Quality (Not Worthy of Life) Danger Ahead

By Wesley J. Smith

The hearing between Nottingham City Council and Nottingham University Hospitals Trust took place at the High Court

The hearing between Nottingham City Council and Nottingham University Hospitals Trust took place at the High Court

There is a fight in the UK about whether to keep a seriously ill baby on life support or put her in palliative care to die. Typically of our age, the idea that a person has a life not worth living may really be about discrimination against the disabled coupled to the save money imperative.

That is happening in the socialized medicine, in which NHS [the British National Health Service] bureaucrats want life-sustaining medical treatment stopped for a baby because the life it would provide would not be of sufficient “quality.”

From the Nottingham Post story (my emphasis)

Lawyers representing the trust said the little girl had a range of health problems and was likely to need long-term respiratory support or ventilation, a tracheotomy and a feeding tube.

A specialist told Mr. Justice Keehan [who is hearing the hospital’s appeal] that the little girl could not make “meaningful” noise and did not seem able to smile. He said babies initially acted on instinct and the emergence of a smile was an indicator of cognitive function.

“She does not appear to have a smile,” he told the judge. “The first evidence that there is actually someone inside there is when a baby looks at something which it thinks is a face, processes that face and then smiles.”

He said long-term treatment would place “significant burdens” on the little girl. “This treatment cannot overcome very severe restriction issues,” he said. “It adds life years but life years that are very restrictive.

Did you catch the dehumanization: “someone inside there”? And if there is “no one” there, how could she experience “significant burdens?”

Where are the parents in all of this? Apparently leaving it to the bureaucrats and supposed “experts.”

These utilitarian attitudes in medicine are pushed hard by the bioethics movement internationally, with futile care and the prospect of our own pending invidious quality of life rationing schemes under Obamacare.

Editor’s note. This appeared on Wesley’s great blog.