Could, and should, greater effort have been expended attempting to ascertain whether Archie Battersbee was alive and conscious, and his wishes and feelings about the proposed ending of his life-support treatment?
Archie Battersbee was in hospital when he died, brain-injured so badly that if he was conscious, he was unable to exhibit consciousness by (say) responding verbally to ordinary enquiries addressed to him, questions such as, “Are you comfortable?”, or by moving fingers or facial muscles to answer such questions. He may even have been brain-stem dead by the time his treatment was withdrawn. I hope he was already brain dead for his sake, given what has been done to him. Perhaps a post-mortem will shed more light on that unknown.
Reportedly, Archie was in a coma, apparently unable to breathe without artificial support. The learned barrister and blogger Matthew Scott has posted today saying that Mr Justice Hayden was right to bring Archie’s futile treatment to an end. On the limited evidence before the public and Hayden J, I am not minded to dispute the rightness of the learned judge’s ruling, or of Matthew’s applauding of it. However, I suspect that, by all accounts, the hospital may have fallen short of the need to make adequate accommodations for a patient who may have suffered from a communication disability rather than a loss of all consciousness, as in the case of the late Scott Routley. Continue reading
The late Scott Douglas Routley had a nasty road traffic accident around the turn of the century, which damaged his brain. By 2012, Scott had been comatose, persistently vegetative, “locked-in” – or however you want to put it – for 12 years. He couldn’t move, or talk. Continue reading
This blog post
Touch the image to read the gist in brief
Bipolar patient has capacity to decide to terminate pregnancy
about this judgment of the Court of Protection
SB (A Patient; Capacity To Consent To Termination), Re  EWHC 1417 (COP) (21 May 2013)
has set me thinking.
. . .
A tense, life-or-death, courtroom drama
Pitched against her own legal team, the mental patient, Mrs SB, had two psychiatrists, her mother, her father, her husband (presumably the baby’s father) and the NHS hospital in which she was sectioned, along with their various solicitors and barristers, all agreeing that she was “not thinking straight”.
Her baby was not legally represented in court. As the nice judge said, “the foetus has no independent rights which fall to be weighed or considered by me at all in these proceedings”.
Present (though hardly as a disinterested, mere spectator), was the enterprising would-be sub-contractor who had put in a last-minute bid to do the job, less than a week before the mother reached 24 weeks pregnant, and the baby’s life would have become untouchable. “A doctor employed by a well known body”, is how the judge described this potential beneficiary of the judge’s own hard day’s work, when the abortionist put in his own “hard day at the orifice”. Continue reading
Giving evolution a helping hand, when evolution isn’t working fast enough, is called “eugenics”.
This blog post presents evidence that eugenics is being practised, here in the United Kingdom.
The eugenics movement, is no unproven conspiracy theory. It is proven conspiracy fact. For example, compulsory sterilisation in the USA is documented in this learned paper (in PDF format, so some readers might have to download it), published in 1991 in the American Journal of Human Genetics. The compulsory sterilisation was at first of “criminals, the insane, feeble-minded persons”, but later of “alcoholics, paupers, orphans, derelicts, delinquents, prostitutes and those unable to support themselves”.
Who could deny that many people believe that hereditary factors play a part in the aetiology of mental illnesses? There is certainly ample academic research exploring this very possibility.
Let me therefore formulate a hypothesis, and then make a prediction of empirical measurements that will be made if an appropriate experiment is conducted. Then conduct (or cite) an appropriate experiment. We can then find out whether the results that the hypothesis predicts, are yielded by the experiment. (That’s the proper “scientific method” for testing a hypothesis, isn’t it?)
A contemporary eugenics programme is being practised in the UK today, the effect of which will be to reduce the prevalence in future generations of mental illness, to whatever extent mental illness is hereditary.