This baby should be taken to a safe place - a hospital, health care facility, fire station, or police station - if his mother is unable to care for him.

Socialized health care update: Sick U.K. babies put on “death pathways”

This week’s most terrifying public policy story comes from the United Kingdom, as an already disastrous health care system somehow gets worse. The Blaze has the scoop on “death pathways” (and no, that’s not a Sarah Palin label):

The Liverpool Care Pathway (LCP), an organization that facilitates end-of-life treatment, is behind the inhumane program. The Daily Mail has learned the process of “withdrawing food and fluid by tube is being used on young patients as well as severely disabled newborn babies.” In other words, patients — young and old — are slowly starved and dehydrated to death.

One doctor, acting as a whistle blower, admitted to starving and dehydrating ten babies to death in the neonatal unit of one hospital in a leading medical journal. The doctor describes it as a 10-day process, during which the baby becomes “smaller and shrunken.”

Roughly 130,000 elderly and terminally ill patients reportedly die on the Liverpool Care Pathway, or “death pathways.” LCP is now being independently investigated at the orders of ministers in England.

The Department of Health insists that children’s end-of-life care “must meet the highest professional and clinical standards,” and patients’ families are involved “in all aspects of decision making,” but investigators intend to determine whether money is influencing doctors’ decisions to starve children to death.

The whistle-blowing doctor writes:

The parents want ‘nothing done’ because they feel that these anomalies are not consistent with a basic human experience. I know that once decisions are made, life support will be withdrawn. Assuming this baby survives, we will be unable to give feed, and the parents will not want us to use artificial means to do so. […]

Like other parents in this predicament, they are now plagued with a terrible type of wishful thinking that they could never have imagined. They wish for their child to die quickly once the feeding and fluids are stopped. They wish for pneumonia. They wish for no suffering. They wish for no visible changes to their precious baby. Their wishes, however, are not consistent with my experience. Survival is often much longer than most physicians think; reflecting on my previous patients, the median time from withdrawal of hydration to death was ten days.

It remains to be seen just how big a role the unsustainable costs of centralized health care played here, but it’s clear that abortionism’s logic set the stage. Rather than either prolonging the child’s life or making an unavoidable end as comfortable as possible, these doctors and parents are taking it upon themselves to decide when the end might as well be gotten over with. And as compassionate and heart-wrenched as these parents are, the result certainly isn’t merciful.

Once upon a time, we knew that life was so precious, and the power to end it was so momentous, that such power had to be subjected to the most stringent of moral boundaries and circumstantial burdens. The civilized world’s conclusion was basically that killing could be done only to prevent other killing; to do so for less was assuming a dominion that simply isn’t ours.

But abortion opens the floodgates. With the power to kill an innocent person within the womb for any selfish reason codified as a “right,” it’s only natural that killing for more ostensibly selfless and altruistic reasons would become easier to rationalize, especially when the victims fall in the age range that abortion has already devalued so comprehensively.

It can never be reiterated enough: the battle over abortion concerns more than just the fate of the unborn. It’s a referendum on the very nature of justice and humanity, the results of which will be felt far beyond the womb. The question is how much more we need to see before we draw the line.

  • Julia

    This is just horrible. But if people feel fine killing them a few months before, a few days before, a few minutes before, during birth (partial birth abortions), why not right afterwards?

  • Basset_Hound

    I wonder how many of the disabilities these newborn suffer from would actually be so life limiting if the children were allowed to grow up? This is indeed horrible.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1463442715 Lori Alayne Weber Miller

    It is the logical progression of a society that accepts abortion. heading towards only perfect life is worth preserving which when all is said and done is virtually none of us.

  • http://www.facebook.com/GypsyDoll.is.pretty.in.ink Jenny Myers

    Is there ANYTHING we can do? Anything…. I will be in prayer

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000324853040 Diane Fonte

    Folks, this type of “care” is in Obamacare. Ezekiel Emanuel, Obama’s medical czar, wrote a paper advocating this. It’s his “Complete Lives System.” This mentality has infected medical and nursing schools in the U.S. Don’t be surprised. Our nation is a nation whose culture is death.

    • http://twitter.com/Astraspider Astraspider

      You’ve offered up a few red herrings there. One, nothing like this is baked into the ACA. Two, Emanuel has spent his career advocating *against* euthanasia. And, three, the complete lives system he’s written about is meant to deal with genuinely scarce resources like organs or, in some cases, vaccines.

      • gigi4747

        I don’t know anything about the Complete Lives System, but I believe you’re correct that E. Emanuel doesn’t support euthanasia.

  • Deed

    I think I’m going to be sick

  • katie

    anyone see any similarities to the Spartans, who would throw their weak babies off cliffs?

  • Cait

    Read the book The Giver by Lois Lowry. This reminds me very much of the situation in the book. Very sad.

  • http://www.facebook.com/peggy.kays Peggy Mitchell Kays

    Thy shall not kill!!! That says it all.

  • Deci

    Not to long ago the Germans had something very similar. It was known as NAZI. Difficult to stop sliding down that slippery slide we’re on!

  • peach

    “Once upon a time, we knew that life was so precious, and the power to end it was so momentous, that such power had to be subjected to the most stringent of moral boundaries and circumstantial burdens. The civilized world’s conclusion was basically that killing could be done only to prevent other killing; to do so for less was assuming a dominion that
    simply isn’t ours.”

    I’d like to hear more about this magical time. Was it when the medical technology meant that many of these newborns would have died and the ones that lived went on to be institutionalized? You people really need to stop idolizing the past. It wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows.

    And Calvin, you really need to stop using the Daily Mail as a source. When they’re the only article to be found making these claims, it does not help your cause. The investigation into the LCP concerns issues of consent. The parents you discuss all gave their consent.
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2012/nov/26/liverpool-care-pathway-review-pledge

    • http://twitter.com/CalFreiburger Calvin Freiburger

      Wow, Peach, this comment is even more reliant on straw men than your usual fare.

      “Was it when the medical technology meant that many of these newborns would have died and the ones that lived went on to be institutionalized?”

      Words fail to fully capture how stupid this point is. What link is there between a basic moral proposition (one that we still claim to hold today; we just pretend the unborn don’t count) and past limitations in medical knowledge? Do we have to accept one with the other, or would banning abortion somehow erase our current medical knowledge or change other medical practices? And where the hell does a pro-abort, who’s position requires completely ignoring and rejecting the past half-century-plus of embryonic knowledge, get off pretending to care about such things?

      “And Calvin, you really need to stop using the Daily Mail as a source.”

      Riiiigh, because you’ve historically shown so much care about the veracity of your sources – or, as we see below, what they even actually say.

      “The investigation into the LCP concerns issues of consent.”

      Well, lookee here, your Guardian piece agrees with the Daily Mail: “Hospitals are said to have received extra local incentive payments for increasing the number of patients on the pathway [...] This review will also consider the value of locally set incentives, and whether they are leading to bad decisions or practice.”

      You don’t even read this stuff before clicking post, do you?

      “The parents you discuss all gave their consent.”

      …………..and?

      • peach

        You’re a very angry little man.

        • http://twitter.com/CalFreiburger Calvin Freiburger

          What’s this? Peach attempting to distract from her embarrassing debate failures by stooping to personal attacks? It must be a day ending in “y”!

          • Sorites Paradox

            “Once upon a time, we knew that life was so precious, and the power to
            end it was so momentous, that such power had to be subjected to the most
            stringent of moral boundaries and circumstantial burdens. The civilized
            world’s conclusion was basically that killing could be done only to
            prevent other killing; to do so for less was assuming a dominion that
            simply isn’t ours.”

            I, too, would love to learn more about this inspiring time! When was it? Was it when slavery was legal? Was it when we still executed men convicted of rape? Was it when we conducted the Tuskegee Syphilis experiment? Or was it earlier, with the settlers’ humane treatment of the American Indians?

          • http://twitter.com/CalFreiburger Calvin Freiburger

            And the farce becomes more complete as the Very Serious Lawyer resorts to the laziest straw men around.

          • Sorites Paradox

            You made a claim and you can’t back it up. Peach and I called you out. Cope with it.

          • http://twitter.com/CalFreiburger Calvin Freiburger

            Whenever you pretend an outcome written right above you in plain English didn’t actually happen, it calls into serious question your…well, everything.

          • peach

            I’m not embarrassed by my argument. I just sometimes think you’re not worth the effort of a well thought out reply since you don’t put any effort into yours. Calvin calling out a supposed straw man argument? Calvin calling people stupid and dishonest? It must be a day ending in “y”! You use the term straw man so much I don’t think you know what it means anymore.

            Also, just because you for some reason think I shouldn’t be concerned about the reliability of sources, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be concerned. The Daily Mail is not a reliable source. I couldn’t access the full original article, but you should probably have the resources to do so and have no excuse not to. And nowhere in the article I linked to did they mention anything about killing babies and that was my point.

          • http://twitter.com/CalFreiburger Calvin Freiburger

            Pragraph 1: Peach’s generic whining.

            Paragraph 2: Peach apparently mistakes me noting that she isn’t concerned about reliable sources for me somehow saying she shouldn’t be, and she admits she didn’t even read the article she’s whining about.

            Better luck next time.

          • peach

            Paragraph 1: pot/kettle. I literally copy pasted what you wrote and then you call it whining.

            Paragraph 2: what? You still don’t explain why you used the Daily Mail as a source. And I admitted I didn’t read the full British Medical Journal article. Did you read it? And that’s not even the article I’m “whining” about. I’m concerned about you taking a Daily Mail article at face value. And did you note that the Telegraph article doesn’t mention killing babies anywhere? In fact, I couldn’t find one article that didn’t refer back to the Daily Fail that claimed doctors killing babies is an issue. There are some legitimate concerns about the LCP (which I’m not sure you even fully understand what that is) but none of the concerns involve baby killing.

            I’m not going to reply again because you never actually address my points, you just get increasingly defensive. If that makes you believe you’ve won the argument, whatever.