Outrage

As a parent, I am horrified that this would happen in allegedly free country. A judge in the U.K. has ruled that a chronically ill infant must be allowed to die against her parents’ wishes:

Darren and Debbie Wyatt sat in a wooden pew at the Royal Courts of Justice, gripping each other’s hands, barely able to look at the judge as he ruled that, despite their most fervent wishes, their 11-month-old daughter should be allowed to die.

Making the ruling, Mr Justice Hedley said: “As a society we fight shy of pondering on death, yet inherent in each of us is a deep desire, both for oneself and for those we love, for a ‘good’ death. It would be absurd to try to describe that concept more fully beyond saying that everyone in this case knows what it means ­ not under anaesthetic, not in the course of painful and futile treatment, but peacefully in the arms of those who love her most.”

As he finished reading his judgment, and the lawyers stood to begin discussing costs, Mr and Mrs Wyatt remained sitting, in tears, seemingly unaware of life moving on around them. Seventy miles away, in a windowless hospital room, Charlotte clung to life by the thinnest of threads, as her fate was determined in case law, philosophical argument about the quality of life and complex medical evidence.

Yesterday’s ruling means that the next time Charlotte succumbs to yet another infection and stops breathing, she will not be resuscitated. Instead, she will be taken from the box which pumps oxygen to her starved brain and allowed, in Mr Justice Hedley’s ruling, “to die peacefully in her parents’ arms”.

This is a slippery slope that hits bottom in a Nazi-style death camp for those declared undesirable by the homeland.

Don’t think so? Consider the U.S. government’s recommendation that it begin mandatory mental health screenings of our children, which has already begun in Illinois. Then remember that it was less than a century ago that the feeble-minded were forcibly sterilized in some parts of the United States. After all, it was reasoned, it’s the humane thing to do.

I’m sure Mr Justice Hedley thinks his decision was humane. How many others share his view?

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