September 29, 2011

Baby torture in the name of God?

That's my take on this story.

We have a 20-month-old baby, with an incurable neurological disorder. The Canadian hospital originally treating him recommends to his parents he just be sent home to die. Now, before wingnuts think this has anything to do with Canada's national healthcare system ... wrong. Several U.S. hospitals, approached after that, said the same thing.

But, desperate parents don't stop there. Instead, they let themselves be exploited (or willingly join in letting their baby be exploited) by hardcore anti-abortion Catholics. The same ones who tried to intervene in Terri Schiavo's case.
Baby Joseph, who suffered from Leigh's disease, was brought to Cardinal Glennon Children's Medical Center in St. Louis by his father and Frank Pavone of the New York-based anti-abortion organization Priests for Life.
Coming up? One steaming platter of exploitation:
Pavone issued a statement Wednesday from Amarillo, Texas, saying, "This young boy and his parents fulfilled a special mission from God. Amidst a culture of death where despair leads us to dispose of the vulnerable, they upheld a culture of life where hope leads us to welcome and care for the vulnerable."
 Yep ... God gives babies incurable diseases (do NOT trot out "original sin" on me, anybody) to make us care more for others.

And, the "willingly join in," in parenthesis above? Yep on that:
"He passed away peacefully at home with his parents and family at his side. Praise God he had seven precious months with his family to be surrounded by love and was not put to death at the hands of doctors," family spokesman Brother Paul O'Donnell said in a Facebook posting.
So, you have sick parents who take "time out" from grieving to have a "family spokesman" post something for them on Facebook.

Conservatively religious people wonder why we secularists distrust them so much. There's your answer.

And, yes, it's torture. First, if you look at Leigh's disease, it has no known cure and its many, varied symptoms sound like they could be quite painful. Extending a child's life to "make a point" is torture; that's even more true if that forced life extension involves a painful procedure like a tracheotomy.

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