So … I Starved My Granddaughter to Death and Now I’m Campaigning to Let Other People Kill Their Kids Faster

Say no to euthanasia

The latest salvo in the push for legalizing euthanasia is to kill kids.

What was once supposed to be all about putting down people who were suffering horribly and in the last stages of terminal illness and who requested their own death has now become killing people who can’t consent and are nowhere near dying.

It has evidently occurred to a few people in America that we’ve got an euthanasia gap. Belgium has jumped ahead of us and allows their docs to kill children and people with dementia. But never fear: the euthanasia movement has found someone who is willing to tell us all about the tragic experience of euthanizing his toddler granddaughter by slow starvation and how we need to do something to kill these kids faster.

I’m normally not so sarcastic about people who step forward and take positions that I find appalling. I know that they are just people and that they probably believe in what they are doing. I think they need conversion, not the destruction of public attack.

But this push to expiate personal guilt by politicizing the victim’s death in order to change the law and open the flood gates on medical murder of children is a bridge too far.

I’ve been reading the stories about Bradley Newton’s heart-rending tale of how horrible it was for him to watch his granddaughter starve to death; how painful and hideous this death was and how he’s traumatized by it all.

What he’s leaving out is that he and the rest of his family were the people who starved this child to death. The victim is the little girl, not them.

Not content to have done such a terrible thing, Mr Newton and the rest of his family have made little Natalie the poster child for a campaign to legalize euthanasia for children. He’s appeared on CNN and other news shows, where I’m sure he got the tender and heartfelt sympathy of the interviewer for the “agonizing decision” he and his family made to slowly starve this child to death.

The family has set up a web site in “honor” of the baby they slowly killed. They petitioned the governor of Texas to “spare” others by allowing quicker ways to kill kids.

Watching Mr Newton’s teary interview pulls at my heart. He’s done a terrible thing and it bothers him. I identify with that. I also know how overwhelming and forceful the white coat people can be when your loved one is in the hospital. Any of us can fall prey to their pushy “advice,” especially when we don’t walk into the situation with values and beliefs about these things to guide us.

However, Mr Newton doesn’t want forgiveness. He still doesn’t think he did anything wrong. His response to his grief is to use his granddaughter’s death to multiply the harm. According to him the fault lies in the law that makes it too hard to euthanize children.

He, and at least part of the rest of Natalie’s family, blame everybody else for their actions. They’ve done everything but admit that they were not forced to submit this little girl to death by starvation, that murdering her in this way was their free choice. They could have chosen to let her live.

Their solution for their remorse is to campaign to turn this one murder into a cause for legalizing mass murder. That makes this grandfather’s grief a lot less touching.

The tragedy began when 21-month-old Natalie drowned in the family’s backyard pool. Doctors were able to revive her, but she suffered permanent brain damage that required her to be on a feeding tube. According to Mr Newton, the hospital “ethics” committee recommended that they “let her go.” But the only legal way to do this was to withdraw her feeding tube and let this 21-month-old child slowly starve to death over a period of nine days.

The articles I’ve read said that Natalie was “brain dead.” I don’t think that’s accurate. She clearly could breathe on her own, since the method of euthanizing her was to starve her to death. What her condition actually was, I don’t know. There are no facts about her condition in the stories surrounding this case; only lots of manufactured sympathy for the family which was “forced” to starve her and zero concern for the child they starved.

What passes for sympathy for Natalie is an aggressive politicizing of her death so that it can be used to allow quicker, more “merciful” ways to kill children in the future.

Here’s a news flash for everyone: Natalie should not have been murdered. Killing a person by actively, deliberately and with premeditation ending their life is murder.

Legislatures can pass laws saying that it is not murder. Legislatures can also pass laws saying that the moon is made of green cheese. They can make other statutes repealing the law of gravity. Ethics committees can vote that killing is the “ethical” thing to do and bamboozle families into putting down their loved ones. None of these laws and “ethical” votes will affect the reality that this is murder, because reality is not all that impressed with legislators and ethics committees.

Whatever you call it, however you disguise it, actively, deliberately and with premeditation ending the life of another person is murder and there is no law, lawmaker or ethics committee on this planet with the power to change that.

Natalie was horribly, cruelly murdered by her own family. Now her grandfather is using his sorrow over the “agonizing decision” they made, and the trauma he suffered from having participated in her slow, painful death to lobby the country for laws that would allow us to euthanize kids.

Natalie should not have been starved to death. That was the “agonizing” choice the family should have made. They should have said “no” to the ethics committee.

The decision to starve her to death is the kind of thinking I would expect from an “ethics committee.” I learned long ago that “ethics” is a nice-sounding synonym for no morals and no compassion.

No one can claim that this was a kindness to Natalie. I’ve talked to nurses who had to care for elderly people whose families decided to murder by withdrawing fluids and nutrition. Their descriptions of the resulting deaths are horrific. One question I have is why the “grieving family” whose trauma over this is so great that they feel compelled to campaign for legalizing ways to kill kids quicker didn’t call a halt to it and restore the feeding tube once they saw what it was like.

Natalie was murdered because not murdering her would have been a costly inconvenience for everyone, but most particularly for the medical ethicists who voted for her death. The recommendation of this committee was a classic case of putting a little girl out of the medical industry’s misery.

  • Bill S

    Only powerful religious convictions can make people so insensitive to the sufferings of others. Isn’t it enough that this family has had a tragedy, but they can’t even have closure because religious zealots want the child to be kept alive even though she is practically brain dead.

    • Navarricano

      Re-read her grandfather’s statement above. Especially this bit: “Not only did Natty regain sight/hearing, but SHE came back as well. Natalie could recognize family and even give more of those precious smiles that not even the grumpiest of old men could deny a smile back.”

      That is hardly “brain death”. And anyway, a simple Google search on articles relating to the subject of “brain death” would help you see that “brain death” is a nebulous and inconsistent hypothesis at best. There is no consensus on the diagnostic criteria for brain death, and any honest neurologist would tell you that we know relatively little about how the brain functions, how it heals itself, or the precise nature of the relationship between so-called brain death and consciousness. There are many cases of men, women and children declared clinically dead who revived, some with detailesd awareness of what was taking place in the hospital around them while they were supposedly “brain dead”. You don’t have to search very hard to find them, from a variety of news sources.

      The definition of brain death was created in 1968. There are no standardized tests that exist to determine if the condition even exists and the concept has never been rigorously defined. In 1999, Dr. John Yun, a Richmond, B.C. oncologist, testified to a Canadian parliamentary committee that organ harvesting was the impetus behind the brain death theory that has been accepted by the medical profession since 1968.

      But a debate about brain death is not the point of Ms. Hamilton’s post, nor my initial response, so I’m closing this rabbit hole before it gets any deeper.

      • Bill S

        All I know is that this family had a right to end a lot of unnecessary suffering and they were denied that right. We should not be having our rights dictated to us by religious people. Period.

        • DonJohn

          Natalie had rights, she should not have had her rights taken from her by Secular humanist. Period.

          • Bill S

            Not everyone should have to follow moral standards of the Catholic Church as they apply to euthanasia, abortion, gay marriage, etc. The Church has very strict teachings that really should only apply to those who chose to accept and follow them. If this child had nothing to look forward to but being a vegetable, it should be up to the family to accept or reject that future for all of them. The child and those expected to care for her.

            • Rob B.

              “If this child had nothing to look forward to but being a vegetable…”

              In other words, she had no value to society and she would be a burden to her family, so it’s OK to kill her…

              • Bill S

                Whether it is “OK to kill her” or not is a matter of personal opinion. If it is the family’s desire that everyone’s suffering be mitigated, then it should be legal whether you or I think it is OK or not.

            • Fabio Paolo Barbieri

              Not everyone should have to follow moral standards of the Catholic Church Why not? Because they are ignorant of them? I have got news for you: ignorantia legum neminem excusat. I realize it’s old news – old enough to be in Latin – but it has not ceased to be valid. Either prove that it is right to murder babies to stop yourself having to put up with their supposed suffering – prove it in terms of universal law – or admit that you are committing apology for murder.

              • Bill S

                Fabio, the only “universal law” that you would consider to truly apply to everyone is that which is based on the teachings of the Catholic Church. In your world, abortion, contraception, euthanasia, homosexuality, IVF, cloning, pre-marital sex, remarrying after divorce, etc. all are violations of your “universal law”. If it were truly universal, everyone would recognize it but they don’t so it isn’t.

                • Smithgift

                  Psychopaths don’t recognize any “universal law” against murder. Yet, murder is still evil.

                  • Bill S

                    No serious rational person looks to psychopaths for their moral values.

        • Fabio Paolo Barbieri

          Like the religious people – not a single Founder was an atheist, not even Ethan Allen – who wrote the constitution you live under? You are talking subversion and treason here.

          • Dale

            Fabio, deism may have been, for some of them, simply a socially acceptable facade for atheism.

            However, I am pretty sure Ethan Allen didn’t write the US Constitution. He is best known for his role in Vermont, which didn’t join the United States until after the US Constitution was ratified. In fact, when the Revolutionary War ended, Allen had been negotiating with the British for Vermont to merge with Canada.

            • Fabio Paolo Barbieri

              I mentioned Allen because his positions were so extreme – that he can be regarded as the limit of what that generation allowed itself. Of course, if you decide to read into clear statements and obvious fact some layer of secret significance visible to you alone, there is no limit to what you can discover. You may make Jefferson a Hinduist. Most of us, however, prefer to read historical documents according to what they say.

            • FW Ken

              I thought he was best known for furniture.

          • Bill S

            Yes. The founding fathers were theists, or at least deists. But they never required anyone to be religious if they were not. Neither the Catholic Church nor the Church of England had any say in laying down the foundation for this nation.

        • Rob B.

          Oh yes, far better to have our rights (especially the right to life) redefined for us by those who hate religion…

          • Bill S

            Some rights are protected while other rights are denied by religious people.

            Some rights are protected while other rights are denied by non-religious people.

            Which rights are protected and which rights are denied depends on who’s making the rules. I prefer that the rules I have to live by not be made by religious people.

        • Colin Gormley

          The anti-religious bigotry is strong with this one…

          • Bill S

            Funny that you think of it as bigotry. Do I call you a bigot for opposing atheism?

    • Fabio Paolo Barbieri

      Wrong verb. This family did not HAVE a tragedy. They MADE a tragedy.

      • Bill S

        I disagree and I firmly believe that euthanasia is merciful in a case like this. It is merciful to the patient and to the family and there is nothing wrong with that. But religious people will always find more things to be wrong than the average rational thinker.

        • Fabio Paolo Barbieri

          If I thought the way you think, I would probably shoot you dead upon meeting. It cannot possibly be good or tolerable to be you. Think about it.
          (This is what is known as taking an argument to its extreme to show its hollowness and folly. I don’t shoot anyone. But the judgment as to whether any pain is bearable is purely subjective, and if you make it a criterion, expect it to be turned against you.)

      • Ed

        “has had a tragedy” is probably referring to the drowning and resultant brain injury. The drowning of a healthy child was the tragedy. Her starvation was a crime.

    • Lyndon A. Acosta

      Natalie could recognize her family and she regained her eyesight and hearing. Brain dead means that your pupils are no longer reactive.This is murder because natalie was not only alive but recovering, You don’t need to be religious to know this is murder,

      • Bill S

        I’m not that knowledgable of the specifics. A more humane death would have been by lethal injection, which is what I assume the family wanted and is trying to secure the right to choose for others.

        • FW Ken

          So your hated of the Church has led you to advocate killing a conscious child, and not only do it, but pass a law implicating the rest of us. One seldom encounters such true evil.

          • Bill S

            Ken,

            Whether I hate the Church or not and whether you think it is evil or not have no bearing on whether this family had a right to do what they did or whether that should have been avoided by administering an overdose of morphine which would have been far more humane. I know you can’t look at it that way because of your religion. But, believe it or not, there are people whose sense of right and wrong is not dogmatically dictated to them by a religion. You can’t accept that and I feel sorry for you that you can’t.

            • FW Ken

              Decent people don’t murder children. It doesn’t take religion to know that, only humanity. I think you know that, Bill, because I don’t think you are a psychopath. What your are advocating, however, is psychopathic. If you want to kill yourself, that is your reprehensible right. To advocate killing another human being, as you are doing, is murder.

  • Navarricano

    Natalie’s grandfather responded to a Washington Post reader’s comment on the the article about the story that appeared in that nespaper on 28 March:

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2014/03/28/a-tragic-end-for-a-tiny-child-prompts-family-to-campaign-for-euthanasia/?tid=hp_mm

    The crucial part of what he wrote appears to me to be the following:

    …Natalie had cognitive blindness and deafness upon waking from her frozen state along with quadriplegia. Natty would eventually regain her sight and hearing but the quadriplegia would remain and her cellular structure in chaos as side effects of her procedure that would ultimately take her life. The level of pain throughout would be unfathomable. Not only did Natty regain sight/hearing, but SHE came back as well. Natalie could recognize family and even give more of those precious smiles that not even the grumpiest of old men could deny a smile back. What would become the hardest part as the days went on after withholding food would be looking into her beautiful eyes, consoling her with a desperate tenderness as life slowly ended. An unimaginable sadness as we watched those beautiful eyes so young and innocent slowly lose their spark in unison with her withering body. Natty would reach delirium on day five, the spark forever gone. Even though Natty left us on day five, we would continue that desperate tender nous (sic) another 3 1/2 days while her appearance became well, hopefully we can make a change so you never have to know the rest…

    Is he saying here that there was a procedure that restored her sight and hearing, but was unable to correct her quadriplegia, and that the side effects of the same procedure provoked a chaos in her cellular structure that would cause her “unfathomable pain” and ultimately take her life?

    My question is, if the cellular chaos was going to ultimately lead to her death, what about palliative care for her until she died? He says “SHE came back”! So, is he really saying that they starved his granddaughter to death rather than provide palliative care and accompany her in her suffering because that was ultimately faster and somehow less painful? If “she was back”, then on some level she must have been aware of what her family was doing to her, even if she was only a child. God help us.

    • hamiltonr

      I hadn’t seen this. It makes it clear: Natalie was murdered by just about anybody’s standard of murder.

    • pagansister

      If that little child recognized family and was able to respond with smiles, how was she “brain dead?” If her sight and hearing came back, how was she “brain dead?” I do not understand. Grandpa said “she came back”—then how was she “brain dead?” It is horrible. I tend to agree, Rebecca. This child was murdered.

      • Fabio Paolo Barbieri

        I am so happy – really – that we agree. But I tell you that if you knew all the stories I have read of people in deep comas waking up after months or years, and turning out to have been quite conscious and aware even as everybody around them thought they were not, you would wonder how many people are dispatched by doctors and even by grieving relatives while fully conscious, and perhaps inwardly screaming with terror because they realized what was being done to them. And you have to remember that the pressure to assume that people in coma are “brain dead” comes from two motives, neither of them nice: the expense of keeping a patient beyond treatment alive, and the greed for transplantable organs – fresh from a living body. Personally, I suspect that future historians will regard transplantation as an atrocious mistake, and that it will actually have held back for decades any attention to less brutal regenerative therapies.

      • Navarricano

        Sorry for the delay in responding, pagansister. I don’t know if you thought that I don’t agree with you, but I do. Please see what I posted a little bit further down in response to Bill S. I contest the ridiculous assertion that this child was “brain dead” when her grandfather clearly indicates in his letter to the newspaper that she was responsive and recognized her family. This was murder.

        • pagansister

          No, I didn’t think you and I were not in agreement. Thanks for responding. We are most certainly in agreement. :-)

  • Fabio Paolo Barbieri

    I know that they are just people and that they probably believe in what they are doing. I think they need conversion, not the destruction of public attack. I cannot possibly agree here. These people are building up a wall of self-righteousness and public approval around terrible crimes. Unless something smashes down those walls, they will not only not be converted, they will become part of a persecuting machine and add persecution and blasphemy to the sins that already blacken their souls. Someone like Michael Schiavo has little enough chances of dodging the fires of Hell, but the only chance that exists, and the only way you can be merciful to him, is to be forced to face the fact that he is a vile, cowardly murderer, more despicable than the creatures who murder for drugs in the streets, because more cowardly; that he really deserves every bad word that the language has developed for moral deficiencies – criminal, traitor, torturer, scoundrel, bastard, gangster; that he is no better, and probably rather worse, than the creatures who carried tommy-guns in Chicago in the nineteen-twenties, or manned the death camps in the tyrannies of the time. To be kind to Michael Schiavo means to want to see him damned.

    • Sus_1

      I respectfully disagree. I believe Michael Schiavo did what he did because he believed he was doing what his wife would have wanted. Doesn’t mean he was right but I don’t think he did it with malice.

      As to whether someone can be converted, you can’t possibly know whether kindness or not would work.

      Conversion is very personal for each person. It happens differently for each person.

      • Fabio Paolo Barbieri

        But the transformation of guilt into brutal self-righteousness is a universal pathway to damnation. As for Schiavo, you must have missed a lot of the evidence that came out.

      • FW Ken

        Getting her $350,000 trust fund didn’t hurt him any, nor the freedom to marry his new shack up.

        • Fabio Paolo Barbieri

          And if I were her, I would be looking at him very carefully. If he had one wife killed because she was inconvenient….

      • http://outsidetheautisticasylum.blogspot.com/ Theodore Seeber

        Evil done without malice is even worse- for it is evil done without passion, as a machine, not as a human being.

      • Florian

        No one knows, it is true, what Michael Schiavo’s motives were…what we do know is that he had taken a mistress and had children with her…that fact alone should have caused the Courts to give over the life and well being of Terri to her parents who were willing to take her home and care for her at their expense…

    • Kennybhoy

      “To be kind to Michael Schiavo means to want to see him damned.”

      Amen.

  • FW Ken

    Of course, it doesn’t take religious convictions to know that killing children is wrong, just a bit of humanity. If people want to kill themselves, that is their reprehensible right. They have no right to kill another person.

    Last year, we went to court to prorate Mama’s will, and sat through a custody hearing for a profoundly multi-handicapped child turning 18. The parents were actually the grandparents, who had taken the girl as a baby, rather than see her dumped in an institution. They had arranged their lives to care for her needs, which were total. The love and faithful devotion of this couple was awe-inspiring, and a contrast to the killing of this other child.

    Just ran across this political ad with a message about the common decency that is out there.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KXqHI059n90

  • Mrshopey

    It is supposed to be hard to kill someone, watch them die because of something you are doing/not doing. I am glad he was bothered, hurt by his gross misdeed. I am sorry the hospital allowed him/the family, to do that as one would hope that nutrition would be given to a person, which is the basics. Lord have mercy.

  • Yonah

    While I generally agree with the author’s moral points, I question if she has violated her own behavior rules in regard to civility when trashing CNN. Why was this done? How is it civil? Did not CNN do the author’s cause a service by bringing the case to the public for discussion?

    • hamiltonr

      Let’s just say that people who deliberately starve two-year-old children to death, and then advocate for passing laws to make it easier to kill other two-year-old children, bring out my bad side.

      Ditto for news networks that won’t cover stories about Kermit Gosnell but give these same killer/advocates the biggest of big-time forums to push their advocacy.

      Did I “trash” CNN? Hardly. I called them out about biased reporting. CNN, by the way, is not a person; and calling them on biased reporting is fair comment. Kind of like saying you don’t agree with a politician’s vote.

      • Yonah

        In the name of your own faith, I here call you back to your good side. I watched the CNN video you posted. The CNN interviewer was completely neutral…you have no reason to malign her. And the man she was interviewing, psychologically, is obviously torn. He is lost as to what to do, but he is not evil. With love, he could have been flipped. As a former pastor and social worker, I’ve dealt with that kind of person many times.

        The New Testament concept of “stumbling block” comes from a Hebrew concept. Of that concept, various applications in Jewish teaching were developed. One of them was that which product liability law was developed from…that is to say, “selling” somebody something that will cause themselves or others harm is against the law. That guy on the video should be seen as someone who has been sold a bill of goods that is harmful. In the same way, the same is true of women who have committed abortion. Demonizing those who have been misled is not constructive and more importantly, instructive.


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