February 25, 2006

This Weekend’s Unanswered Question 2: On Baby Charlotte, Euthanasia and Socialized Medicine

Filed under: Taxes & Government,TWUQs — Tom @ 4:48 pm

QUESTION 2: Why don’t people see what can happen to control over their lives and the lives of their loved ones in government-run health care?

From the UK, the slippery-slope march continues (HT S.O.B. Alliance Member Large Bill):

Girl, 2, ‘should be allowed to die’
Published: 25 February 2006

A High Court judge has ruled that the profoundly disabled girl Charlotte Wyatt should be allowed to die if doctors believe it to be in her best interests.

The new order overturns a ruling made last October that the two-year-old had improved to the point where she should be be ventilated if she stopped breathing.

Lawyers for Portsmouth Hospital went back to the High Court on Thursday after “a very significant” deterioration in her condition. She is suffering from an aggressive viral infection that is making it difficult for her to breathe.

Doctors said the next 24 hours were crucial. Charlotte is receiving oxygen through a box around her head but the clinicians treating her wanted the right not to put her on an artificial ventilator, arguing that aggressive resuscitation would only prolong her suffering. Her parents, Darren and Debbie Wyatt, say she should be given every possible treatment to keep her alive.

Mr. Justice Hedley said: “The circumstances have now arisen where the court should make clear that in the best interests of Charlotte, the medical profession should be free to refrain from intervention by the way of intubation and ventilation. The test that the court uses is what is in the best interests of Charlotte.”

I don’t know whether there is any further avenue of appeal. It appears not.

So the Court’s test is based on Charlotte’s “best interests.” The determination as to what is in her “best interests” is in the hands of doctors, who in a national healthcare system are representatives of the state. The parents apparently have no input short of public pressure.

This is state-sponsored murder. It is a potential deadly hazard of any nationalized healthcare system (and a lesser though still-existing hazard of an insurance-driven system), where care can be withheld in the name of the “greater good,” masked as “compassion” for the suffering of those whose only crime was to be in need of intensive care to stay alive.

As Large Bill asks, “How does that Hippocratic Oath go again?” (in part, “I will prescribe regimens for the good of my patients according to my ability and my judgment and never do harm to anyone. To please no one will I prescribe a deadly drug nor give advice which may cause his death.”)

UPDATE: Michelle Malkin is on it, with a picture. The parents have a blog. Pro Life Blogs looks to be a good up-to-the-minute source.

UPDATE 2 — Other reax:

  • Right Wing Nut House“….. the socialized medical systems that look upon humans as numbers on a chart rather than living, breathing, laughing, cuddling, thinking beings simply can’t tolerate an individual hogging more than their fair share of medical resources to stay alive. Best put the beast down, pat the parents on the head, and tell them to run along and not bother them with their silly notions of parental love and responsibility. Welcome to the Brave New World.”
  • Outside the Beltway“It may well be that the doctors are right and that the parents are clinging to false hope out of sheer desperation. One would think, though, that the decision would be theirs. Unfortunately, when the state pays for health care, it gets to make these decisions.”
  • California Conservative“Is this the direction America is headed? Is this where the ACLU, and the “right to die” folks will take us?”
  • Rottweiler Puppy“Also of concern, though, is where this leaves the care profoundly disabled people receive in Britain. After all, Charlotte isn’t a dying child (leastways, she wouldn’t be if the people paid to care for her actually did so), and she isn’t in constant pain. No, what this case has always been about is the belief of legal and medical ghouls that some lives are just not worth saving.” Bingo.
  • Virtue Blog“Some things are so profoundly wrong . . . And this is one of them.”


  1. [...] oral sickness at the heart of the anti-life movement. See also Pro Life Blogs; WizBang; BizzyBlog; and Outside The Beltway. Truly a disturbing story. Unfortunately, this type of thing appears to be [...]

    Pingback by VirtueBlog » Blog Archive » Some things are so profoundly wrong . . . — February 26, 2006 @ 2:56 pm

  2. Baby Charlotte And The Man Who Survived A Pulled P

    They pulled the plug on Brian Paolo and … 10 days later gave his daughter away at her wedding. Money quote from the daughter:

    Trackback by Don Surber — February 26, 2006 @ 4:58 pm

  3. Check out this post on the subject of euthanasia.

    Comment by Kelly — March 3, 2006 @ 2:32 pm

  4. #3, I’m inclined to disagree with you strongly, but more important, the decision here is being made by the state and not by the family.

    Comment by TBlumer — March 3, 2006 @ 3:33 pm

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