Facts never get in the way of propaganda

Some of you will already have heard that a prestigious body of United Kingdom doctors has suggested "opening up debate" about active infanticide.

Now comes the Leftist Economist to editorialize on the matter. And who is their Exhibit A of a baby who should have been killed? Why, Charlotte Wyatt, of course.

They have almost every single one of their facts wrong, of course. (What else could one expect?) For example, the editorial states, "Her doctors wanted to withhold treatment but her parents argued successfully that she should be kept alive." This is flatly false. As anyone who has followed Charlotte's case from the beginning knows, the doctors won their legal battles with Charlotte's parents. All of those battles concerned putting a Do Not Resuscitate order on Charlotte, and the judge did indeed put one on her. But the point ended up being moot in practice, as Charlotte has not again required resuscitation or intubation. In the end, the DNR was temporarily lifted, but this was a fairly pyrrhic victory for Charlotte's parents, as it became clear later that the judge would reinstate it at the hospital's request whenever she became ill and it might actually become practically relevant.

Far from being "kept alive" by aggressive treatment that the doctors wanted to withhold, Charlotte has both survived and improved far beyond doctors' expectations on only the care the doctors were already willing to give--extra oxygen and tube feeding. (Charlotte also eats by mouth.)

So now she has passed her third birthday, and her parents have separated. (This is the only fact about Charlotte that the Economist gets right.) The Economist author is much exercised by the possibility that Charlotte may be placed in foster care, though he neglects to mention that she is by no means abandoned, as her father is doing all he can to gain full custody of Charlotte and bring her home. The article laments, "Now the parents have separated and Charlotte is up for adoption. Disabled children are nine times more likely than others to end up in the care of the state." Well, Charlotte isn't "up for adoption." That part is wrong. But what's the point supposed to be? Let's say it out loud: The author of this article apparently believes that disabled three-year-olds from broken homes are better off dead. In fact, he obviously thinks it a shame that Charlotte wasn't killed when she was a lot younger. I guess it would be too messy, emotionally and politically, to kill her now. Darn! The doctors missed their chance! Since the DNR hanging over her head didn't result in her death, since she ended up being a tough little girl and living on only relatively basic care, they should have been able to make sure of getting the conclusion they wanted. If only they'd had the authority to bump her off actively when she was tiny. Then she wouldn't have ended up living for three years and being a burden on the state.

And here's one more ominous thing about the article: Piously, it says that active euthanasia would take place "if the parents agreed." The implication is that the child would be killed only if the parents agreed. But the negative reference to Charlotte's parents makes it clear what the intelligentsia thinks of parents: Their wishes are considered obstacles to the progress of making sure we don't end up with disabled children on our hands. There is no question at all, as the case of David Glass makes clear (do read the story) that doctors have enormous power in the UK and that any such legalization of baby-killing would place the decision to kill wholly in their hands, even over the wishes of parents.

Not that murderous parents should be given authority to order their children's deaths, either. But I suspect parents would be more merciful than the High Priests of National Health in Britain.

The Economist editorial is surprisingly open. The goal is to kill the disabled as early as possible. If they don't get them in the womb, they should have a chance afterwards. And even healthy unborn babies can become sick born babies if they are preemies, like Charlotte.

Let's hope these folks don't get their wish. And let's be vigilant for the same movement in the U.S.

(Hat tip: Wesley J. Smith at Secondhand Smoke)




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