|Mark Shea may look like|
Santa Claus, but...........
Meanwhile, Mark Shea wrote on his blog at Patheos that anyone who doesn't just shut up and pray is "using" Alfie Evans, not caring about him. (I won't link to Shea's blog because I understand Patheos pays by click count -- Hmm...does that mean Shea "used" Alfie's controversial story as click bait?)
After taking a shot at Fr. Peter West of Priests for Life who decried the silence of the Left on what was happening to Alfie, Shea goes on to aim his verbal AK-15 rapid fire at the "right wing base." He characterizes people like me as crazies and nut jobs who "stampede" over the latest "panic du jour" being stirred up (not sure by whom). In transparency, in case you haven't noticed by what I write, I do consider myself both an orthodox, practicing Catholic and a conservative who hates the deconstruction of Western culture! Nevertheless, I didn't fit into many of his bullet points about conservatives. Earth to Mark, we are NOT all cut from the same cookie cutter.
But back to Shea's post. In condescending moral superiority, he tells his readers that:
"The issue is what is best for Alfie. Period. That’s all that really matters here."Well, yes, the issue is certainly "what is best for Alfie." But that isn't "all that really matters." It also matters who decides. Shea appears to think he has a gotcha point when he quotes Dr. Jacqueline Abernathy who talks about the difficulty of treating very sick children. She, however, says she would have supported Alfie's transfer. That's no ringing endorsement of Shea's opinion. By his own logic, however, she had no right to have an opinion because she wasn't there and isn't among the doctors consulting. What makes Shea think she knows what's going on? Should she just join the rest of us and shut up and pray?
So... what exactly was Shea's point in quoting her? Oh...she's an "expert." I never heard of her myself and, frankly, I'd have to know where she stands on the new "third path" to euthanasia by "palliative care" to know whether her opinions can be trusted. Not everyone in a lab coat (or a roman collar) is telling you the truth.
If the facts that Tom Evans presented to the public about the treatment of his son are accurate (and I have no reason to believe he was lying), there is every reason to believe that Alfie was put on a deliberate path to hastened death. The vent was removed against his parents' wishes, a violation of parental rights over their children. The hospital kidnapped the toddler with the help of the courts putting police guards outside his room to protect him from his own parents, a second violation of parental rights. They deprived Alfie of oxygen and water for about nine hours and food for a day and a half. According to reports, when they did feed him it was minimal. And then there is the disputed story about the drugs and his death two hours later.
Shea vigorously objects to using the word "murder" about what happened to Alfie. Fine, let's call it attempted murder that resulted in the child's death. Pretty good attempt, I'd say.
Would Alfie have died anyway? Of course. None of us gets out of this life alive. Would he have died soon? No one knows what the outcome would have been with treatment. There are plenty of "hopeless" cases where so-called "brain-dead" patients recovered 100%. Would Alfie have been among them? We'll never know now will we? And the hospital can smile smugly and say, "We told you it was hopeless, and, see, we were right."
To set Shea straight, it isn't "using" Alfie to discuss these crucial issues. It's treating him with the dignity he deserves as one of Christ's precious lambs. And I suspect his story will wake many people up to the dangers of socialism and socialized medicine. (Sarah Palin targeted it when she described "death panels" under Obamacare.) Alfie may save another endangered baby down the road, just like the poor little victims of abortion whose tiny corpses have converted many hearts. I saw it happen personally when a fellow parishioner attended a graphic slide presentation I gave and came up afterwards to say, "I never knew abortion was like that!" She never called herself "pro-choice" again.
And speaking of aborted babies, it's a funny thing -- I have a 45 year history in the pro-life movement, much of it as an activist. I've done it all: hundreds of pro-life presentations, picketing, sidewalk counseling, lobbying, rescuing, debating, going to jail. I never once heard Mark Shea's name mentioned in any pro-life context. But in the past few years he has set himself up as critic and judge of the pro-life movement. Oh...and he assured us that Hillary was the candidate all pro-lifers should support.
Really? All I can say, Mark, is actions speak louder than words.
I will continue to speak about Alfie Evans and the atrocity of his murder, yes murder and the violation of his parents' rights. I'll speak about the abusive court systems that kidnap children from their families for refusing to follow some doctor's prescription or for daring to home school.
Why do we still talk about the holocaust in Nazi Germany, the Armenian massacre, and Stalin's starvation of the farm families in the Ukraine? It takes only two words to explain.
I have been a Registered Nurse in a very liberal NW US state, in a big city, for nearly 30 years. In my experience, there is no language here that could be used to soften the behavior that killed little Alfie Evans. If the UK's NHS did not want to pursue further treatment, I suppose they had a 'right' to withhold that treatment according to their laws. However, their refusal to release him to his own parents, or the medical professionals who would treat him, is absolutely dictatorial. It is a frightful thing when a 'civilized' country can, despite protests and attention from so many other countries, demand their right to withhold treatment they are unwilling to give, when it has been offered elsewhere. It merely demonstrates their fear of being stopped in their tracks by public outcry, which will ruin their process. I hope and pray that little Alfie will become a symbol to all of us who cherish the rights of parents to care for their children, and hopefully change the minds of those jaded people who insisted on refusing care.
BTW, Mark Shea's opinion on this issue is irrelevant as he has no reasonable argument to defend it.
I quit reading anything from Pathos long ago. And stopped reading any blogger whom I had been reading, who moved over to Pathos.
Excellent post! God bless.
Shea wants us to shut up about Alfie Evans. Since we truly care about Alfie and his parents, Shea is NOT going to tell us what to do!
We will shout the truth of this evil done to Alfie Evans and his parents on the roof tops and on the Internet / Social Media and in our Churches and Schools and everywhere we can to spread the truth. God bless all true pro-lifers. God bless the Evans’ and the Gards’.
I got into a Facebook discussion with Shea regarding to Alfie. That is like beating a dead horse. I got accused of bearing false witness and committing calumny. When you ask him straight up about Alfie being transferred to Rome, he dodges the question. I even told him that the main thing was why they would not transfer Alfie to Rome, denying the parents wishes. He wants to quote the bioethicist but does not follow what she says. He seems to be a despicable man, will even dodge the question in what he would do in the situation.
Mark Shea is a hypocrite who used Alfie as "click bait" for his blog while he attacked those defending the poor baby as "using" him. His behavior is despicable. His attacks on anyone who disagrees with him are as ugly as anything I've ever seen. His defamation of the pro-life community is nauseating.
Remove the quotes from around expert and I will weigh in on your questions. I represent the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition at the United Nations so draw what conclusions you may.
-Jacqueline Harvey Abernathy
P.S. I have never heard of you either. Most of my work is under my maiden name though.
"Mark Shea wrote on his blog at Patheos that anyone who doesn't just shut up and pray is "using" Alfie Evans, not caring about him." That's a lie. You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
Sorry, Mark, I read the blog post and that's how it sounded to me. Maybe you need to be clearer. And in view of all the "false witness" you continuously bear against your neighbor, isn't this comment the pot calling the kettle black?
Well, Dr. Abernathy, I don't claim to be an "expert" on anything so why should anybody know my name?
I'm just a mom and a grandma who has seen so-called "palliative care" used to kill people. It's what is now being called the "third path" to euthanasia -- deny treatment and call ordinary care extraordinary to justify its being discontinued.
I would be interested to document your experiences with denial of palliative care for my research about medical neglect, passive euthanasia and disability discrimination. I have been working against euthanasia for over 15 years now- intimately. With patients, families, doctors and legislators all over the world- all with the guidance and blessing of the Catholic Church, my Bishops and Rome. Research is critical for informing policies that protect human life. That is what I study and why I do it. Someone has to be an "expert" and know what is going on if anything is going to change for the better. The misinformation is literally lethal. You may have seen legit killing (denial of feeding tube) but I would bargain you are just misinterpreting what you do not understand.
It is important you know what is going on because your comment has several significant pieces of misinformation about euthanasia and palliative care that cause suffering and killing, which is the opposite of what you want. You suggest that denying life-saving care is a new thing "now being called the third path" but this is not new at all. It goes back to the Baby Doe cases of the early 80's and after SCOTUS ruled in favor of Quinlan a few years after and later Cruzan in 1990, families have been able to refuse food and water for nearly 30 years. Denial of proportionate measures has been commonplace for nearly 40 years (FYI: Extraordinary and ordinary are outdated terms because they are problematic and do not take into consideration different capacities to endure treatment. Like how feeding tubes can actually hasten/cause death in cases of organ failure. We now qualify care by individual circumstance as either having benefits proportionate to the risks/side effects/pain or disproportionate to the risks/side effects/pain. Care that would be proportionate for one person may not be for another. Food and water when just called ordinary care -and it truly is most often proportionate-, this does not take into consideration extraordinary circumstances like congestive heart failure that make it disproportionate. In such a case, the benefits do not outweigh the costs of hastening death by drowning them from the inside out). So you can not just assume that denying a treatment is always an intent to kill even if the intervention is basic. Doctors understand what interventions are indicated or contraindicated in complex situations. Most often they want what is best for their patients. It is true that people are killed intentionally by dehydration/starvation when it would be proportionate. I have fought this my entire adult life. But rarely is the doctor the decision-maker.
Please stop scaring people away from palliative care. Again with the quotes): "palliative care" is not killing. Palliative care is a good thing- denying it is a bad thing. You put it in quotes like it is a bad thing (like me being an "expert") but palliative care is protecting human dignity by doing what we can to ease suffering during a natural death. Palliative care is not euthanasia (a purposeful overdose of sedatives is murder- not palliative care). I fight for palliative care in order to prevent euthanasia because I have seen people choose assisted suicide because palliative care was denied and it was a choice between killing themselves or dying in pain. Palliative care is a weapon against euthanasia.
You recognize you are not an expert but still choose to mislead people by trusting what you admit you do not know. This is not without consequence as clearly you have readers. I would hope people would be discerning about to whom they listen but most seem to seek out only the opinions they already have and want to hear, whether it is truth or not. This is why it is wise not to speak about vital matters you do not understand.
I am not interested in "scaring people away" from legitimate palliative care where the benefit of the patient is uppermost. Both my parents were in home hospice care and I was with them both when they died. I appreciated the good care they received and we all worked together. However, they both died years ago when the approach to palliative care was still relatively patient focused among the caregivers. Having said that, I would never put a loved one in a hospice facility today. I know too many people who have had loved ones deliberately killed by dehydration and starvation and terminal sedation under the guise of being what was best for them. There are the big cases like Terri Schiavo and Hugh Finn, but there are also many silent cases where families either cooperated in the killing or were denied the right to make decisions for their loved ones whose deaths were deliberately hastened.
You're right. I'm not an expert, but I'm not stupid and I know how to research issues. I also work with others who do have the expertise like Dr. Elizabeth Wickham of Life Tree http://www.lifetree.org/ and Ione Whitlock who has done a lot of research on C-TAC. And I agree that this has been going on for years as the timeline on the Life Tree website illustrates. We worked together to sponsor a small conference on End of Life Issues several years ago with Bishop Rene Gracida and Dr. Paul Byrne which is on YouTube. We don't have the money of the big glitzy groups, but we can still do our best to promote the truth and pass it on.
Palliative Care has been changing in an alarming way for years. George Soros and his Death in America Project, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and Daniel Callahan's Hasting's Institute are all working together to transform traditional palliative care from being patient focused to being economy driven with rationing and strategies that hasten death, the "death panels" Sarah Palin warned about under Obamacare. Families should not have to fight in the courts for their loved ones like Alfie Evans' parent did.
People have the right to be warned that every "palliative care" group is not run by Albert Schweitzer.
I am afraid I don't have as great a confidence in doctors as you do. I've been involved in the pro-life movement since 1972 and I've seen and met many doctors (not just abortionists, but mainstream doctors who were caring for my own family) who were perfectly okay with killing patients. I go to Johns Hopkins myself for a chronic autoimmune disease. I have great respect for my doctor. There are lots of good ones around. There are also bad ones. What I do is urge folks to get the facts and be prepared to fight for their family members like Justina Pelletier's family did. If they hadn't got her out of the clutches of evil doctors, she would probably be dead now.
I'm well aware of conditions where food and water can no longer assist patients. My own mom was eating nothing and drinking very little in the last few days of her life. But there are many patients who can benefit from food and water who are being denied. I think I understand more than you think.
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