How It Feels to Withdraw Feeding from Newborn Babies

Why should we care about euthanasia as present in Britain?  I care because we are following in their footsteps.  How soon before Obama-care mandates cost cutting methods effecting care of the elderly and the weakest among us. Abortion is only the beginning! How opposed to “First, do no harm, or, in Latin, primum non nocere,” a medical injunction of the “Hippocratic oath” is this:

 Sue Reid and Simon Caldwell report”

“THEY WISH FOR THEIR BABY TO GO QUICKLY. BUT I KNOW, AS THEY CAN’T, THE UNIQUE HORROR OF WATCHING A CHILD SHRINK AND DIE

Here is an abridged version of one doctor’s anonymous testimony, published in the BMJ under the heading: ‘How it feels to withdraw feeding from newborn babies’.”

The voice on the other end of the phone describes a newborn baby and a lengthy list of unexpected congenital anomalies. I have a growing sense of dread as I listen.

The parents want ‘nothing done’ because they feel that these anomalies are not consistent with a basic human experience. I know that once decisions are made, life support will be withdrawn.

Assuming this baby survives, we will be unable to give feed, and the parents will not want us to use artificial means to do so.

Regrettably, my predictions are correct. I realise as I go to meet the parents that this will be the tenth child for whom I have cared after a decision has been made to forgo medically provided feeding.

A doctor has written a testimony published under the heading: 'How it feels to withdraw feeding from newborn babies'A doctor has written a testimony published under the heading: ‘How it feels to withdraw feeding from newborn babies’

The mother fidgets in her chair, unable to make eye contact. She dabs at angry tears, stricken. In a soft voice the father begins to tell me about their life, their other children, and their dashed hopes for this child.

He speculates that the list of proposed surgeries and treatments are unfair and will leave his baby facing a future too full of uncertainty.

Like other parents in this predicament, they are now plagued with a terrible type of wishful thinking that they could never have imagined. They wish for their child to die quickly once the feeding and fluids are stopped.

They wish for pneumonia. They wish for no suffering. They wish for no visible changes to their precious baby.

Their wishes, however, are not consistent with my experience. Survival is often much longer than most physicians think; reflecting on my previous patients, the median time from withdrawal of hydration to death was ten days.

Parents and care teams are unprepared for the sometimes severe changes that they will witness in the child’s physical appearance as severe dehydration ensues.

I try to make these matters clear from the outset so that these parents do not make a decision that they will come to regret. I try to prepare them for the coming collective agony that we will undoubtedly share, regardless of their certainty about their decision.

I know, as they cannot, the unique horror of witnessing a child become smaller and shrunken, as the only route out of a life that has become excruciating to the patient or to the parents who love their baby.

I reflect on how sanitised this experience seems within the literature about making this decision.

As a doctor, I struggle with the emotional burden of accompanying the patient and his or her family through this experience, as much as with the philosophical details of it.

‘Survival is often much longer than most physicians think; reflecting on my previous patients, the median time from withdrawal of hydration to death was ten days’

Debate at the front lines of healthcare about the morality of taking this decision has remained heated, regardless of what ethical and legal guidelines have to offer.

The parents come to feel that the disaster of their situation is intolerable; they can no longer bear witness to the slow demise of their child.

This increases the burden on the care-givers, without parents at the bedside to direct their child’s care.

Despite involvement from the clinical ethics and spiritual care services, the vacuum of direction leads to divisions within the care team.

It is draining to be the most responsible physician. Everyone is looking to me to preside over and support this process.

I am honest with the nurse when I say it is getting more and more difficult to make my legs walk me on to this unit as the days elapse, that examining the baby is an indescribable mixture of compassion, revulsion, and pain.

Some say withdrawing medically provided hydration and nutrition is akin to withdrawing any other form of life support. Maybe, but that is not how it feels. The one thing that helps me a little is the realisation that this process is necessarily difficult. It needs to be.

To acknowledge that a child’s prospects are so dire, so limited, that we will not or cannot provide artificial nutrition is self selecting for the rarity of the situations in which parents and care teams would ever consider it.

 

Praise Bart Stupak Now!

Democrats Against Abortion » First Thoughts | A First Things Blog.

Joseph Bottum directs us to Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the Susan B. Anthony List,who” has an op-ed in the Washington Post called “If Republicans Keep Ignoring Abortion, They’ll Lose in the Midterm Elections.”

Dannenfelser writes:

Republicans oppose President Obama’s health-care reform effort for many reasons: It will cost too much, it’s “socialist,” it’s big government at its worst. But they are letting Stupak and his fellow antiabortion Democrats lead on that issue. And the more the GOP ignores abortion and focuses on economic populism—taking up the “tea party” cause—the more the party risks leaving crucial votes behind in November.

Bottum responds:

That’s right—and yet, it isn’t. There are genuine reasons for pro-lifers to resist any move toward a nationalized health-care system. The iniquitous distribution of American healthcare is a scandal, but even the incomplete moves of the current plan create a system that no future bureaucracy or Congress will be able to resist using for purposes of social engineering. And, given the condition of social-elite opinion today, that will always mean increased government-sponsored abortion and euthanasia.

Bottum further says:

All of American politics has been corrupted by this murderous procedure, and, at present, the party platforms are clear enough. But pro-life forces should not want an America in which the great pro-life message is shoved off into one party. We shouldn’t want an America that squanders its religious exceptionalism by having a political party of believers and a political party of non-believers—a European-style division between the Christian Democrats and the Socialists. This is everyone’s issue, we must believe, and when Democrats such as Bart Stupak arrive, they ought to be celebrated.

Liberal View / Moral Monster

Pope Benedict XVI must be doing something right because the press is crucifying him again.  Monsignor Raun writes, “On his way to Africa, the Pope was asked what the Church thought of AIDS and condoms.  Our Holy Father answered that the real answer was sexual morality, not pieces of plastic.  The press dubbed him ‘a moral monster’.”

The liberalized world and press avoid the Truth, especially on issues of life.  They prefer to propagandize, for the furtherance of liberal, secular, “progressive” agenda’s, which leave God out of such deliberations.  As if an investigation without Truth could be substantive.

“I suspect every abortion, every “compassionate” bit of euthanasia has the evil one stamping his foot in triumphant glee.” says the Anchoress.  In speaking of God’s influence and grace in the world, she submits that such grace is “subdued in  the world” when those “enthusiastic about subduing new life – of judging how much life there should be, and of what quality” play God.

Monsignor Raun makes a few points of his own:

1. Ten to twenty percent of the time, condoms don’t
work. For argument’s sake, let’s say they don’t
work 1 percent of the time. Would anyone say it
was moral to do something that there was a one-ina-
hundred chance of giving someone a deadly illness?
Would any sane person take such a chance
with their own life? (If there was a one-in-a hundred
chance that holy water could give you
AIDS, would any of you put your fingers in the
fount, or allow your children to do so?)
2. And the sad fact is that some people think they are
“invulnerable” if they wear a condom, and so they
are all the more promiscuous – all the more spreading
the possibilities of infecting others with the disease.
Condoms are the answer to AIDS for those people who
are only willing to do what it takes to stop this horrible
disease as long as sexual freedom is preserved – which
for liberal society has become the ultimate good in life.
If you don’t want to get sexually-transmitted AIDS, be
faithful to your spouse or live a chaste single life. This
and this alone, is guaranteed to be 100% effective. It is
also the moral teaching of Christ and His Church –
which is the Holy Father’s duty to teach. To teach anything
else is cruel, and to gamble with peoples lives.

And, from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, we have this:

To achieve the maximum protective effect, condoms must be used both consistently and correctly. Inconsistent use can lead to STD acquisition because transmission can occur with a single act of intercourse with an infected partner. Similarly, if condoms are not used correctly, the protective effect may be diminished even when they are used consistently. The most reliable ways to avoid transmission of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), including human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), are to abstain from sexual activity or to be in a long-term mutually monogamous relationship with an uninfected partner. However, many infected persons may be unaware of their infections because STDs are often asymptomatic or unrecognized.

The above report sounds like Russian Roulette to me.  Chastity is still the best policy, even according to disease control scientific and statistical reports.