Haleigh Poutre, Eleven Years Old, Not a Vegetable

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haleigh.jpgThanks Kathryn Lopez for standing up for Haleigh Poutre, an eleven year-old whose "guardians" said she was a vegetable.

They said she had no hope. A court, earlier this week, okayed taking her off life support—"letting her go" as they say. (The one arguing for keeping her alive, in this terrible story, was her stepfather...who faces homicide charges if she winds up dead.) Well she's breathing on her own today.

This little girl is as innocent as you get. There is no husband, claiming she'd want to be dehydrated. There is no spouse vs. parents controversies to confuse matters. This is a girl who was dealt an awfully bad deal in life who clearly wants to live, regardless. And has the power, just by fighting her fight, to teach us a stirring message, an essential one: to err on the side of life. Folks didn’t in her case, but she's doing her best anyway. Good luck, kid. And thanks

The Department of Social Service missed obvious signs that Haleigh was being chronically abused by her father. The last brutal beating left her incapacitated and her father incarcerated. Now, just a short time later, the same government agency was granted a petition to end her life.

Well, guess what. Haleigh is a fighter:

A day after the state's highest court ruled that the Department of Social Services could withdraw life support from a brain-damaged girl, the agency said yesterday that Haleigh Poutre might be emerging from her vegetative state.

... ''There has been a change in her condition," said a DSS spokeswoman, Denise Monteiro. ''The vegetative state may not be a total vegetative state."

Emphasis mine ...

Related: Court Favors Euthanasia for Massachusetts Girl, Though She's Doing Better




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