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Thruthheim
Sunday, November 5th, 2006, 01:09 PM
ONE of Britain’s royal medical colleges is calling on the health profession to consider permitting the euthanasia of seriously disabled newborn babies.


The proposal by the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecology is a reaction to the number of such children surviving because of medical advances. The college is arguing that “active euthanasia” should be considered for the overall good of families, to spare parents the emotional burden and financial hardship of bringing up the sickest babies.

NI_MPU('middle');“A very disabled child can mean a disabled family,” it says. “If life-shortening and deliberate interventions to kill infants were available, they might have an impact on obstetric decision-making, even preventing some late abortions, as some parents would be more confident about continuing a pregnancy and taking a risk on outcome.”

Geneticists and medical ethicists supported the proposal — as did the mother of a severely disabled child — but a prominent children’s doctor described it as “social engineering”.

The college called for “active euthanasia” of newborns to be considered as part of an inquiry into the ethical issues raised by the policy of prolonging life in newborn babies. The inquiry is being carried out by the Nuffield Council on Bioethics.
The college’s submission to the inquiry states: “We would like the working party to think more radically about non-resuscitation, withdrawal of treatment decisions, the best interests test and active euthanasia as they are ways of widening the management options available to the sickest of newborns.”


http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,2087-2437921,00.html

Thruthheim
Sunday, November 5th, 2006, 01:31 PM
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,2087-2438012,00.html



Haunted mother who backs mercy killing


JONNY KENNEDY lived and died in agony. From the moment he was born until his premature death at the age of 36 he was covered with blisters and sores, the result of a rare genetic skin condition called epidermolysis bullosa (EB). The mildest touch caused his skin to bleed and sheer off.

When he died of skin cancer on September 26, 2003, his mother Edna, who lives in Newcastle upon Tyne, admitted that her primary reaction to his death was relief, not grief.

NI_MPU('middle');In the Netherlands doctors are permitted to carry out mercy killings of babies born with disabilities including severe forms of EB and spina bifida. Now a professional medical body in Britain says that society should consider “active euthanasia” here for the sickest babies.
Kennedy says she is instinctively opposed to euthanasia but after almost four decades of caring for Jonny, she believes it should be an option in some circumstances.

“Jonny actually contemplated suicide at the age of 18, unbeknown to me. But, as a mother, it was much more difficult. I remember the doctor said, ‘Just leave him at the hospital, forget about him’. But I couldn’t have done that — it wouldn’t have been in my nature. He was my responsibility. I had to deal with him,” Kennedy said.

“I never thought about euthanasia, but it did cross my husband’s mind. He offered when Jonny was little to put a pillow to his head and end the suffering. I couldn’t condone it.
“But knowing what I know now, I couldn’t in all conscience bring a child into the world who was going to suffer like that. In extremely controlled circumstances, where the baby is really suffering, it should be an option for the mother.”

Jäger
Sunday, November 5th, 2006, 01:36 PM
Good to hear, hopefully this will work out in Britain.

Tabitha
Sunday, November 5th, 2006, 02:01 PM
But what mother could actually do this? The Erinye would haunt her for the rest of her life. I would have no problem with a do not resusitate order but I would hope not to live in a society that would condone infanticide.

Life is not perfect and we are often called upon to tackle difficult and emotionally draining situations and I think it's our duty to bear these loads and in this case, not to opt for a lethal injection to ease our burden. Yes this may mean an agonising short life for the child involved but that is the hand that it has tragically been dealt by fate.




“But knowing what I know now, I couldn’t in all conscience bring a child into the world who was going to suffer like that. In extremely controlled circumstances, where the baby is really suffering, it should be an option for the mother.”

Hrafn
Sunday, November 5th, 2006, 02:37 PM
I think that children with diseases like the ones mentioned above or for example "Harlequin type ichthyosis" should not suffer for nothing.

I know that life is not always easy, but such suffering can easily be prevented through Euthanasia.

Let's just hope this will work out.

Drömmarnas Stig
Sunday, November 5th, 2006, 02:44 PM
The level of disability required for euthanasia has to be carefully evalutated by a commission of experts.

A heavily disabled child (let's just say: severe brain damage and born without legs and arms, for argument's sake) is a burden to:
- itself
- parents
- family and relatives
- society
- possibly genetic pool

Euthanasia in this case is a no-brainer.

Hardrada
Sunday, November 5th, 2006, 05:15 PM
.

Life is not perfect and we are often called upon to tackle difficult and emotionally draining situations and I think it's our duty to bear these loads and in this case, not to opt for a lethal injection to ease our burden. Yes this may mean an agonising short life for the child involved but that is the hand that it has tragically been dealt by fate.






Tabitha,

I'm entirely with you on this...there is a real danger, if the leaders in our Society acquire the legal power to make these highly complex moral decisions....
Where would they draw the line, in determining what constitutes quality of life...?

Before I became a parent I was a big supporter of Eugenics,( Winston Churchill was also a keen advocate as well...did you know this....?)
I have personal experience of disability in my family and I can assure you that, when it affects you personally, the same clear minded view of Clinical selection doesn't operate.

My wife and I were offered the option to terminate a pregancy because our unborn child carried a slightly elevated risk of being born disabled.
It didn't alter our view in the slightest, and now that my daughter is here and has developed into a beautiful human being, we are glad that we chose the way we did.

Every human has a right to life, and Medical Science should strive to preserve life, not to make judgement calls on whether or not a disablity precludes this right to life..

No-one could willingly countenance the suffering of an innocent blameless child, but it is an apsect of life which has been with us since life began.

I have questioned what is on God's mind, that he can permit disability and the suffering that it can entail...but ultimately it tends to be an arbitrary thing, ...and disabled people have as much right to dignity and proper care as any one else.
Indeed I think you can judge the civilisation of a society, by its treatment of its more vulnerable members.

I am a firm believer in strength and self reliance,and as a man and a father I consider it a matter of honour that we protect the weak...

Best wishes,

Hardarada

Tryggvi
Sunday, November 5th, 2006, 05:57 PM
Life is not perfect and we are often called upon to tackle difficult and emotionally draining situations and I think it's our duty to bear these loads and in this case, not to opt for a lethal injection to ease our burden. I think what this discussion is all about is whether parents should have a right to opt in the first place. I think they should. While life, in particular the life of innocents, is an important value that needs to be protected by the community, it shouldn't be protected, preserved and extented at any price. Sometimes death is a relief. Sometimes death is better. We need to rediscover the healthy attitude towards life, death, and nature we had in pre-Christian times.

Hrafn
Sunday, November 5th, 2006, 06:16 PM
I think what this discussion is all about is whether parents should have a right to opt in the first place. I think they should. While life, in particular the life of innocents, is an important value that needs to be protected by the community, it shouldn't be protected, preserved and extented at any price. Sometimes death is a relief. Sometimes death is better. We need to rediscover the healthy attitude towards life, death, and nature we had in pre-Christian times.

This is exactly what I think. It is natural that parents want to preserve the life of their children at any cost. But what if the life of the child would be a neverending torture, a painful nightmare? What if the cost to keep the child alive (and in torment) would be unbearable for the parents?

Parents cannot be objective when the question comes to the life of their own children. They think they know what is best for their children, but they ignore what is best for the community.

Witukind
Sunday, November 5th, 2006, 06:24 PM
I think it would be a more acceptable solution to test embryos for genetic problems and if there's something bad abort the pregnancy.

Zyklop
Sunday, November 5th, 2006, 07:09 PM
But what mother could actually do this? The Erinye would haunt her for the rest of her life. I would have no problem with a do not resusitate order but I would hope not to live in a society that would condone infanticide.Typical female reasoning.
The responsible thing of course would be to put a quick end to the suffering instead of artificially prolonging it.

Tabitha
Sunday, November 5th, 2006, 07:25 PM
Typical hackneyed male answer to a female response.

I didn't say that I agree with artificially prolonging it, I said that I would be fine with a do not resusite order, where nature could take its course, but nothing more.


Typical female reasoning.
The responsible thing of course would be to put a quick end to the suffering instead of artificially prolonging it.

Zyklop
Sunday, November 5th, 2006, 07:35 PM
I didn't say that I agree with artificially prolonging it, I said that I would be fine with a do not resusite order, where nature could take its course, but nothing more.Well, if nature takes its course, feeding the child already is resuscitation.

Siegfried
Sunday, November 5th, 2006, 07:37 PM
I think this sort of thing already happens in Dutch hospitals.


I didn't say that I agree with artificially prolonging it, I said that I would be fine with a do not resusite order, where nature could take its course, but nothing more.

We are part of nature. :)

Tabitha
Sunday, November 5th, 2006, 07:41 PM
I would count that and hydration that as basic human rights within a civilised society, rather than a form of medical treatment.


Well, if nature takes its course, feeding the child already is resuscitation.

RedJack
Sunday, November 5th, 2006, 09:29 PM
The people who support this initiative and then argue that food and water are medical care demonstrate why it must not be done. Like Florence Nightingale said, the first requirement in a hospital is that it should do the sick no harm.

Rhydderch
Monday, November 6th, 2006, 04:22 AM
there is a real danger, if the leaders in our Society acquire the legal power to make these highly complex moral decisions....
Where would they draw the line, in determining what constitutes quality of life...?Next they'll be advocating the idea that those who are a "burden to the state" can be culled. And it'll be at their own discretion to say who these people are.

I'm highly suspicious of the motives behind this; I think they're only interested in furthering their own ends, rather than "mercy".


Parents cannot be objective when the question comes to the life of their own children. They think they know what is best for their children, but they ignore what is best for the community.I take it you're suggesting doctors should be able to decide, against the parents wishes, that their child isn't fit to live.

I can only say, no wonder Western society is going down the drain.

I sure hope we don't get to the stage where children are the victims of state sanctioned murder, against the will of their parents. What we have already is bad enough.

Ascension
Monday, November 6th, 2006, 04:43 AM
A good step towards a full eugenics program. If we aren't going to let the wilderness and winter cull our weak numbers to make us stronger, we should continue it ourselves through measures like this.

Tabitha
Monday, November 6th, 2006, 10:09 AM
Absolutely, I have seen too much medical intervention with the terminally ill, I would not however wish to hasten that end by lethal injection as I do not think that it is our right.

I've sat for weeks with a loved one who was terminally ill and I too would go home and wish that they would die, to lessen their pain and to be honest, mine. It's an agonising situation to be in.




I think this sort of thing already happens in Dutch hospitals.



We are part of nature. :)

Hrafn
Monday, November 6th, 2006, 01:39 PM
I take it you're suggesting doctors should be able to decide, against the parents wishes, that their child isn't fit to live.

I am suggesting that doctors should not rule out Euthanasia completely.


I can only say, no wonder Western society is going down the drain.

Which healthy society prolongs the suffering of it's own people to the maximum? Truly, no wonder Western society is going down the drain.


I sure hope we don't get to the stage where children are the victims of state sanctioned murder, against the will of their parents. What we have already is bad enough.

State sanctioned murder? Death will not be the first choice, you know. It would be enough to me if people would start to even consider it as a choice.

nicholas
Monday, November 6th, 2006, 01:53 PM
How do they define "disabled"? Does the parents wealth and social position play a role in this? Does everyone have a right to life? Why? Why not? Who decides who gets to live, who gets to die? Does ones outlook on the soul and God affect these decisions?

These are deeply uncomfortable questions for most people to think about, much less ask.

I will also add, I am physically disabled (genetic disorder, hearing impairment) but am still able to contribute to society. We could ask a question of who is worth more, the parapelegic who writes beautiful music and works part time or the physically able street thug who simply refuses to work?

Hardrada
Monday, November 6th, 2006, 06:55 PM
A really emotive issue this, and I applaud the contributions both for and against, since both pro and anti are bound to feel strongly on the subject.

Ultimately, has society reached a level where it can make reasoned and rational decisions on these issues, or is there a real danger that we wish to play God...?

My religious view is fatalistic in that from the moment we're born, I believe our destiny is predetermined, and that, while all efforts should be made to sustain and improve the quality of life for all , we none of us have the right to interfere with Nature.
There are no clear demarcation lines in determining what constitutes a meaningful existence...that's one area we should still leave to the Gods to decide...

Also, while there is something to be said for "survival of the fittest", I still think we should protect and nurture all life, reagrdless of its overall "contribution" to the general good.



H

Nachtengel
Tuesday, April 21st, 2009, 02:59 AM
But what mother could actually do this? The Erinye would haunt her for the rest of her life.
I could. And I'd also abort an unhealthy fetus.


Life is not perfect and we are often called upon to tackle difficult and emotionally draining situations and I think it's our duty to bear these loads and in this case, not to opt for a lethal injection to ease our burden. Yes this may mean an agonising short life for the child involved but that is the hand that it has tragically been dealt by fate.
That's an awfully Christian viewpoint. What duty, what fate? Who makes this rule? "God"? And quite selfish may I add. Why should I make a child go through agony, add a burden to society, my nation and its citizens, just to spare myself from being 'haunted' for the rest of my life?

Eugenics all the way.