Friday, November 13, 2009

A Reason to End a Baby's life??

Parent's hand holding newborn baby's hand

A British hospital wants to remove a 1-year-old boy born with[Congenital Myasthenic Syndrome] a rare neuromuscular condition from life support, but the child's father is fighting to keep him alive.

The baby's mother agrees with hospital officials, who sought High Court permission Monday to remove the boy from the ventilator that allows him to breathe, British media reported.

"RB's mother has sat by her son's bedside every day since he was born," her lawyer, Anthony Fairweather, said in a statement, according to Sky News. "In her mind the intolerable suffering experienced by her son must outweigh her own personal grief should she lose her child."

The infant, known only as "Baby RB," was born with congenital myasthenic syndrome, a muscle weakness that limits the movement of his limbs and his ability to breathe on his own. He has been in the hospital since birth.

Doctors treating the baby say he has such poor quality of life that it's not in his best interests to keep him alive. [We are talking about a country where they have socialized medicine and rather euthanize people who become a burden on the system.]But lawyers for the father argue that the child's brain is not affected by the condition and that Baby RB can see, hear, feel, recognize his parents and even play with toys.[my emphasis]

"This is a tragic case. The father feels very strongly that 'Baby RB' has a quality of life that demands the trust should continue to provide life-sustaining treatment. The father clearly adores his son and hopes to demonstrate to the court that the trust's application should be rejected," Christopher Cuddihee, a lawyer representing the father, told the Sunday Telegraph.
According to an aol news(non scientific) polls,at the time of this post, most voters do not think a patient should be removed from life support if the family opposes it:

Should a patient ever be removed from life support if the family opposes it?
I don't know2
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Dad Fights To Keep Baby Son Alive

I'm sad to report that since originally preparing the above story, the father who fought to save his son's life has now given in to the wishes of the mother and the doctors, presuming they know what is best for his son. According to The Independent:

A seriously ill baby, whose parents disagreed about his medical care, will have his ventilator switched off after the father withdrew his objection to allow doctors to end his son's life.

The father told a judge that he had given his consent after he was sure that every possible medical avenue to help his son had been fully explored.

The judge made his ruling stating the choices for RB were 'stark' He said:"One [option] is for his time on the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit to end in a planned way, with the administration of a large dose of sedative, the removal of the ventilation tube and his consequent death. The other is to contemplate his discharge from hospital on home ventilation after a tracheotomy."

What a sad conclusion to a hopeful situation...I wish the father would reconsider and let his son live, and attempt the tracheotomy as an option that could help his son live outside the hospital. Please keep them all in your prayers.

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