"Africa is, indeed, coming into fashion." - Horace Walpole (1774)

4.10.2007

sigh

The sad case of a local mother's attempt to keep her terminally ill child on life support continues.

What an awful, awful situation. Long story short, the baby has a disease that causes his central nervous system to collapse. The hospital at which he's at (a conservative, Catholic-run institution) has the right under Texas law to remove the child from life support if they deem that he's unlikely to improve. The hospital says he is unresponsive and that further treatment is likely to cause the baby pain. The mother says the child responds to her. The mother's only hope is to find another facility that will agree to care for her child. The hospital has contacted at least 30 other institutions, all of which have refused to take the child.

I don't know what to think about this. Clearly, the child is going to die. If I were his mother, I'd like to think that I would be willing to let go so he wouldn't have to suffer any longer. But this is her child, and she loves him deeply, and she wants him around as long as possible. What's the most compassionate thing to do?

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