Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Baby Joseph Update

Joseph Maraachli, the young child on a ventilator in a London, Ontario hospital is still on hold. His parents have requested a tracheotomy so that they can take their baby home; they know that he will die, but they wish to care for him themselves. The hospital administrators reserve the right to take the baby off the ventilator, they say that doctors consider the tracheotomy too risky in this child, and if they do remove the ventilator, the baby will suffocate within minutes. The parents are not being allowed to have any say in this, nor are they even allowed to visit Joseph without a security guard present.

Reaction to this story has come mainly from the US pro-life lobby. Father Frank Pavone from Priests for Life has offered to pay for the baby to be removed to a US hospital where the surgery can be performed; the Christian Defense Coalition and the Terry Schiavo Life and Hope Network are gathering this weekend in London to hold prayer vigils outside the hospital.

As John Pacheco says, where are the Canadian pro-life voices? Bishop Fabbro of the diocese of London has made no statement on this case at all (nor has he made any concluding statement about Father Prieur the priest who has been accused of advising for early induction abortions at a Catholic hospital in London); Salt & Light Television (Canada's teeny version of EWTN) has been silent on the issue. Are we here in Canada that beholden to our American brothers and sisters to carry the torch in every life cause?

I recall a talk I attended last year when Sister Nuala Kenny got quite irate when I asked why hydration was not considered "basic health care" in the case of Terri Schiavo. And, within her talk, I heard her say that she had ordered the removal of certain patients at the IWK from their ventilators when she was the administrator of that children's hospital in Halifax.

Dr. Paul Byrne, an Ohio neonatologist with five decades of experience,
called the attempt to have the state remove Joseph’s ventilator “terrible, absolutely terrible,” and insisted that in his fifty years in neonatology he’s never removed a child’s ventilator. “I’ve never seen a time to turn off a ventilator,” he said. “If a baby has a disease process that’s so bad that they’re going to die, then they die on the ventilator anyway. So you don’t have to stop the ventilator.”
- LifeSiteNews, Feb 28, 2011

I have to agree with John Pacheco when he says:

There’s a lot of talk about “stepping up” on pro-life issues by our bishops, but when a REALLY, REALLY BIG ONE PRESENTS ITSELF, nothing gets said or done. We always have to pull and drag them, sometimes kicking and screaming, to do their jobs.

And what about the CCCB? There’s nothing about it on their website either – just the “big news” on which bishops get shuffled where. Here we have our own case of Terri Schiavo and the Canadian Church, once again, is missing in action. We’ve got international attention on our death panels. We’ve got Americans coming over here to take control, and our “leadership” is MIA. All of this previous talk by the bishops about “taking a leadership” role in the pro-life fight is just slick PR for the hierarchy and the bureaucratic machinery. We have this tragic drama playing out before our eyes and there has not been one Church leader (from what I have seen to date) that has raised a finger to help. Where’s Salt+Light TV, by the way? Any coverage of it on their station or their blog to date? Nope. Too controversial, you see.

Memo to our bishops and other influential church politicians: if you want credibility on Life Issues: TRY ANSWERING THE DOOR WHEN THEY ARRIVE ON YOUR DOORSTEP

h/t SoCon or Bust

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