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Why We Cannot Stop Fighting for Life

Western society has truly become a “culture of death.” Three recent news stories illustrate this unfortunate development:

 

1. Charlie Gard is a ten-month-old with a rare genetic disorder that has put him in a coma. An American doctor offered the family a potentially life-saving experimental treatment for Charlie, and the family soon raised over $1.6 million to cover the expenses.

Charlie’s story took a turn for the worse when his London hospital refused to permit his parents to take him across the Atlantic for treatment. His doctors believed that since he would likely be disabled if the treatment were successful, “it is in Charlie’s best interests to permit Charlie to die with dignity,” a sentiment echoed by a British judge after Charlie’s parents sued.

According to the judge, “Although the parents have parental responsibility [in making medical decisions for their children], overriding control is vested in the court exercising its independent and objective judgment in the child’s best interests.”

Charlie’s parents fought valiantly for the right to secure potentially life-saving treatment for their child, appealing the decision to the Supreme Court and the European Court of Human Rights. Justice was denied, however, when the ECHR refused to intervene earlier this week, allowing doctors to end Charlie’s life.

 

2. The parents of an Iowa boy (“Z.P.”) born with cerebral palsy successfully sued their doctor for failing to inform them that their baby would be born with the disability. They say they would have had their baby aborted if they had known about the disability.

Iowa’s Supreme Court ruled in favor of the parents. As James Silberman accurately notes, “If the right to kill unborn children exists, it follows that a doctor’s failure to inform the parents of an unborn child about the presence of an undesirable trait would indeed be a violation of that right.”

 

3. The Oregon Senate passed a bill (SB494) earlier this month that would have allowed nursing homes to starve disabled patients to death. The bill was introduced after Bill Harris sued the nursing home caring for his wife, Nora, who suffers from dementia. Harris wanted the nursing home to stop spoon feeding Nora.

Although Nora is dealing with advanced Alzheimer’s, she is still conscious and wants to eat. SB494 would have allowed the nursing home to withhold food and water from Nora until she starved to death.

Thankfully, the legislation recently failed in the House Judiciary Committee. Although the mere fact that the bill passed the Senate is remarkable and frightening, it is unsurprising, considering that Oregon was the first state to allow doctors to kill terminally ill patients who want to die.

 

Why We Must Keep Fighting 

Human life is sacred. Every person, regardless of his or her disabilities or circumstances, has dignity and is inherently valuable.

Human life is beautiful. Anyone who has met the inspiring and beautiful people living with disabilities knows this to be true.

Those with disabilities offer so much to the world; most importantly, they provide the opportunity for society to grow in its compassion for the weak and vulnerable.

Those who have disabilities are no less human than you or me. Their humanity demands the same natural rights we all share, the most important of which is the right to live.

We have not been given the authority to decide whose lives are “worth living.” Abortion, euthanasia, and suicide are so destructive because these things demean human life.

Our shared humanity enjoins us to fight against these evils. We must defend the defenseless. We must speak for Charlie, Nora, and “Z.P.” We must not permit judges and legislators to change and manipulate our laws to allow for the murder of the innocent.

Who will defend the most vulnerable if we do not? I pray that we may never forget that their lives are immeasurably valuable, and I pray that more good people rise up to restrain the evil that has convinced far too many people that some lives are more valuable than others.

Tu ne cede malis, sed contra audentior ito (Latin: Do not give in to evil but proceed ever more boldly against it).


Blaine Conzatti is a columnist and research fellow at the Family Policy Institute of Washington. He can be reached at Blaine@FPIW.org.


 

Culture of Death: Parents Successfully Sue Doctor For Wrongful Birth

Iowa’s Supreme Court recently ruled that the parents of a disabled child can sue their doctor for failing to warn them of the boy’s disability. Had Jeremy and Pamela Plowman known that their child, referred to as “Z.P.” in the lawsuit, had cerebral palsy, they say they would have had him aborted prior to birth.

Iowa is the 24th state to allow “wrongful birth” lawsuits through court decisions and the 25th overall. This decision is a logical extension of landmark abortion cases like Roe v. Wade (1973) and Casey v. Planned Parenthood (1992), which established that parents have the right to kill their children in the womb for any reason. If the right to kill unborn children exists, it follows that a doctor’s failure to inform the parents of an unborn child about the presence of an undesirable trait would indeed be a violation of that right.

This case reminds us that we find ourselves in a culture of death. This is the culture created by the abortion industry, along with help from Supreme Court decisions written by Justices Harry Blackmun (of Roe) and Anthony Kennedy (of Casey).

Short of overturning Roe and Casey, there isn’t much we can do in the legal realm. However, this case provides an opportunity for the pro-life movement to gain ground in the culture.

It’s difficult for most people to relate to the victims of abortion, in part because we can’t remember our lives in the womb. That’s why it’s so important for those engaged in pro-life apologetics to share the stories of those who have survived botched abortions.

There’s a reason that the abortion industry, abortion lobby, abortion supporters, and mainstream media pretend that survivors of abortion like Gianna Jessen and Melissa Ohden don’t exist. There’s a reason they react maliciously when we show images of children killed by abortionists. They do this because their culture of death can be perpetuated only if the victims of abortion remain faceless.

I don’t know Z.P. I don’t even know his full name. But I know that he is a human being with inherent worth and that it would have been an act of violence to kill him.

Thankfully, Z.P.’s disability was not recognized prior to his birth. Let’s hope the Plowmans eventually come to understand the beauty and value of their son.


James Silberman is a guest contributor to the FPIW Blog. He is a pro-life activist from Gig Harbor, WA, and a student at Whitworth University.