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When Does A Life Lose Its Worth?

By Sarah Kramer posted on:
October 17, 2017

As young children, my sister and I often imagined we were “doctors.” Doctors save lives, and we loved taking turns “rescuing” the other from a certain death. To us, doctors were heroes, healers, and protectors of life.

In our innocence, the words “do not resuscitate,” “euthanasia,” and “doctor-assisted death” were not in our vocabulary. As far as we knew, doctors always healed and saved, never taking life.

But for a mother in Maine and a man in Europe, those words are all too familiar.

In Maine, a mother is fighting to get her baby girl the life-sustaining support she needs to recover from alleged abuse by the father. The baby girl had not been expected to live, but after a miraculous turn of events showing the baby may still recover, the mother cancelled a DNR order and decided to fight for her daughter’s life.

Instead of backing up this mother, the Maine Department of Health and Human Services has been opposing her nearly every step of the way, simply because the baby’s medical condition is still “grave.”

In fact, the Maine HHS Department went over the mother’s head to get permission from a state judge to reinstate the DNR order.

So, not only did the HHS fail to fight for life in this situation, they also stomped all over this woman’s parental rights to make medical decisions for her child.

Across the Atlantic, Tom Mortier is fighting a law in Belgium that allows doctor-prescribed death after his mother — who suffered from depression — was killed in 2012.

Mortier’s mother had been once denied suicide assistance from her doctor of more than 20 years. And no less than two additional doctors had rejected her request for euthanasia as well. But after a 2,500 EUR donation to the Life End Information Forum, the co-founder Oncologist Wim Distelmans pronounced her depression “untreatable” and agreed to aid in her death.

Can you say, “conflict of interest?”

What’s worse: Mortier was not even notified of this until the day after his mother died.

In both situations the government is trying to define at what point a life has lost its worth. Is it when a medical condition is “grave”? Is it when a disease is classified as “untreatable”?

Dr. Jack Kevorkian, who aided around 130 people in their deaths before being convicted of murder, once said, “My aim in helping the patient was not to cause death… My aim was to end the suffering.”

That statement points to one reason the value of life is decreasing in our culture: modern society’s answer to suffering is death.

That ought to make all of us who have experienced suffering a little nervous.

But there is good news for the mother in Maine and for the sanctity of human life.

Maine’s governor took a stand for the baby, vowing to protect her life. And Maine’s HHS Department stopped withholding parental rights from the mother and critical life support from her daughter.

Mortier, on the other hand, is still fighting. But there is hope. In 2011, the European Court of Human Rights rejected the claim that Switzerland had an obligation to assist individuals in committing suicide.

Take Action:

Who decides when a life has lost its worth – is it the government? Is it a doctor?

A battle is raging against the sanctity of human life. Help us restore the value of life in our culture. Help us restore the dignity of the medical profession.

Share this post on Facebook and Twitter and to tell others about these pressing issues.

Sarah Kramer

Sarah Kramer

Digital Content Specialist

Sarah worked as an investigative reporter before joining the Alliance Defending Freedom team.


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