March 7, 2011
Canadian Hospital “Death Panel”
Says Baby’s Life Should Be Ended
One-year-old baby Joseph suffers from a severe neurological disorder, but his specific condition remains undiagnosed and he is on a ventilator. According to LifeSite.com, doctors have given him no chance of recovery, so his parents, Moe Maraachli and Sana Nader, have asked that a tracheotomy be performed which would enable Baby Joseph to breathe on his own, so that they could take him home. Their daughter died from similar complications eight years ago, and in that case, doctors performed a tracheotomy and the parents took her home where she died after six months with her family surrounding her. This time, the doctors at the London Ontario hospital have refused, saying the procedure is “too risky.”
“They need to do a tracheostomy,” said Dr. Paul Byrne, an Ohio neonatologist with nearly five decades of experience and a former president of the Catholic Medical Association. “If the baby is stable otherwise, and has a tracheostomy, then the baby can be taken care of at home.”
Mid-February, Ontario Superior Court Justice Helen Rady upheld a January verdict from the Consent and Capacity Board of Ontario, which had supported the doctors’ move to take Joseph off life support against his parents’ wishes. The hospital appeared set to remove Joseph’s life support last week, but that got delayed when the family hired a lawyer with the help of the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition.
The hospital now has offered to allow Joseph to be taken home, but they first will remove his ventilator and will not perform a tracheostomy, which means that he probably will die within minutes of the removal.
Meanwhile, Priests for Life, the American Center for Law and Justice, the Terri Schiavo Life & Hope Network and other pro-life and pro-family organizations have a plane ready to bring Baby Joseph to America for the tracheotomy, and have been negotiating to no avail with hospitals across the United States for more than a week, asking them to agree to admit Baby Joseph. Father Frank Pavone, national director of Priests for Life, has said that “for the most part, [the hospitals] have shown compassion but unfortunately, so far, not one has agreed to take Baby Joseph. The family is asking only to have a simple procedure performed to allow their son to breathe on his own.”
This callous disregard for life and the family’s wishes is exactly the kind of hospital “death panel” that attorney Jerri Lynn Ward warned about in a recent issue of RNC for Life Report. She revealed that those “death panels” are in place in many states.
Prayer vigils for Baby Joseph are being held in many locations around the United States.
State Legislatures Are Advancing Pro-Life Legislation;
Abortion Survivor and Unborn Babies Testify In Ohio, Iowa
With a pickup of 690 state legislative seats in the November elections, Republicans now control both chambers in 25 states and also have the governor in 20 of those states. This means that pro-life legislation has its best chance ever for passing in many states. Pending in several states are bills similar to Nebraska’s “fetal pain bill” which forbids abortion beyond 20 weeks, based on scientific evidence that the baby can feel pain at that age. This prohibition directly defies the Roe v. Wade ruling that states may not regulate abortions until “viability,” which is generally defined at 22-24 weeks. This legislation is expected to make its way to the U.S. Supreme Court in a decision which will be critical to the pro-life movement.
Below is a recap of some of this legislation, thanks in part to our friends at LifeSite.com. Many of these bills still have the hurdle of getting another legislative chamber’s approval and/or a governor’s signature. If there is pro-life legislation pending in your state, please let us know by emailing [email protected].
ACTION: Check to see which pro-life bills are being proposed in your state and urge your state senators and representatives to support them when they come to their chambers.
ARIZONA: The Arizona House recently approved several pro-life bills. One would require clinics that provide medical abortions only to conform to regulations intended for surgical abortion centers, including a requirement to offer patients ultrasound images. Another would make donations to Planned Parenthood ineligible for a state income tax credit. A third bill prohibited race or sex-based abortions.
IDAHO: Another fetal pain bill has passed a state Senate committee.
IOWA: Out of 17 pro-life bills proposed by Republicans in the Iowa House of Representatives, only three survived committee: a fetal pain bill, a measure blocking state taxpayer dollars for abortion providers such as Planned Parenthood, and a third excluding any abortion-covering insurance policy from participating in the upcoming health insurance exchange. Testifying in her home state was Melissa Ohden who survived a saline abortion 34 years ago and now is a pro-life activist.
MICHIGAN: A state Senate panel has approved a partial-birth abortion ban. The Michigan legislature previously had approved this ban but the pro-abortion Democrat governor vetoed it. Pro-life Republican Gov. Rick Snyder has indicated that he will sign the bill.
NEBRASKA: A bill to ban private health insurance from covering abortions has been approved by the state’s unicameral legislature, but will undergo two more rounds of debates and votes before reaching the governor. The measure also would affect policies under the health insurance exchange that is planned under the federal health care law.
NORTH DAKOTA: The legislature is considering a “personhood” bill, which is different from a “personhood” constitutional amendment. Abortion survivor Melissa Ohden also testified in ND.
OHIO: The speaker-amplified heartbeats of two unborn children provided testimony for a bill that would ban abortion after a child develops a heartbeat, one of five pro-life bills introduced in the General Assembly this year. More than half the House members have signed on as co-sponsors of the bill.
OKLAHOMA: Several pro-life bills passed through committee, including proposed legislation to define human life as beginning at conception, two bills requiring higher standards for abortion clinics, a fetal pain bill, and one to eliminate embryonic stem-cell research.
SOUTH DAKOTA: A bill requiring a 72-hour waiting period before abortion has passed the state Senate and is being sent to Governor Dennis Daugaard, who has indicated he would support it.
TEXAS: After putting a sonogram bill on his “fast track list,” Governor Rick Perry says he will support a bill requiring women, with their consent, to receive a sonogram 24 hours before an abortion. The bill, passed by the large GOP majority in a preliminary House vote, seeks to fully inform women by requiring that the abortionist personally confer with the woman prior to the abortion, just as with any other medical procedure. It also requires that an abortion clinic may charge no more than the actual cost of the sonogram itself prior to performing the sonogram, rather than amortizing in other costs of an abortion when pricing the initial sonogram. Also abortuaries must provide information about pregnancy centers who offer free sonograms on the woman’s initial visit. After the final House vote this week, the bill will be sent to a Senate committee. The TX Senate had already passed its own version of a sonogram bill, but it required only a two-hour waiting period and did not contain the other strong pro-life provisions.
VIRGINIA: Pro-life advocates won a long-awaited victory in the Commonwealth recently after the Lieutenant Governor’s favorable vote broke a tie in the Senate over a bill to require abortion clinics to meet hospital-grade regulations. This major pro-life victory means that any physician’s office which performs five or more first-trimester abortions a month will now be classified as a hospital, subject to special state regulations.