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February 2, 2006

Even though Haleigh Poutre is conscious, she's not necessarily safe

Topics: Euthanasia

In the court (and courts) of life and death, a little 11-year-old Massachusetts girl named Haleigh Poutre could be the next Terri Schiavo. For those who have not heard the tragic story, Haleigh was beaten nearly to death last September, allegedly by her adoptive mother and stepfather. The beating left her unconscious and barely clinging to life.

Within a week or so of the beating, her doctors had written her off. They apparently told Haleigh's court-appointed guardian, Harry Spence, that she was "virtually brain dead." Even though he had never visited her, Spence quickly went to court seeking permission to remove her respirator and feeding tube. The court agreed, a decision affirmed recently by the supreme court of Massachusetts.

And so, no doubt with the best of intentions, a little girl who had already suffered so much was stripped by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts of even the chance to fight to stay alive. If she didn't stop breathing when the respirator was removed, which doctors expected, she would slowly dehydrate to death.

more from Wesley J. Smith

Posted by tim at February 2, 2006 10:50 PM

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