Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Haleigh Poutre to Go to School and be Adopted

The Boston Globe is reporting how far Haleigh Poutre has progressed since bioethicists, social workers, and courts decided to dehydrate her to death. From the story:

Haleigh, now 14, has stayed for more than two years at Franciscan Hospital for Children in Brighton, where she is described as a friendly child who routinely smiles and waves at staff. Haleigh can speak some words and attends a day school in a wheelchair. A juvenile court judge has declared that Haleigh is functioning at a level "too high" for placement in a nursing home, and she is likely to go into an adoptive home with a personal assistant or a group home.
It is so typical that the reporter, who did such a thorough job of exposing how Haleigh was failed by those who should have protected her when she was being abused, barely scratched the issue of the dehydration order.

Here is the key question: Will anyone learn the lesson of this case?

Answer: Nope. Legislation is pending in MA requiring second opinions in such cases, but at the time the order was made, the second pair of eyes would probably also have found her to be unresponsive, and gone along with the dehydration.

It isn't the responsiveness that matters, it is the humanity of the patient. But accepting this view gets in the way of too many agendas.