to almost total paralysis.

The judge said he felt the child gained enough pleasure from life to outweigh the medical evidence of his condition.

In an exclusive BBC interview the child's mother said: "I really thank the judge for coming to that decision."

Although I'm a little leery of using something as subjective as "pleasure from life" as criteria for deciding life or death but this is good news.
papijoe 2:40 PM |

Monday, March 13, 2006

Planned Parenthood's Spring Offensive Against World Populations

Planned Parenthood has launched a new global campaign to counter the Bush administration's shift away from UN-style depopulation programs.

President George W. Bush's pro-life policy prohibiting the taxpayer funding of groups that perform or promote abortions in other nations is under fire again from abortion advocates. Now they have decided to create a new worldwide fund to promote supposedly "safe" abortions in nations where abortion is illegal.
On the first day President Bush took office in 2001, he reinstituted the Mexico City Policy first put in place by President Reagan and revoked by President Clinton. Bush later expanded the policy to ensure that no State Department monies were used to promote or perform abortions.

Since then, abortion advocates have bashed the policy because they have been denied the use of federal funds to lobby other nation's to change their pro-life laws.

Now, the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) has created a new fund meant to promote legalized abortion in countries, such as those in Africa and South America, where abortion is illegal.

I recently complained about our tax dollars funding depopulation but when I posted that I was unaware that a shake-up had already occurred.

It's good to see we've withdrawn our involvement on this insane policy when so many national populations are collapsing but the there is also legislation being introduced to return to the status quo:

Meanwhile, in the U.S., abortion advocates are also putting forward new legislation in Congress. Introduced by Democrat Rep. Betty McCollum and Republican Jim Ramstad, both Republicans, it would partially counteract Bush's executive order.

The bill, HR 4188, would spend $600 million next year on family planning efforts, including contraception and anti-AIDS activities, though the money could not be used to promote or perform abortions.

Members of the pro-abortion Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice support the effort and claim the money would reduce the number of abortions.

Rabbi Scott Sperling, director of the Union for Reform Judaism Mid-Atlantic Council, told the Cybercast News Service, "For over 40 years, the United States has included family planning services as part of the aid we provide in the developing world."

Earlier this year, Bush reduced the amount of money the U.S. spends on family planning by $79 million from the $436 million appropriated for 2006. His 2007 budget calls for only $357 million.

So did they not get the memo that the "population bomb" is a dud? Or do they see depopulation as a virtue in itself?
papijoe 8:20 AM |

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Is Euthanasia Being Positioned as a Fix for Healthcare Ills?

Canada's healthcare system is on the verge of collapse and the British system is in the red. Wesley Smith had recently reported that healthcare was already being rationed in the UK. In this post from yesterday, he elaborates on his concern that physician-assisted suicide and euthanasia will become the solution to the financial crisis and that if national healthcare is instituted in the US, we could face the same dangers.

The timing is perfect for the recent media push by right-to-die advocates in both countries.

As usual, Wesley is a lone voice crying out in the bioethical wilderness.
papijoe 8:57 AM |

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Euthanasia News Items

From the China Daily, an advisor to the Chinese government is calling for official permission to carry out "experiments" in euthanasia. Given their "One Child" policy and the numbers of older people this smaller generation would have to support, this was inevitable.

The American who ran a euthanasia website from Cambodia has now been arrested and deported, and will not be allowed back into the country.

There were also several reports yesterday that Holland offically announced it will implement the Groningen Protocols for euthanizing children. What struck me the citing of two cases of children with congential diseases in which the child was said to scream in pain at the touch of a caregiver. One had an unnamed metabolic bone disorder and the other had what was called Hallopeau-Siemens syndrome which is a form of Epidermolysis Bullosa, a condition were the skin becomes thin and fragile. The "screaming at the touch" theme caught my attention, because Wesley Smith cites an earlier case of a child with spinal bifida where the doctor used the same excuse for euthanizing a child. Wesley points out that the reason the child was in pain was there was an open lesion on her back that the doctor didn't treat. Had it been treated, she might have been disabled, but no more in constant pain than these folks.

While it's possible that all the cases mentioned above may have involved constant excruciating pain there is no mention of exploring other treatment options or palliative care, and it is unlikely that all of the infant deaths reported as euthanasia in Holland (8% according to a Lancet study that is cited in the article above) involve this kind of extreme pain. So if unbearable pain isn't the motive in these deaths, what is?
papijoe 8:52 AM |

Monday, March 06, 2006

Haleigh Poutre Eating and Responding

From Boston Globe HT: Dances With Typos

A nurse told the mother of Haleigh Poutre during a hospital visit on Tuesday that the severely beaten Westfield girl, whom officials once wanted to let die, has been able to eat scrambled eggs and cream of wheat, and has tapped out drum rhythms during physical therapy, according to the mother's lawyer.

But it is unclear when Poutre began eating solid food, and how often she does so. A Department of Social Services worker, who was monitoring the 15-minute visit, has told the nurse to stop talking to the mother about the girl's condition, said Wendy Murphy, a Boston lawyer who represents Allison Avrett, who is Poutre's biological mother.

''Silence and secrecy has been the most frustrating component of this case," Murphy said yesterday. ''It just seems inhumane that information about this child can be forbidden on the theory that it's somehow protecting her privacy, when you consider that this child almost died under the state's care."

The Department of Social Services gave Poutre's mother and grandmother permission to visit the hospital every two weeks starting last fall, after they signed a confidentiality agreement that bars them from asking about the girl's condition and making public statements on the subject.

Since the DSS ignored 17 allegations of abuse and neglect, perhaps a review of the case is in order. I doubt the birth mother is the best person to care for Haleigh, I recall she was in favor of removing life support for Haleigh at first and of course lost custody for abuse when she was four. But the Commonwealth has proved as bad a guardian, if not worse.
papijoe 8:53 AM |

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Canadian Media Again Re-casts Murderer as a Hero

From LifeSite

Robert Latimer is appealing to the newly elected Conservative government and the Supreme Court to revisit his conviction for killing his disabled daughter in 1993 – with the CBC complicit in his quest.

The CBC revealed today that it is airing an exclusive Melissa Fung interview with the killer from his prison cell. The full interview will air on CBC’s The National tonight. Speaking to CBC radio this morning, Fung said that Latimer blames his prison sentence on religious fundamentalists such as right to life groups having influenced the Canadian Supreme Court.

The influence the of the media can be seen in the vastly different responses between uninformed public opinion and in court:

Meanwhile a Calgary Sun newspaper poll last year revealed that over 92% of 500 people said Latimer was justified in killing his disabled 12-year-old daughter, who had cerebral palsy. In that same month, 11 jurors on a Saskatchewan court unanimously found Latimer guilty of second degree murder. The probability of such a discrepancy is less than one in 10,000, according to University of Alberta professor Dick Sobsey.

Prof. Sobsey contends that the only explanation for such a discrepancy is that the Canadian media “systematically distorted the information from the trial that they provided to the public.”

Prof. Sobsey elaborates on this and highlights the deadly effect this bias will have on other disabled children.

The Canadian media clearly is more sympathetic to murderers than disabled children.
papijoe 10:05 AM |