Sunday, November 12, 2006

Church of England: Meh, killing some babies is a good thing.

UK: If you are going to admit that the whole life is precious for your church is flexible, at least man up and point out the specific cases.

Church of England leaders want doctors to be given the right to withhold treatment from seriously disabled newborn babies in exceptional circumstances. The move is expected to spark massive controversy. The church leaders' call for some children to be allowed to die - overriding the presumption that life should be preserved at any cost - comes in response to an independent inquiry, which is to be published this week, into the ethics of resuscitating and treating extremely premature babies. The decision by religious leaders to accept that in some rare cases it may be better to end life than to artificially prolong it is a landmark for the church. The Rt Rev Tom Butler, Bishop of Southwark and vice chair of public affairs of the Mission and Public Affairs Council, states in the church's submission to the inquiry, that 'it may in some circumstances be right to choose to withhold or withdraw treatment, knowing it will possibly, probably, or even certainly result in death'. The church's report does not spell out which medical conditions might justify a decision to allow babies to die but they are likely to be those agonising dilemmas such as the one faced by the parents of Charlotte Wyatt, who was born three months prematurely, weighing only 1lb and with severe brain and lung damage. The report also suggests the enormous cost implications to the NHS of keeping very premature and sick babies alive with invasive medical care and the burden on the parents should also be taken into consideration.
Again, this comes down to what are the circumstances and how flexible is it going to be considering Cleft lip abortion and premature births are looked at as good reasons to cut care. Where does it stop and anyone willing to draw the line?

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