Wednesday, November 4, 2009

"Life not worth living"

Notoriously, the Nazis initiated a program to "euthanize" the disabled and mentally retarded. Today that is the justification for many abortions. In Britain, it may soon be the justification for killing children that have survived birth. Not long ago, Western society discouraged people from acting on the belief that they themselves were better off dead. Now we are very close to the point — at least for the elderly and disabled — of deciding for them. Wesley J. Smith:
Most contested cases of removing babies or profoundly disabled adults from needed life support have involved those with serious brain injuries or cognitive impairments. But once the idea that dead is better than disabled takes hold, it will soon spread to those with physical disabilities.

Now, in the UK, parents are fighting over withdrawing life support from a seriously disabled one-year-old child who is cognitively normal. From the story:
The mother of a chronically ill baby has defended her court battle with the child’s father to have his life support machine turned off. The boy, known only as RB, has congenital myasthenic syndrome, a rare neuromuscular condition that severely limits limb movement and the ability to breathe independently. He has been hospitalized since birth. Doctors want to take the 1-year-old off a ventilator, which helps him breathe, but the boy’s father, who is separated from his mother, opposes the plan. If the trust wins, it would be the first time a British court has ruled against the wishes of a parent whose child does not suffer from brain damage. .... [more]
UK Court to Rule Whether Baby Better Off Dead Than Disabled » Secondhand Smoke | A First Things Blog

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