Saturday, March 28, 2009

Parents lose battle to stop hospital withdrawing treatment from child


From LifeSiteNews: A seriously ill baby, known only as OT, died on Saturday in the U.K. after his parents lost a legal bid to keep him alive.

The nine-month-old boy suffered from mitochondrial disease, a rare metabolic disorder which resulted in brain damage and respiratory failure.

Two Court of Appeal judges refused the couple permission to challenge a decision by Mrs. Justice Parker of the High Court, made after a 10-day hearing, which gave the hospital treating the boy the right to stop the medical treatment that was keeping him alive.

His parents reportedly were 'deeply distressed' by the court's decision to end their baby's treatment and thereby his life. In a statement, the parents said that only one other child with the same condition had been identified by modern medicine and everyone was in 'unknown territory.'

'We are and always will be convinced that, despite his desperate problems, his life is worthwhile and is worth preserving as long as it is possible to do so without causing him undue pain.

'That was the real argument between us and the doctors - they think his life is intolerable and that his disability is such that his life has little purpose; but we, along with some of the nurses, believed that he experiences pleasure and that he has long periods where he was relaxed and pain free.

'Our belief in his humanity and inherent worth justified us taking every step to support him.'

A spokeswoman for the British Medical Association, which represents doctors involved in the case, said in a UKTelegraph report, 'Cases like this are very distressing and we have every empathy with the parents, but when the parents and the clinical team don't agree on the treatment for the child in question, the only way forward is to go to the courts and for the courts to decide on what is in the best interests of the child, which is paramount.'

Alex Schadenberg, chairman of the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition, commented on the court decision, saying, 'The Euthanasia Prevention Coalition is shocked that a High Court ruling in the UK would determine that a child who is disabled from a rare metabolic disorder is better off dead. It is very sad when parents make decisions to give up on a child with a disability, but it is shocking when the courts Court imposes death on the child, against the wishes of the child's loving parents.

'How is it possible that a court could impose death upon a vulnerable child? It is simply unbelievable.'

The parents told the BBC, through spokesman Christopher Cuddihee of Kaim Todner: 'During his short time with us OT became the focus of our lives.

'We were present during his last moments, together with O's extended family.

'He died peacefully. We will miss him greatly and wish to say that we are proud to have known our beautiful son for his brief life.' [LSN] 

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Pope Leo XIII's Prayer to St Michael

Holy Michael, Archangel, defend us in the day of battle. Be our safeguard against the wickedness and snares of the devil. May God rebuke him, we humbly pray, and do thou, Prince of the Heavenly Host, by the power of God, thrust down to Hell Satan, and all wicked spirits who wander through the world for the ruin of souls. Amen