Murder as Mercy

Murder as Mercy

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Nancy Fitzmaurice

Many of us were shocked to read the news headline, Mother Wins Case to Kill Her Disabled Daughter, which made the rounds just days ago. As LifeNews reported on October 29th:

Quote:Two and a half years ago, Dr. Phil advocated for the mercy killing of people with disabilities. Well, Dr. Phil would be happy to know that his dream has now become a reality — one mother successfully petitioned the court to kill her severely disabled daughter.

Nancy Fitzmaurice, born blind with hydrocephalus, meningitis and septicaemia, could not walk, talk, eat or drink, the Mirror reported.

Her health was so poor she required 24-hour care and was fed, watered and medicated by tube at London’s Great Ormand Street Hospital. Her health deteriorated and as she grew she would scream in agony for hours despite being given morphine and ketamine.

Her mother, Charlotte Fitzmaurice Wise, knew the pain her daughter was suffering was too much for the 12-year-old to bear. She deserved to be at peace and had the right to die, knew her heartbroken mother, who had given up work as a nurse to be with her.

…“The light from her eyes is now gone and is replaced with fear and a longing to be at peace.

“Today I am appealing to you for Nancy as I truly believe she has endured enough. For me to say that breaks my heart.

…Her application was granted immediately, setting a precedent. It is the first time a child breathing on her own, not on life support and not suffering a terminal illness has been allowed to die in the UK.

The judge praised Wise for her “love and devotion” towards her daughter… which was shown by her fight to kill Nancy. The judge ruled that she had no quality of life anymore, and therefore, she should be killed by refusing to give her any food or water until she died. It took her 14 days to die…

Upon reading this story, I felt a strong need to respond. My hope was to write a piece that exposed the twisted logic of our age, which cloaks murder in the virtuous trappings of love and mercy. I wanted to be able to explain how modern society could come to the point where killing a disabled girl is an acceptable practice. Then I realized that this article had already been written….in 1978.

It was written by none other than Dr. John Senior in the first chapter of his magnum opus, The Death of Christian Culture. This book is, in my humble opinion, the best diagnosis of what is wrong with our age that has ever been written. In it, Dr. Senior analyzes an astonishingly similar case to that of Nancy, above, which took place over 36 years ago.

Read the rest HERE.
It's easy to get on one's high horse about this sort of thing, but I don't really know what one would say to the mother in this story. Your daughter has to continue to live a life filled with nothing but agonizing pain because . . . ? Of course, we can say that we just have to remember the Cross and offer it up, but I can understand why someone would have a hard time accepting that. On the other hand, I agree that systematized euthanasia is a bad thing that represents a post-Christian devaluing of life and a bourgeois liberal desire to avoid pain at all costs. Roger Scruton once suggested that the law simply turn a blind eye, as it has done in the past, to cases in which doctors accidentally give certain patients too much morphine.
Well, I just learned that Nazis were applied biologists, and Germany also began killing people for the sake of mercy.
I highly recommend Walker Percy's book The Thanatos Syndrome.

"Tenderness leads to the gas chambers."

Yes, Dr. Percy. It does indeed.
I don't know why the mother felt the way she did in her heart. But let me tell you a little story that's true. My late father had to have an operation to remove two tumors on his colon.He already had COPD and Congestive Heart failure. The doctors at BAMC at Fort Sam Houston spoke to him of course about the risks of such an operation. My dad said Well,if something happens,don't resucitate me. I was there when the surgeon said they could take care of the situation right there and then in the operating room. Daddy seemed to think it over,and said okay,they could revive him.

Later everything went well with the operation. He was in ICU there for several days when I got an early morning call from his surgeon to come right away to the hospital. My dad was failing.They tried to suction his lungs cause they thought he had pneumonia,but that wasn't it.Tried all they could for him. We discussed about his donot resuscitate request. I asked what would happen if they removed the ventolator, and he  kept breathing.I was told he probably would never leave there. I could tell his surgeon felt bad,that he tried to do all he could for daddy. I had to make the decision to remove the ventolator. I told him that it was okay, that it was what daddy wanted. My dad was 79, lead a good life,and had no desire to be living the life of almost a vegetable.
It was a very hard thing to do, but that was his wish.
My great aunt Helen, a good devout Catholic told daddy once on a visit to Hot Springs, she didn't want the doctors to revive her if anything happend. She  made the remark she had lived a long life(was in her 80s) and would rather the doctors work to save a child or young person,as she was going to die some day anyhow.

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