Friday, October 8, 2010
THE SCHIZOPHRENIC APPROACH TO SAVING BABIES AND KILLING THEM--A PRO-LIFE LESSON EARLY THIS MORNING
Early this morning at 2:30 AM, I was called to the hospital. A pre-mature baby, born five months into the pregnancy was on life support. She had all kinds of internal deformities and had been on life support in the neo-natal care unit following several surgeries.
After I met with the child's family, the baby, although on life support, began to code, that is to die, her heart rate plummeted. The family had already made the decision to take the child off of life support, but the doctor had to be contacted first before this procedure could take place.
As the child's heart rate plummeted, the nursing staff, to the objection of the mother, began manual CPR on this pre-mature baby. They could not follow the family's direct request to allow nature to take its course without the doctor's consent.
As I watched the medical team do their "heroic" work to save this baby's life or at least pro-long it until the doctor told them to remove life support from her, I thought to myself that this baby, although 5 months into her development in the womb, looked like a fully formed baby.
In another venue and in other circumstances, this baby could have been aborted. Rather than heroic measures to save this baby's life, a medical team would have killed the baby acting as if this was just some glob of genetic material, a mere fetus with no human value.
In both cases, the medical team was following the letter of the law. In the first, they had to do everything possible to save the baby's life, although they were waiting word from the doctor to terminate life support. Until they got that, they could not allow the child simply to die a natural death. How odd!
In the second case, that of abortion on a baby this far along in a pregnancy, the law allows the mother to make the decision to kill the child directly. This gives license to the medical team to kill the child without being charged with negligence, murder or man slaughter or infanticide.
I'm not sure the lesson I learned this morning other than human life is sacred and we have no right to play God.