Blog dedicated primarily to randomly selected news items; comments reflecting personal perceptions

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

The Fury of Evangelical Faith

The Canadian parents of a fourteen-month-old boy have demanded of London Health Sciences Centre, where specialists have been looking after their child who is receiving end-of-life palliative care, that they operate on the baby who is dependent on a respirator to prolong his life. The baby has a fatal neurological condition, not entirely unknown in its devastating effect, since years earlier they had had a girl who had died from this very same deadly neurological condition.

One might think that having suffered the unspeakable agony of witnessing a child undergo the effects of such a thoroughly morbid genetic inheritance, parents would be cautious to the point of avoiding another conception. Such appears not to have been the case with this couple. Who might, conceivably, have had tests taken in utero to determine whether the mother would be bearing a viable foetus granting opportunity to a child to thrive in good health.

Without doubt they love their child, as they loved the child's sister who had previously died an early and excruciating death. The medical experts at the hospital have refused the father's demand. They offered, instead of a tracheotomy, to have the baby's breathing apparatus removed at their home so that the child could die at home with its parents.

The parents' preference is that the operation proceed so the infant could ostensibly breathe on his own, be brought home to die 'naturally', in God's own time. The story has leached into headlines across North America, was picked up by Fox TV network, and the resulting outrage from the pro-life and anti-euthanasia groups has been vociferous.

Leading the faith-based SSM Cardinal Glennon Children's Medical Centre in St.Louis, Missouri, to offer to operate on the child, and the transfer of the infant from London to St.Louis along with medical costs, to be paid for by the U.S. group Priests for Life. Those who have responded with outrage at the decision of the London hospital and its medical staff have done so in an extremely anti-life manner.

"Physicians and staff were targeted by well-organized social media feeds and directly via email with personal threats, threats to their families, innuendoes and falsehoods. The threats, many of which emanated from members of U.S.-based groups, have been passed along to LHSC lawyers, who will liaise with police where appropriate", explained a hospital spokesman.

It is well worth noting that the London Health Sciences Centre's decision to refuse father Moe Maraachli's request for his baby's tracheotomy informed him the procedure was deemed to be invasive, and would not advance the baby's condition. The hospital stood by its decision, saying its judgement in this case was "sound, both medically and ethically".

Joining them in agreement were an independent Ontario tribunal, the Consent and Capacity Board, and a Superior Court judge. Which did nothing whatever to give second pause to the U.S. groups who mustered their resources to 'save' Joseph Maraachli by giving him the surgical procedure in an American hospital to permit him to die at home.

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