Free Markets, Free People

Canadian court rules baby must die as it decides, not as the parents request

This is sure to revive talk of death panels.  And I’m afraid I simply don’t understand the reasoning here.  But it is a stark example of the state making decisions that should be left to the people involved – in a free country, that is.

Anyway, the story:

A Windsor, Ont. couple’s fight to bring their gravely ill baby home to die ended in bitter tears Thursday when a Superior Court judge dismissed their appeal to stop doctors from removing the infant’s breathing tube at the hospital.

The father and relatives of one-year-old Joseph Maraachli wept outside a London courthouse after an emotional Justice Helen Rady upheld the earlier decision of an independent provincial tribunal forcing the baby’s parents to comply with doctors’ orders.

With all of their legal avenues exhausted, the family will have to say goodbye to Joseph Monday morning — on Family Day — when his breathing tube will be removed.

Apparently the baby has a rare neurological disease which has put him in a “severe and deteriorating neurological condition that has left him in a persistent vegetative state, according to specialists in London, Ont., who’ve examined him. “

Bottom line, the child is dying. It is now to the point where the baby can’t swallow or breath on his own. The parents know and understand that. They know the child will die. They’re not asking the state to try and save their baby. Instead, what they are asking – what they have to ask, apparently – is permission of the state to take their child home and let the baby die among "friends and loved ones".

Pretty outrageous request, isn’t it?  And yet they don’t have the final say.

The parents had petitioned the regional medical board for a tracheotomy to be performed on the child to facilitate their ability to take him home with them.  That would have opened up a direct airway which would have made it possible to take the baby home and let it die there.

Oh, too much to ask apparently.  Remember, the baby is dying.   It’s going to die.   There’s no question about that –  everyone involved knows it will be dead in a matter of hours if not days.  The parents are not asking for heroic or extended (and expensive) treatment be continued.  Just a tracheotomy.

The reason given for the refusal?

But doctors refused to perform the procedure, citing serious risks of infection, pneumonia and other possible complications.

It’s a bit like refusing a lung cancer patient with stage 4 cancer a final cigarette because it might kill them.  The reason is absurd on its face. But apparently enough that a judge decided for the state and not the parents.  So instead of risking infection or pneumonia and letting the parents take their child home to die, the state insists on removing the breathing tube in the hospital and letting the child smother to death there.

Maraachli and Nader went before the Consent and Capacity Board of Ontario, an independent body that deals with matters under the Health Care Consent Act, which sided with the doctors in late January and agreed that it was in Joseph’s best interest to have the breathing tube removed.

Don’t you love it when something called the “Consent and Capacity Board” has the final say on what is in the “best interest” of a child, rather than the parents?

Given the structure and effect of this monstrosity called ObamaCare, that is the probable end state  we’ll eventually see here – an insurance industry which will collapse and in answer to the “problem” which government created, a single-payer system will be implemented.  And you can bet that something along the line of the “Consent and Capacity Board” will eventually take all such decisions out of your hands and make them exclusively the decision of the state.

(HT: All American Blogger)



Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on Google+Share on TumblrShare on StumbleUponShare on RedditPin on PinterestEmail this to someone

61 Responses to Canadian court rules baby must die as it decides, not as the parents request

  • This PRECISELY what to expect when BIG GOVERNMENT becomes your nanny.
    Some weird application of “the best interest” of a dying child, where killing it OUR way is the government default.
    Markets innovate, allow rational choice, and RAISE the standard of living.

  • Maybe so, but Justin Bieber says Canadian health care is better than ours. So there!

    • His ass got creamed on CSI last night.  good riddance.   … and they say that Emma Watson can’t act.

  • House Republicans and Democrats started Friday morning’s debate over whether to defund last year’s healthcare law, and as part of this debate sparred over whether members should be allowed to call that law “ObamaCare.”
    After two House Republicans called it “ObamaCare,” Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) asked the chairman whether these “disparaging” remarks should be allowed on the House floor.
    “That is a disparaging reference to the president of the United States; it is meant as a disparaging reference to the president of the United States, and it is clearly in violation of the House rules against that,” she said.
    Because Wasserman Schultz only asked if it would be appropriate to curb the use of the term “ObamaCare,” the chairman said he would not rule on a hypothetical. But he did urge members to “refrain from engaging in personalities or descriptions about personalities in general.”

    Let’s call it “ObamaDoesn’tCare”

  • The Bosom State doesn’t like it when anyone tries to push it away.

  • But doctors refused to perform the procedure, citing serious risks of infection, pneumonia and other possible complications.

    I’m guessing that “other possible complications” is a euphemism for “it would cost a lot less for us to simply remove the breathing tube.”  That might sound heartless, but it’s a lot more honest and less ridiculous than “we’re worried about operating on a comatose child who is about to die because the procedure could be fatal.

  • Canada is a poster-child for insane stupid nannification of individual rights.

  • They’re being selfish.  The kid should be out of its misery,and they want to prolong its misery for the sake of their fee-fees. 

  • A child is not property.  A child is not owned by the parents.  That’s why there are limits on what parents can do to their children.  In this case, the pain caused by new infections and diseases, even for an infant, is a real risk.  The parents are risking nothing, but they could make the short existence of that baby more painful than need be the case.  The Doctors are right on this one, the parents were selfishly looking at their own wants, and not thinking of what’s best for the short life of their child.  I can understand why they did that, but they were wrong — and again, the child is NOT their property.

    • As usual, Erp, you merely beclown yourself and bring NOTHING of value.  Putz.
      “Property”???  What an idiot.

      • Remember this gem, in which Scott argued that the government can do whatever it wants to your body after death?

        • No.  I had no idea…well, given the Collectivist puke he is, I could have predicted.
          I think the Erps of the world and I should stay FAR apart.  We could have a very serious disagreement.

        • To be sure, why would any one care what happens to the body after death?

          • That is for you to decide…and your family.  NOT THE STATE.
            In your case, why should anyone care before…???

          • Pay no attention to the pyramids, Scott.  And, forget the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
            Nah, nobody cares about treating the dead with dignity and honor.  Religious people don’t actually build shrines around tombs of their revered.

            …why would any one care what happens to the body after death?

            Me, I don’t care if I’m buried or burned, but I want that decision to be made by my loved ones, and not some bureaucratic puke, because it will matter to them, but not to some pencil pusher who never knew me and could care less if my family members are distressed.
            Really, what kind of ghoulish son of a bitch wants to take away dead bodies from families?  That’s just sick.

    • The child is in a vegetative state and probably will not live more than a few weeks.

    • A child is not property.  A child is not owned by the parents.  That’s why there are limits on what parents can do to their children.

      Following your “leftist” arguments, everyone is ultimately the property of the state or the “community”, first because their property is subject to being looted (taxes), their liberty is subject to being violated (regulations, like the mandatory participation in ObamaPelosiCare, Social Security, not to mention licensing, which is about rent seeking and protecting existing businesses which are politically connected), and their lives are subject to being taken (resist the theft or infringements on your liberty and you will ultimately be killed).  When all of your rights are subject to being violated by people who do so for greedy political reasons, rather than valid attempts to protect the rights of others, you’re property.
      The limits on what one person can do to another are based upon rights (you know, those things you wrongly think are arbitrarily created by the “community”—just one of the ways your arguments lead to the conclusion that every person is property).  That’s why parents can’t do anything they want.
      But when you disregard the rights of parents to make important life decisions and insist that the government (which didn’t create the child and doesn’t have anywhere the degree of interest in the child’s well-being that parents do) get to make those decisions, you are putting a child’s true interests at the mercy of arbitrary authority.
      In this case, the child is in a vegetative state, so the claim that pain is a real risk doesn’t make sense.  Doctors are not gods.  They make mistakes.  And, when their “wisdom” is questioned, they tend to be vindictive, wanting to deny the family any measure of comfort to get even with them.

      • Everyone is her own property; parents and the state are trustees of people until old enough to make their own decisions.  And in this case, the parents have made awful decisions.

        • Not to step on your broke-ass opinion…to which you are entitled…but a TRUSTEE is NOT a PARENT.
          And, to have a trustee, you have to have a TRUST.
          Hope that clears things up some

      • In my blog today I note how some people make ideology and principles their new God, to whom they submit.  You fit that mold, Elliot.  In this case, the parents were being selfish, thinking of their own comfort, not of the child’s.  I sympathize and understand, but they were wrong.

        • Idiot.  Who asked you?  Do you even know if there were siblings?  Grandparents?  Putz.

        • …the parents were being selfish, thinking of their own comfort, not of the child’s.

          What comfort?  The child is in a vegetative state.
          In different situations, terminal patients opt to die at home, for a number of reasons.  It’s only a recent phenomenon that most people died in a cold hospital, hooked up to machines and subject to all manner of indignities.  Modern medicine can be wonderful, but it can also be dehumanizing.

          I sympathize and understand, but they were wrong.

          In your opinion.  I wouldn’t wish such a situation on anyone, but if you did face such a situation as a parent, then it would be your decision to make.

        • …some people make ideology and principles their new God, to whom they submit.  You fit that mold, Elliot.

          You have a canned set of arguments, which have all been discredited years ago, which you keep waving around like they mean something.  This is version 36.4, not much different than what you wrote a decade or more ago.
          People who believe in gods believe in imaginary things they never see (unless they’re hallucinating) and for which there is no rational evidence.  There’s only mythological stories, hearsay, and the attempt to explain anything unexplainable as magic.  People who use critical thinking don’t fall for such errors in thought.
          The word ideology comes from the root “idea”.  What you’re doing here is indicting the use of ideas to solve problems, not bothering to discriminate between good ideas and bad ideas.  Principles are merely the foundational ideas on which one builds more complex ideas.  Indicting the application of principles is to attack consistency itself, rather than the “foolish consistency of little minds” which come from erroneous, uncorrected principles.  Again, you throw out everything, instead of differentiating good ideas from bad, solid principles from shaky ones.
          You have a mind for a reason.  It’s not to keep your skull from collapsing, either.  You’re supposed to use it to solve problems.  That means you use ideas to make decisions, instead of whims, emotions, gods or spirits or magical invisible bonds between people that the Dali Lama think come from quantum physics mysteries.  And, if you want to have good ideas, you have to start with principles which help you to organize your thought process.  But of course principles must be tested and challenged.
          When you stop questioning principles, closing your mind to the possibility that they could be wrong, well then you’re like the religious dogmatists who punish Galileo for daring to question “settled science”.  The same for climate alarmists, who close their minds to the idea that their principles of assuming that anthropogenic sources must be the primary cause of global warming, that anyone who wants to see original data to retest it or who wants to explore natural phenomenon is a heretic.  I’ve posted all sorts of links to the arguments of climate skeptics, but I don’t see you addressing them, even considering the notion that what you have accepted as holy writ might not be accurate.  I can’t force you to have a scientific approach, but I can point out that your approach is anti-scientific.
          Thus, ideologues, like religious fanatics and climate alarmists, who close their minds to new evidence, do have quite a bit in common.  The secular ideologues who are deaf to counter-arguments (like the collectivists: socialists and fascists) replace god with their little red books or their nationalistic propaganda.  Those people do deserve condemnation—not because they use ideas and principles—but because their ideas and principles are bad and ultimately lead to mass murder.
          Unlike the collectivists (religious and secular), I don’t submit to the supremacy of any system to rule others.  I respect that others are going to have different ideas than I do and I don’t want to impose (directly or by proxy) my ideas upon them.  So long as they aren’t hurting others, I say let them use their own minds to live their lives on their own terms.  Somehow, you just don’t get that that’s the opposite of all of the things you’re criticizing.  (Actually, I suspect you vaguely understand it, as much as your intelligence allows, but you’re just a partisan propagandist, so you stubbornly repeat what has been refuted, over and over, year after year, for some perverse reason.)
          As for the need for humans to have relationships and the tendency to gather in communities, none of that conflicts with the individualist ontology (and, no, you are definitely not an individualist, as is evidenced by your unabashed support for federal health care mandates and international environmental mandates).
          We have completely separate, discrete minds.  There are no gods or spirits or magical unseen forces which connect us all.  Just because there is weirdness that scientists haven’t yet explained about quantum physics doesn’t mean you get to fill in the gap with fantasies.  Our relationships are made through interactions in the physical universe and we have evolved to thrive on human contact.  Our needs to live and work together do not, in any way, negate the ethical imperative that those relationships be based upon mutual, voluntary, consensual exchanges, not the application of aggressive force to compel others to forgo the use of their minds and to submit to your arbitrary diktats.

        • Oh, the horror! That some people should actually live by their principles!

          You do realize what that says about you, don’t you?

    • We have a member of this board who appears, but all accounts, to be in a persistive, vegetative state.

      I, for one, therefore look forward to rapid implementation of a US version of the Consent and Capacity Board.

    • So, if I understand you right, the short existence of the baby should be controlled by the hospital who will cause it to suffocate by removing the breathing tube, rather than the parents, who will, actually do the same thing at home (there’s a difference there, see if your sick collectivist heart can figure out what it is).
      They have determined the child is vegetative, but for the sake of your stupid argument, let me ask if you have ever been in a situation where you are not getting enough oxygen when you breath?
      (actually, regular readers will understand THAT happened a long time ago for you with the consequent result to your brain cells, but I digress…)

    • Diseases?  DISEASES?

    • Scott Erb — the world’s first living heart donor.

    • See if this helps, guys…
      While NEVER “property”, the law holds that children are wards of their parents.  Our Supreme Court has held that the parent-child relationship is one of the most essential in our culture.
      Parents have DUTIES to their children, and vise-versa.
      Parents have the RIGHT to use any earnings of a child, just as they have a DUTY to provide necessities to the child.
      Parents have the RIGHT to custody, control, and companionship of the child.
      Personally, if this were my child, I would be walking over the unconscious bodies of anyone who tried to keep me from bringing him/her home.  That is not idle talk.  At the birth of my first child, the Army doctor who had said I could attend got cold feet.  I was prepared to spend time in Leavenworth to hold him to his word.  Happily for all, he relented.

      • Yeah, somehow the idea that these people want to have what little comfort they’ll derive from being with their child as it passes, and hope to provide that same small comfort TO the child when the time comes…how can you rule against that?  What kind of people rule against that and think it’s better for the child to die of suffocation in the sterility of a cold hospital?   Good Lord.

      • That’s simply false.  Parents don’t own their children; they must abide by certain reasonable standards even if we do give them great lattitude.

    • Yes, Scott, of course, the child is the property of the state, which knows best. The parents only think that they love the child and will comfort it until death. But that’s just impossible. The child could contract an infection, and everyone knows that you can’t set up an IV drip at home. That’s impossible.

    • Given the parents names, I assume Joseph is dying of one other many genetic neuroligcal disorders that afflict Ashkenazi Jews.
      The child is in a persistent vegetative state. A persistent vegetative state means the Cerebral cortex is completely destroyed. Since he is on a ventilator this means his brain stem is likewise compromised.  There is simply nothing left of neural system with which to feel and respond to any stimuli. Little Joseph is beyond pain.
      The only pain the doctors and court could have prevented was the pain of the surviving family and that they refuse to do.
      Property had nothing to do with it. How far gone to you have to be in your worship of the infallibility of the state not to see that?

      • Well to the point, Shannon, but Prof. Goofyclown doesn’t use facts and has no interest in an interpretation based in said facts. He has transcendent state authority to sell. Plus, yours is a concise, strong argument, and that’s never to his liking, just in case you were expecting a response.

  • Winning The Future — Sensitivity to Workers

    The Obama administration rescinded most of a federal regulation Friday designed to protect health workers who refuse to provide care they find objectionable on personal or religious grounds. The Health and Human Services Department eliminated nearly the entire rule put into effect by the administration of President George W. Bush during his final days in office that was widely interpreted as allowing such workers to opt out of a broad range of medical services, such as providing the emergency contraceptive Plan B, treating gay men and lesbians and prescribing birth control to single women.

    • Something on the order of 40% of physicians have said they will leave practice if ObamaCare is imposed.
      This will boost that number…and the number of nurses and other professional…very nicely.
      “All your conscience belonga us…”

  • I am reminded of the old “Why We Fight” series from World War II, in which the difference between child-rearing in America and in the fascist countries was highlighted.  According to the film, children in nazi Germany were considered property of the state, to be bred and raised to be good nazi soldiers.  A similar theme was struck in the Disney short “Hitler’s Children”: German children belonged to the state.

    Apparently, the Canadians feel the same way: a child is the property of the state.

    I have to side with Ragspierre on this: “You have my child.  You refuse to hand him over to me, his father, without due process of law to demonstrate that I am an unfit parent or otherwise should not have custody of him.  In my view, that is kidnapping and I am within my moral and legal rights to use deadly force to stop this felony.  So, have it your own way: give me my child back, or be prepared to take the consequences.”

    O’ course, Canadians have pretty much managed to disarm themselves and hence are at the mercy of their own government.  Hmmm… Just like nazi Germany again.

    I don’t mean to imply that Canadians – who are well-known as a decent, polite, generous people whose natioanl ethic is about as far from naziism as it is possible to get – are nazis.  Far from it.  Rather, they have managed to build a “soft nazi” state for themselves, and they are starting to find out that even a luxurious prison is still a prison.

  • I’ve noticed a difference in Scott’s responses. Much more labored. I think that Bruce has finally broken down and agreed to pay him.

  • Erb has always been a contrarian.  This time he goes too far.  The idea that the parents want the child to die at home is for their “convenience” is ridiculous on its face.  The linked story does not suggest that in any way. Nor does it suggest that the child’s parents considered him “property”.  ISTM that unless the parents make an end of life decision that is clearly against the best interest of the child that decision should be honored.  Because an infant is incompetent to make an advance directive for health care, in Georgia and many other states, the parents make such decisions.  Courts don’t get involved unless the parents disagree or the medical provider refuses to honor their wishes.  In the latter case, unless there is a compelling reason to override the parents decision, the law provides the parents wishes take precedence.  It sounds like Canada’s law is 180 degrees from the laws of many of our states.

    • The last thing Erb can be called is a “contrarian.” Erb is an unthinking Party man, and he takes the Party line, while endlessly trying to deny it.

      • I think vnjagvet means “contrarian” in the sense that Scott looks for reasons to say stuff contrary to what he sees here. He’ll sometime exaggerate or mold his own opinion to do that.

        As others have pointed out, such an attitude is that of a troll, someone who posts material just to elicit a response and then cackle over how they have gotten others irritated. It’s a sick attitude, usually exhibited by a teenager who hasn’t formed full adult sensibilities yet. Gaining pleasure by tweaking others and getting them to waste time responding is, in an adult, not pychologically healthy. It also bespeaks a pathological need for attention, which is part of the narcissism you’ve noted before.

        • Yes to the pathological elements. Yes to an element of the trolling. But in the “small purpose” department, Scott posts to test out the Party line. And since he doesn’t really pay independent attention to anything, one can infer that he gets said line directly from one or more Party outfits that distribute it. Much of what he tries to do is, first, to conceal his real purpose and beliefs by bringing them along in their latest disguise and, second, to feed off of the frustration that normal people express when dealing with a sick idiot. That second thing is the pathological state induced by the first thing.

          Among his recent and more spectacular stumbles was his denial that the Frankfurt School was Marxist. He’s so well programmed to pooh-pooh covert Marxism (including his own thinly disguised Marxism) that he tripped over his own programming when tried to deny that overt Marxists are indeed Marxists. As Ron White puts it, “You can’t fix stupid.”

          • Call me twisted then, I think he’s the lamentable idiot that evervy village has.

          • Yes, but Erb is also a portal through the looking glass into the world of the American university and, by his status, a semi-official liar for the Left. This is a valuable utility to have around. Because he cannot shut his mouth, the privileged readers of QandO have a glimpse into the insanity of the socialist, anti-American mind as it runs to the end of its leash. Of course it comes off as infantile narcissm: that is its very nature.

            I’ll also note that it is really very difficult to get a good view into the universities. They are isolation tanks, where the students are worked over away from the view of those who would step in and stop it. I’ve learned a great deal about what I now call academentia, and its sealed off state, with the help of Erb.

          • I agree with MM.  Erp is like one of those ancient cess-pits the archeologists study to learn about a mysterious culture.
            You can learn a lot from scat.

  • Erb. I’ve found him, by turns, a humorous (though unintentionally) troll and a dogmatic propagandist. I’ve even had (egads!) rational conversations with him about music and movies, over at his own blog.

    But this time he’s gone too far. I’ve doubted his motives and intelligence in the past. I’ve never, until now, doubted his humanity.

    Disgusting. Utterly disgusting. I can’t imagine what mountains of reason he had to grind down, what pits of emotion he had to fill in, to pave this parched, gray, flat bituminous wasteland of a soul, one that could possible apologize for an atrocity like this. And make no mistake, it is an atrocity.

  • It does appear that the family is making a reasonable request and the doctors along with the state are the villains in this story.  (Although, the story isn’t that detailed.  So it is entirely possible that there’s something else here.)
    However, just for sh!ts and giggles, let’s say that the parents of a similar hypothetical case were making an unreasonable request.  What then?
    Let’s say the parents of terminally ill baby X wants to take the baby home to die with friends and family.  But the doctors caring for baby X says that removing baby X from care would cause a great deal of pain and agony before the baby finally dies, but if the baby remains in care at hospital, then baby X can die pain free.
    What would you say then?
    Would you then suggest that the state has an interest and should step in on behalf of baby X and the doctors?  Or, would you suggest that – no matter – the baby belongs to the parents and what they say goes?

    • I think vnjagvet has already covered that:

      ISTM that unless the parents make an end of life decision that is clearly against the best interest of the child that decision should be honored. Because an infant is incompetent to make an advance directive for health care, in Georgia and many other states, the parents make such decisions. Courts don’t get involved unless the parents disagree or the medical provider refuses to honor their wishes. In the latter case, unless there is a compelling reason to override the parents decision, the law provides the parents wishes take precedence. It sounds like Canada’s law is 180 degrees from the laws of many of our states.

      • And, of course, the Poque hypothetical ignores the reality that there are pain meds, readily available, and NOT contraindicated for a dying infant.
        This is…sadly…what courts across America are called on to judge from time-to-time.  Where sits the balance between the sometimes conflicting interests of people in excruciating circumstances?  There are, as some of you will recall, cases where courts have essentially ruled to ignore the wishes of religious parents, citing the best interest of the child and the very clear medical science in evidence.  Those are…and they SHOULD be…VERY tough calls and very RARE.
        Were Roe struck down, abortions would be continued (in some states at least) under this very kind of jurisprudence, with the child’s interests at least represented, along with the father’s.

        • If judges and bureaucrats really were objective arbiters of the best interests of sick people, as far as pain goes, then medical marijuana would be available everywhere, the DEA wouldn’t be on a holy crusade against pain doctors who prescribe “too much” medication, and people like Richard Paey (an MS patient in a wheelchair) wouldn’t be victims of such a cruel application of drug prohibition laws.

    • We’ve got established case law about that, much of it involving the demonination of Christian Scientists. From what I’ve seen, I would not disagree with the case law. Some of our lawyer types might want to elaborate.

  • Parents do not own children, they are, however, first and absolute stewards of their child’s welfare. That stewardship is directly in accordance with natural law, just as the state’s positive law about child welfare must be in direct accordance with natural law. The state has a place to step in when parental stewardship is incompetent or in obvious failure mode. But the state will overreach (and this has gotten very bad in the U.K.) and its various bureaucracies frequently become immune to logic. The case raised in this thread is a good example of that. It is what I would call a “bright line” failure. Not something in a grey zone that demands a lot of parsing and squinting. But that is the future of the state in these matters; the momentum is for it to get worse.

    • Well put.  I would add to that: government officials do not have a personal, vested interest in the impact of their decisions on any given person or family.  If they cause suffering, if their decisions are maddeningly unfair and illogical, they still get paid and enjoy their cushy benefits.  But to a decent parent, every decision they make which impacts their child is seen and felt, quite often in life-altering ways.  In order for people to push for increased power of the state to make decisions about children, he must either ignore this stark contrast in interest, or simply not care.