Let’s wait and see what the practice is. given the givens.
I am appalled at this Baby Joseph story on so many levels.
The issue is who has control, not the baby’s end or quality of life.
The parents’ control must be limited by reality – ie an ethics board.
Because there is a point at which attempting to maintain a life is torture and in the desperation to keep their child alive, the reality of the torture is lost on the parent.
The refusal to give up hope heedless of the cost is harming the patient and the parent and the health care system – not only by diverting resources that triage practice demands be spent on patients who have a survivable chance.
Worse is that godbots use this as a wedge issue to divert money and energy away from healthcare and solutions that improve the quality of live for everyone; to create an conflict ridden environment, where the apparent stakes are ramped up beyond reality into a life and death struggle of david and goliath – but where David is not the hero, but a selfish, frightened child defying goliath/authority.
By appealing to a vague deity who claims all life is sacred (regardless of quality), but holds out a promise of eternal bliss or torture.
If religious belief has any truth for the believers – then baptizing the baby and sending it off for eternal bliss in heaven would be the preferable action to maintaining the baby on machines, tortured in status in a state of life, but not having a life at all.
The actions of believers is not only inconsistent, but at odds with their stated beliefs.
So they distract us from what their actions and stated beliefs are really achieving, by dragging us into a debate over what they claim they are doing and saying.
We need to not engage them on their terms – but on ours – which is on the terms of reality.
If they are so sure that there is a heaven, then why do they fight so hard against removing life support?
Seriously so what if there are?
What if there was a board that would review the patient file and decide that there’s no hope, no quality of life and yes, we should allow the person to die?
Whether that’s simply removing all medical support and allowing the death to be slow and painful on everyone or actively providing a morphine or drug overdose so the person slips quietly into the long sleep and saves a lot of horror for the surviving family.
(How can we treat our pets life end better than our family’s?)
Allowing the person – for whom there is no hope of any semblance of recovery – means that the bed, the staff and medical resources are available for someone who’s life could be saved – a family to be spared or maybe just also comforted that their loved one’s last moments were not in the hallway or waiting room.
More importantly, it allows the family of the person to have closure and be able to return to a normal life. It’s hard to be a zombie walking through your day, waiting for The Call to either race to the hospital or that there’s no point to visit later. Or it allows them to not sit by the bed, touching, talking to a non-responsive person who is not going to wake up, who is not going to even know they are there.
I don’t know if you’ve had a family member who’s beyond hope and dying by slow degrees but it’s a terrible thing to watch – there is no comfort for anything.
That person is just being left in a state of death, their body functions being performed by machines and, as far as you know, it’s a waking hell – they can’t move, can’t communicate and worse, they can’t die.
It’s rather disgusting for the pro-life faction who insist on god’s will being done to then thwart that will by using machines to ended the existence – not the life – of a person who’s for all intents and purposes already dead.
I remember reading in some horror that Texas mother who’s baby was born with so many genetic defects that death would have occured within 24 hours of birth – and yet she insisted on medical intervention. After a year, a million dollars in medicaid funds, and absolutely no change to the infant – the hospital advised the Mother to find another facility as they were withdrawing care.
She insisted that the care continue that her child be allowed to die as her god intended.
Well, that would have been a year and a million dollars and thousands of hours of care by hospital staff ago.
People die, it’s part of life
It really shows how immature the religious right is that they can’t accept that and what’s really at the bottom of their religious belief – fear of death.
I’m not saying that atheists are not afraid of death – every few people want to die and few want their family and friends to die.
But, nothing we do in our lives can change that we all will die – and that’s why it’s important to live your life to it’s fullest and most meaningful to you.
it’s the only one we know we have.