Monday, March 06, 2006

A Child's Life

Here is a very troubling story I found in the British paper The Guardian.

It seems the child is terribly handicapped. He cannot live without a massive amount of external life support and the hospital would like permission to pull the plug because he is leading, in their words an "intolerable life." The child is 17-months old and his condition will worsen significantly over time.

An unnamed hospital trust has asked Mr Justice Holman for permission to withdraw life-saving ventilation from the child because he has such a low quality of life.

If the hospital is given permission from the court to remove his life support it would set the a terrible precedent. The child basically cannot do anything. The agony his parents must be suffering is unimaginable.

If the court does allow the hospital to halt life support under the condition stated above just think of how many other people could then be considered for similar treatment. For starters people in long-term comas, the elderly with life threatening problems, the severely handicapped... and those are just the individuals with medical issues.

The phrase "low quality of life" is the real kill, no pun intended. Millions can qualify for hospital induced euthanasia if this label is hung over their head. How about the homeless? Living in the gutter is not the best life. Incurable drug addicts and alcoholics? How abot those in prison for life? How about babies that are going to be born to the aforementioned drug addicts? They are doomed to live in squalor. How about poor people in general? No quality in their life. They cannot even afford a decent vacation for God's sake.

I say the hospital is simply tired of footing the bill for this child. Another plus for socilalized medicine if you ask me.


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