Posts Tagged ‘Baby Joseph’

My latest article for LifeNews.com

This week, one of the most searing and difficult bioethical cases I have ever encountered was brought to my attention. It involves a premature baby born with serious and substantial developmental anomalies that will in all likelihood cost this little one her life. Before going further with the story, what are most needed at this moment are prayers for Emily (name changed), her mom, and her family. Identifying information has been changed to safeguard the family’s privacy.

Emily was born with over a dozen heart defects, and her trachea and esophagus are joined into one common tube at one point. Because of this defect, the baby can’t eat, as her milk would go into the lungs. She can’t be fed through a tube into the stomach, because any regurgitation would likewise go to the lung. She is on a ventilator with oxygen and receiving morphine, as well as an IV.

When this was called to my attention, I spoke with the mother who was all alone and facing a team of physicians aggressively pushing her to disconnect the baby from life support, telling her that she was making her baby suffer needlessly, that there was no hope for surviving reconstructive surgery. Never mind that morphine attenuates pain and suffering. Second opinions were only sought after the mother’s steadfast refusal to quit on her baby.

I consulted a number of folks who direct organizations in the pro-life movement who could shed light on how to proceed. Legal counsel, medical advice, advocacy, etc., all began to take shape within 24 hours. Researching this defect led to an authoritative team of surgeons who have dealt with this rare condition. They don’t think the baby could survive the surgery. Others have yet to respond.

While things may very well end poorly sooner rather than later, this case along with that of baby Joseph from Canada earlier this year calls out for something new in the pro-life movement.

Read the rest HERE.


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If any human being understood state-sponsored violence and its effects on the human soul, it was Alexander Solzhenitsyn. Consider these two quotes in light of new developments today in the case of Baby Joseph in Canada:

“Violence can only be concealed by a lie, and the lie can only be maintained by violence. Any man who has once proclaimed violence as his method is inevitably forced to take the lie as his principle.”


“Even the most rational approach to ethics is defenseless if there isn’t the will to do what is right”

and finally…

“I have spent all my life under a Communist regime, and I will tell you that a society without any objective legal scale is a terrible one indeed. But a society with no other scale but the legal one is not quite worthy of man either.”

It isn’t enough that the parents of Baby Joseph have already lost a daughter, and now are losing a son to the same disease.

It isn’t enough that some doctors have refused a simple tracheotomy and challenged these parents’ desire to take their boy home where he can slip away in peace.

It isn’t enough that the courts ruled against decency and in favor of the physicians.

It isn’t enough that the hospital raised the parents hopes over the weekend by being agreeable to allowing Baby Joseph to be brought to a hospital in Michigan.

No, today the full malignancy has kicked in as the parents are now being told that the removal of Baby Joseph’s breathing tube is imminent, and the hospital now refuses to allow them private time with their baby boy who stands to be murdered at any moment. LifeSite News has the whole story.

Where is the will to do what is right in this case? The parents wish only to have an airway opened for their son in order to take him home to die in peace. Since when do the medical establishment and the state make these determinations of where, how, and when the terminally ill will die? Unlike the Sciavo case, there are no competing wishes between family members to adjudicate. This is simply the hospital and the courts standing against decency.

It is now clear that in Canada the human person has lost all moral autonomy, and is a possession of the state and the medical community (a wholly owned subsidiary of the state under socialized medicine) to be disposed of at will. It didn’t take long for the euthanasia sloganeering of “Death with Dignity” and “Choice” to evaporate under the totalitarian leanings of unchecked socialism. The state knows best, and once it controls the medical establishment, it has unfettered power over life and death.

So we see our hospitals becoming gulags, where the ill are at the mercy of government bureaucrats. Canada is not alone in this.

In the 1927 Supreme Court case Buck v. Bell, where the Court upheld, 8-1, compulsory sterilization laws for the developmentally callenged, Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. wrote his cynical recipe for advancing state-sponsored sterilizations:

“…the law does all that is needed when it does all that it can, indicates a policy, applies it to all within the lines, and seeks to bring within the lines all similarly situated so far and so fast as its means allow.”

We bought the lie of radicalized autonomy, that we can do with our bodies as we wish, and we accepted the violence of abortion as the expression of that autonomy. Are we really so surprised now to find that the state is infected with the same virus? If a child of the womb is of no moral worth, its life to be disposed of at will by the mother, why then do we seem shocked when the state coopts the noble field of medicine and does the same with its citizens at any other developmental stage.

The hospital as gulag.

Either personhood is intrinsic to being human, or it isn’t.

There is a cautionary tale coming out of Canada. If we do not dismantle Obamacare, this will become the new normal.

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When the pro-life community rose in opposition to the court-ordered murder of Terry Sciavo, a severely brain damaged, but not terminally ill woman, we warned that this was the slippery slope. We warned that more such killings would follow. We were ridiculed as hysterical alarmists.

Now in Canada, a one year old boy with a rare neurological disease who is slowly dying is being threatened with one of the most gruesome deaths imaginable: drowning. Read the story here.

Baby Joseph Maraachli is on a respirator. His parents want to bring him home to die in their arms, surrounded by his loving family. They’ve been down this road before with their daughter.

Currently, Joseph is on a ventillator, with a plastic airway holding his trachea (windpipe) open and clear. In order for Joseph to go home, he would need a tracheotomy, which is a small incision made in the trachea with a trach tube inserted to hold it open. Without this simple procedure, Joseph will literally choke to death, or drown in his own secretions. The hospital wants to simply remove the ventilator and let nature take its brutal course. They refuse to do the tracheotomy, claiming it is too risky, because Joseph could….. die!

There is no rational basis for such decision making, and the courts have sided with the hospital.

If the cost of care is the issue, then dragging this battle out has been the least cost-effective avenue for the hospital to pursue. In such brutal calculus this baby could have had his tracheotomy performed weeks ago, and either have died on the table, or been home by now. So clearly, this is not about saving the hospital money.

This is about the intolerance of imperfection and the exercise of radicalized autonomy.

Baby Joseph

It’s human evil in all of its institutionalized malignancy. The request of the family is one that would have saved the hospital time, money, and effort. It would have freed the courts for other cases. It would allow baby Joseph to slip quietly and peacefully into eternity at home, rather than drowning in spasms of anxiety and despair.

When the medical establishment seeks such an ending to any life, but especially the life of a child, then the cancer has gone to civilization’s bone.

We are in the cataclysmic struggle for our very lives and for the survival of Western civilization, and we must prevail.

O Canada!

UPDATE: Read Here for Update

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