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Stephen McGarvey Christian Blog and Commentary

Save Haleigh

  • Stephen McGarvey
    Stephen McGarvey is the Executive Editor of Crosswalk.com and Christianity.com for the Salem Web Network. He is a World Journalism Institute fellow and has previously worked for BreakPoint with Chuck Colson, and the Home School Legal Defense Association. His articles have appeared in several publications including WORLD, The Washington Times, byFaith, BreakPoint WorldView, and the Union Leader (Manchester, NH).
  • 2006 Jan 25
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Young Haleigh Poutre of Massachusetts, abused and beaten unconscious by her step-dad, was deemed "virtually brain dead" and in a "persistent vegetative state." Yet right before doctors were to life support the impossible happened. Haleigh started to breath on her own.

 

In her column today Michelle Malkin tells Haleigh's extraordinary story, condemning the incompetent state bureaucrats that left Haleigh in the situation that led to her near death, and the Massachusetts Supreme Court that gave those same state bureaucrats the power to decide her fate:

Less than three weeks after Haleigh's hospitalization, the Massachusetts Department of Social Services was raring to remove Haleigh's feeding and breathing tubes. Even her biological mother (who had been deemed unfit to care for Haleigh and whose former boyfriend was accused of sexually abusing the child) wanted her to be put to death. The only person who wanted Haleigh alive was her stepfather, who will likely be charged with murder if Haleigh dies.

Earlier this month, the Massachusetts Supreme Court ruled in favor of killing Haleigh, saying it was "unthinkable" to give the power to make a life-and-death decision to the man accused of putting Haleigh in a coma. Instead, the court did something just as unthinkable: It handed that power over life and death to the same child welfare agency that had failed time and time and time again to protect Haleigh from her abusers in the first place. According to the Boston Herald, a report by her court-appointed guardian showed that the Department of Social Services had received 17 reports of abuse or neglect involving Haleigh in the three years before her adoptive mother and stepfather were charged with pummeling her into a coma. 

Yet while everyone had given up on Haleigh, she apparently had not given up on herself.

As state officials prepared to remove Haleigh's life support, the supposedly impossible happened. She began breathing on her own, responding to stimuli and showing signs of emerging from what the medical establishment had deemed her hopeless condition...  "There has been a change in her condition," announced a DSS spokeswoman, Denise Monteiro. "'The vegetative state may not be a total vegetative state."

Unbelievably, the state had weaned Haleigh off her breathing tube before the state Supreme Court had made its ruling -- but the government failed to inform the court of the development.

So when is a "irreversible vegetative state" truly a irreversible? Are we too quick accept decisions the "experts?" Are they too quick to pull the plug?

 

Read the complete article:  Save Haleigh