Doctor to Parents

Your retarded daughter just needs killing. She’s unworthy of life. And when you get upset about that, me and the social worker will smirk at you and tell you “we’ve heard about you”.

This is how the euthanasia regime will work. Little winks and nods. Quiet pressure. Making advocate parents feel like demanding bitches who are way out of line for not letting their child die. No doubt the cops will be called if the interests of the bean counters are really threatened.

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  • Andy

    I used to work in a hospital that was for children. I can recall more than once hearing about a similar situation – the euthanasia regime you describe was alive and well in the 1990-93 when I was employed in the hospitals. It wasn’t the doctors, or the hospital, it was at that time the insurance companies looking at the costs. Unfortunately in my experience the doctors, the social workers and the ethics committee became so inured to the process that they gave any hope of changing it. This story is condemnation of our privatized health care system, with its reliance on private insurance and the profit motive or worship of mammon. I do not know what the answer is, but I know what exists today and existed before today is not the answer.
    My heart goes out to this family as I now work as does my wife in the area of special education. Kids with intellectual disabilities (preferred to MR) are seen by society as a whole of not worthy and not important. I have seen that play out in my own church where I had to argue that a child with intellectual disabilities should be allowed to attend mass with his parents. We, my wife and I see, that all these families want is for their kids to be accepted. I would add that we work in an area where poverty is high and the kids with intellectual disabilities who are poor are treated actually worse, and seen as unfit – all I can think of is the Swift and his “Modest Proposal”. I guess that is where the worship of mammon and the like lead.

  • Spastic Hedgehog

    “This story is condemnation of our privatized health care system, with its reliance on private insurance and the profit motive or worship of mammon. I do not know what the answer is, but I know what exists today and existed before today is not the answer.”

    It bears repeating. I don’t know what the answer is either but to treat a child like that is appalling.

  • This is how the euthanasia regime will work. Little winks and nods. Quiet pressure. Making advocate parents feel like demanding bitches who are way out of line for not letting their child die.

    Do you understand, then, Mark, why homosexuality is not considered a matter for liberal difference of opinion by those in the culture who see no conceivable rational argument against it? This is what they complain of: the little winks and nods, the quiet pressure, making them feel like pathetic little bitches for not getting into line and grunting while they chop down trees and play football (or, mutatis mutandis, not dressing like fairy princesses). This is why homosexuals get so much sympathy in a culture that doesn’t particularly like what they do.

    I am not arguing that the issues are of equal weight. Obviously, euthanasia is a far more significant problem than what you like to do and to whom you do it. Furthermore, I am not arguing that homosexuality is therefore a legitimate, moral lifestyle. I am, however, asking that we acknowledge that these “quiet pressures” have tremendous power in human society and that merely invoking the liberal principle of “live and let live” is not enough to establish the legitimacy of our position.

  • Sandra Miesel

    Do you image that such a child would get a transplant under Obamacare?

    Last night, the NBC national news had a carefully crafted “heartwarming” story about a Down’s boy who is making a great success as a model. Not a whisper about how novel it is for him to unaborted. They did mention sucessful heart surgery soon after birth.

    • Rosemarie


      Exactly. Under Obamacare things will only get worse. We’re running out of money as it is and it hasn’t even been implemented yet. What happens when rationing kicks in?

      I pray my kids never need a transplant or we will likely hit the same brick wall. Is the Hippocratic Oath is as useless as the Constitution? Just words on paper to which we pay homage but feel free to ignore at will?

      Is it because of a lack of available organs for transplant? Doctors are now beginning to construct organs from a patient’s own (adult) stem cells – a perfectly moral act that could ultimately eliminate the need for someone else to die before a life can be saved. At least they’re doing it in other countries, that is; I don’t know whether it’s happening here or not.

      • Therese Z

        That’s the extra chill to the whole scenario: the mother says they will provide their own donated kidney and the doc says it still won’t happen.

        • Rosemarie


          Deliver us from evil, Lord.

        • Rosemarie


          Of course, one of the arguments against the transplant was that the child would have to take medication for the rest of her life afterward, and who would give it to her after the parents were gone, etc. Yet organs produced from the patient’s own stem cells wouldn’t come with that problem, so that would do away with that argument.

      • S. Murphy

        No, here, the money’s going to embryonic stem-cell research. (sarcasm – I hope I’m not right)

      • Ann

        I work at a College of Medicine, one day as I walked down the corridor where the graduate pictures are hung on the wall, at the end was copies of the different variations of the Hippocratic oath. I was shocked to see that in the most current version, protection of life was not even in the oath, yes you read correctly.
        I do not know if this one is accepted nationwide or if Colleges have a selection to choose from, either way, I found it very disturbing.

    • Will

      No, nobody is calling for “death panels”. Nothing to see here.

    • Peggy R

      I agree as well. Obamacare will be worse. There will be no appeal, no third parties to go to.

      I’d suggest this family seek out Catholic children’s hospitals. Think of Cardinal Glennon in St Louis treating baby Joseph from Canada who died, a year or something later, but they treated him when the socialized medical system of Canada would not.

  • Sandra Miesel

    “image” should have been “imagine”

  • SDG

    Here is the most telling line, to me, from the doctor:

    “I have been warned about you. About how involved you and your family are with Amelia.”

    Parents: If you are involved with your children, medical professionals will warn each other about you.

    You’ve been warned.

    • Karen

      That was the line that jumped out at me, too.

      How odd that parents would become “involved” with a child who is physically less than perfect! This is more of the diabolical logic that has already resulted in most of these children being killed in the womb.

  • Jared

    Something tells me that being a Catholic nurse will be difficult.

  • Ann

    You’re only worth how much money you can make in this country. That’s it.

    • Peggy R

      That will be even more true when we have a collective society in which we get all our needs, including medical care, food and housing, from the govt. If you can’t contribute, you’re costing the system, and will have to die.

  • Elaine T

    Someone called in to Catholic Answers yesterday with a similar story: Disabled son of 26 in the hospital. Parents had a Resuscitate Order. The attending physician, after trying to talk them out of it, just went ahead and changed it to Do Not Resuscitate. The parents hit the roof. I didn’t hear much after that (I was running errands and had arrived at my next stop) but the bioethicist (I guess) on the show did say that legally doctors cannot override the decision of whoever has the power to make such decisions.

    I hope he got some good advice for advocacy groups and ways to fight back. I also prayed for his family and situation.

    This was in my state, California. It’s all over and getting worse. I’d love to get involved fighting it, if I could figure out how.

  • James

    I have a relative who works for CHOP (Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia). She told me that this story has caused enough of a stink that all employees received an email this morning telling them not to speak about it.

    I will say that she’s always been incredibly proud of CHOP and what they do to help children and the doctors they employ…so much so that she’s hoping that there is more to this story that hasn’t been told yet (I don’t know what that “more” possibly could be, though.)

  • Jo Cunningham

    Thank you for shining more light on this story, Mark. Many of us parents of kids with special needs thought this fight was over. We believed every state had protections in place prohibiting this kind of life or death discrimination. We are shocked and we need the rest of the world to be shocked.

  • Sandra Miesel

    Remember how the Baby Doe regulations were mocked and disregarded?

  • Jude K

    I don’t think I’ll ever be able to make the vast majority of the population understand that my developmentally disabled son’s life probably brings God more sheer joy than the greatest neurologist or athlete. Truly the angels must be speaking to these children. And so this story hits me in the chest like a sledgehammer. It is hard enough to worry every day about how society will treat him when I am gone. (Thank goodness he has six siblings to look out for him.) But the idea that a doctor could sit across the table from me and tell me that his life is not worth saving, makes all the blood drain from my face. And I wonder how the mother in the story was able to handle this with such grace. I guess that is my answer, as sometimes the Grace of god comes to us when we need it most.

    • Linda

      When I was at Mass a few weeks ago, the Gospel was the Beatitude part of the Sermon on the Mount. When our beloved pastor, Fr. Aquinas, OSB, was giving his sermon, he stated, “‘Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God’, Jesus says…but how many people do we actually know who are truly pure in heart?” At that very moment, as though on cue, a teenage Down Syndrome boy, whose name is Ben, all decked out in his Boy Scout uniform, suddenly stood up in his pew, blithely looking around the church, then simply sat back down! Ben was completely oblivious to the fact that Father had just asked, “How many people do we actually know who are really pure in heart?”, before he innocently decided to stand up and look around!

      It was such a profound message from our God who loves His little sinless, pure ones so much that He wanted to continue His Sermon on the Mount in the person of sweet, innocent and pure-hearted Ben, our parish’s most beloved Boy Scout!

  • Sandra Miesel
    • Mark Shea

      Go mom!

  • brian_in_brooklyn

    I hope that those of you who can donate organs have chosen the donor option on your license plates.

  • dpt

    Seems that diabled-rights groups would use this for promoting human rights for the mentally handicap. Yes, go mom.