Page 4, 2nd February 1979

2nd February 1979
Page 4
Page 4, 2nd February 1979 — Abortion lobby trap

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Abortion lobby trap

As an Anglican reader of the Catholic Herald, I was distressed to read your comment ofianuary 18 on the death of the spina bifida baby in Wycombe.

By saying "To an extent the issue is a new one and is one of giving life rather than taking it away," you appear to have fallen into a trap, cleverly prepared by the abortion euthanasia lobby. The reason SPUC is complaining about the death of this child is the same reason that Christians complained about Nazi treatment of the Jews. Put simply, the facts are that steps were taken to ensure the death of this child because it was considered she would have a "poor quality of life", and she thus became a second-class citizen.

We do not complain because further operations were not performed; it is not good medicine to perform useless operations, but where further surgery is unwarranted it is the duty of doctors and nurses to care for their patients until they recover or die.

Caring for a patient includes keeping them warm and fed. In this case the baby was sedated so that, according to her mother, "she lost her appetite". Why was she sedated unless it was intended to cause death by starvation?

Had the child been in pain, the treatment should be to give pain-killers, not sedatives. One is forced to the conclusion that it was intended to expedite her death by making her too sleepy to cry for her food.

The doctor admitted she died from starvation and dehydration. Is it really the policy of the DHSS that babies who are considered to be different from the rest of us should be starved to death in their hospital? (I exclude, of course, cases where there is an inoperable obstruction of the gullet).

It is quite possible that baby Louise would have died before her first birthday, but deliberately to cause her death by sedation and starvation is an appalling breach of both Christian standards and medical ethics, and I would have thought, illegal.

If the death pedlars get away with this, the next step will be a demand that handicapped babies should be killed at birth to save them from the suffering caused by the present method of sedation and starvation. Please don't be deceived by talk of "Ieting nature take it's course." This was no such thing. Nature provides excellent food for new-born babies (attractively packed and always at the right temperature). The words are a clever, semantic confidence trick.

It was decided the child was to die, and the only difference between the method chosen and cutting her throat, is that cutting her throat would have been a quicker and

probably kinder method than starvation.

(Dr) Margaret White Vice-chairman, Society for the Protection of Unborn Children Westminster London, SW1

If a person is starved to death he or she is killed — not "allowed to die". A doctor who "treats" a baby so that she dies of starvation, dehydration and infection kills her. There is ample evidence that an inCreasing number of doctors are killing handicapped infants in this peculiarly barbaric way.

The increase in killing of handicapped infants has coincided with the growth of mid pregnancy tests to discover if the unborn child is affected by certain conditions (spina bifida and Down Syndrome most commonly). The purpose of such testing is almost exclusively to abort the affected children.

It is perhaps a logical development of pre-birth screening for handicap that those who escape the net and are born are now at risk of being killed soon after birth.

The thinking behind all this must be that handicapped people are inferior and disposable in the same way as any unborn child who is "unwanted". Yet there is more remedial treatment available now than ever before to help handicapped people overcome their disabilities and lead as full and happy lives as possible. Their parents should have greater support than ever before; the resources are certainly there in our affluent society. LIFE, for example, pledges support to parents helped by us during pregnancy who have a handicapped child.

Unless we all speak and act vigorously to halt the killing of handicapped people before and after birth — and indeed to affirm the right of all unborn children to be born -we will soon have a society where

only the physically and mentally perfect are allowed to live. The old, the sick, the "unwanted" born will be as disposable as are the unborn. (Mrs) N. Scarisbrick Hon Administrator LIFE Leamington Spa,


No one would insist on an operation for a severely handicapped child in order to prolong life. There is a difference between this and not giving normal care, including food, to the handicapped person — a method of timid and gradual euthanasia" as its supporter Colin Brewer calls it.

It is the blurring of this distinction which is the very foundation for the promotion of other forms of euthanasia, as the Catholic Herald rightly points out.

Whether or not we sympathise with the parents is irrelevant. An ounce of help is worth a pound of sympathy.

Christianity stands or falls by attitudes to the weakest, most vulnerable, most damaged. Most of society's excuses for this kind of behaviour, abortion or infant euthanasia, means one thing — we are too selfish to do the right thing. Mary Bodloylc B ucknall


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