War on Life Continues
The latest front on the war on life is Haleigh Poutre, an 11 year old girl who the state (Massachusetts) government wants to die and yet refuses to do so. Most people haven't heard about Haleigh. She has had a terrible life, with abuse piled upon abuse that culminated in her being beaten into a coma last september. It took the state department of social services a mere 9 days after the beating to push for her termination, and 3 weeks after the beating, the courts decided she should die, as the doctors felt she was 'virtually brain dead'. Worse still, Haleigh's state appointed attorney also argued for her removal from life support.
The judges ruling was that Haleigh's "dignity and quality of life would be most respected by withdrawing both the ventilator and the feeding tube along with the issuance of a [DNR] order, with great sadness I so issue this day." So somehow we come to the idea that respecting dignity and quality of life is done by killing life. The Boston Globe article argues that this is not another Terri Schaivo, yet the idea of life unworthy of life is exactly the same, and this indeed is just the extension of that idea. Once you use it to end the life of a Terri, it is a smaller step to try and end the life of a Haleigh. This case also shows that the government is garnering itself the authority to be the judge of whose quality of life is acceptable. Now THAT is scary stuff.
The good news however is that Haleigh has started to recover. Due to an appeal by the alleged abuser (to avoid being guilty of murder), enough time passed that she healed enough to stop needing a breathing life support system and that she started to squeeze with her hand. It is great news and should remind us and this state's officials that medical opinions are not infallible. Erring on the side of life is the best bet.