28 November, 2010

The blog is intended to be a place where all voices are heard with respect. Below is the text of an email sent to me which I received with her signature. I post her heartwrenching question here in the hope that you might have something to offer her as well.

Dear Barbara,

My apologies for taking so long to post your message to me. I've been ill and away from my computer. As you can see, I have now posted it below. You'll also no doubt will note that I have removed any personal or geographic identifiers so as to preserve and present the essence of your argument without calumniating other institutions or persons. 


The tenor of your message and that of the Youtube video prove that you are a mother whose heart has been broken - and to a very significant degree found life itself rendered heavy and burdensome by the cross that has been laid upon your shoulders - and you need, desire, want and demand that someone hear and acknowledge the truth and pain of your experience. I have heard your song sung by mothers of all ages, faiths (or not) and stations in life before and you offer a powerful counterpoint to those who do not want to believe that pain and grief is a reality in everyone's life. I thank you for sharing your message as I thank you too for the video.

Barbara, I sincerely and prayerfully hope that I have honored your request in my presentation of your story. Ensuring that this controversy is addressed in a manner that respects the rights of all concerned is the first step in hearing God's voice echo amidst the din of our daily crosses, duties and blessings. No one in this tragedy wanted the outcome that befell you. Everyone acted in good conscience and desired nothing more than to do what is 'good' and 'right' in these difficult cases. No one needs to be flagellated because they fell short. Even when the price is written in the currency of a mother's broken hopes we must all admit that we all in our turn fail. Until the day of the parousia, this will always be. I hope you understand that.

But I know too that you believe that your voice has not been heard, respected or acknowledged. Just because you sing the sorrowful blues of a grieving mother, which nay seem 'discordant' to some peoples ears, does not negate your melody's place in God's choir. You deserve to be heard. I have tried to help you do just that.


I pray you be given peace through the intercession of that little saint you carried within your womb - for sinless and perfect in God's sight she most certainly is numbered among the celestial choirs that praise and glorify God. May the seasons of Advent & Christmas unite you with Mary as your two children live together until the day Christ's return in triumph.  On that day you will enjoy the fullness of love when your are reunited with her again.


Sincerely,


Fr. Tim




Dear Fr. Moyle,

Several years ago I had a baby with a genetic condition. Most children born with the condition have serious and life threatening brain and heart anomalies. My baby did not.

I accepted that she would have limitations; she might never talk and might not walk for many years, but it was not my place as her mother to judge whether her life had sufficient "value" according to the norms of society, but only to lover and care for her.

At the age of 80 days, my daughter had respiratory distress and was rushed to the childrens hospital in *********. Within 24 hours, she was dead. We discovered that a DNR had been ordered without our knowledge or consent. Lethal quantities of narcotics had been withdrawn for her and all documents related to narcotics were absent. The Hospital apologized for communication.

My quest was to understand, "how did this awful thing happen? ". We always had a good relationship with the staff, were omnipresent and made it clear that we did not want our daughter to receive futile care. I research hospital policies, government policies, health laws, and constitutional rights. I had two meetings with the UN High Commissioner's Office for Human Rights. I published my daughter's story in two prominent medical journals and spoke at health and ethics conferences across the country.

Finally I learned the truth of what happened. It began when ******** decided that children like my daughter are not worthy to even be born let alone to receive any care to prolong their lives.  *******, and all of the priests that followed in his ideas, effectively set a standard in ********** (and likely beyond) that certain children were not worthy of life. The doctors, hospital and medical system at large was merely responding to that standard set by the stalwarts of the sanctity of life.

The doctors did not kill my baby, the Catholic Church did. The genetic counselors tell me that "almost everyone aborts" for prenatal detection of conditions related to disability. This speaks again to the standard set by the church.

If I send my children out to play when it is 30 below zero with no coats and they freeze to death, I would not claim to be innocent of conscious murder. When you forcibly remove a 22 week old fetus from the womb, gasping and sputtering while it attempts to breathe, you cannot possibly claim that you are not guilty of conscious murder.

May God have mercy on the souls of all of those involved in this sacrilege of human life.

How can you not see the value? How can you claim this child's life to be worthless?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=th6Njr-qkq0

Sincerely,

Barbara ******

19 comments:

  1. First, my condolences go out to you and your family for the loss of your precious little one. I cannot imagine what you are going through right now.

    While I haven't been through something quite like you have, I have been through a situation where I blamed the Catholic Church for those persons who misrepresented a Catholic university and scapegoated me in order to save the good name of that university. I was wrongfully suspended for something I didn't do. I had this love-hate relationship with both God and the Catholic Church for a number of years. This has lessened over the past few years and now has ultimately dissappeared altogether. A true steward of God and His Church would not think of any human being as not worthy of having life. A priest is supposed to espouse the values of the Catholic Church, and help protect the diginity of every human life. It seems like this priest may have violated his vows. Every life is precious no matter what disability they have and no matter how small they are. I know it is hard to let go and let God, but please remember that this priest will ultimately be judged by God. I urge you to pray for the priest, so that he may change his ways, so that he harms no other person. As hard as it is, I have come to forgive my sexual assaulter and those who falsely accused me of something I would never have even thought of doing. I just wish those school officials and I could have worked together to help prevent other women from being sexually assaulted. When I finally forgave those persons who wronged me I experienced the healing power of forgiveness which helps the person who grants forgiveness more than the person who is forgiven. This has helped to bring peace to me. God Bless.

    May the peace of Christ be with you, Barbara.

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  2. I am so sorry Barbara to hear of your loss , a beautiful and precious young daughter. They killed your daughter for the same reason they slaughtered Jesus. Their killers were afraid of them. Jesus and your daughter both call on us to look inside ourselves at our own weakness , fragility, and to face very deep in our soul a very painful loneliness. All this because by accepting the brokenness and disability within ourselves their is no more reason to hate or to be afraid when we see it out in the world.
    Those who have rejected and killed Jesus and your daughter did so because they refuse to live with reality, this is truly the ultimate exercise of free will.
    I feel so terrible knowing that a beautiful child was murdered and no one has been brought to justice. Something has to be done. All those responsible for your daughters death must be dealt with. I don't know what I can do Barbara but if I can in some way be of any help to you , you can contact me via email through Fr. Tim if you would like.

    Larry Green

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  3. Barbara, my condolences go out to you. Your story needs no other voice, it can stand on its own as a testimony to what should have been done.

    Fr. Tim, much as I enjoy your posts, I have to disagree with you here when you tell Barbara that everyone acted in good conscience. This is not true. A good conscience is one that has been informed and the people who made decisions at this hospital were ill-informed.
    I know a woman here in my city who had a child with a rare form of dwarfism. It was discovered in the ultrasound at 20 weeks and she was advised to abort. She refused and had to fight for every step of her journey of pregnancy and now for every day of her child's life.
    Her little girl is now 5 years old, currently undergoing surgery to correct her spine. She has had many life-threatening surgeries and her mother and father have had to fight the medical establishment for their child's right to live. The doctors resist doing some of these procedures because they have deemed this little girl's life not valuable enough. And they don't wish to spend the resources on these procedures.
    Her parents have to be present at all times in the hospital so that medical staff do not act on a DNR (do not resuscitate order) because that is what they would do, if her parents were not present to say otherwise.
    My point is that many medical professionals and many spiritual advisors to them are not informed well and do not have "good consciences"; their consciences reflect the culture they have been educated in and they put quality of life above life itself.
    Once again, my condolences to Barbara.

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  4. Julie: Without denying the truth of what you write, let me state that I have some familiarity with the professionals involved in this specific case and am certain as to their intentions.

    Well intended people sometime still make mistakes... tragic mistakes that devastate. Yet it would be wrong to assert that they intend to do so deliberately or with malice.

    Fr. Tim

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  5. Fr. Tim
    Any decision to kill another human being on the basis that one cannot see any value in their existence is deliberate and malicious.
    I don't know if the "professionals" you are referring to are the doctors or the priests involved but neither of them are God.When I pray , I pray that God's will be done, not any priests or doctors will be done.
    Barbara's little girls death was not the result of someone's " mistake." It was premeditated and deliberated by people who choose to see themselves as better than her , the best , powerful, all knowing with all their " moral" certitudes. While they were busy dscerning what is " moraaly right and what is morraly wrong" a little girl was killed. Morals are ideas , this little girl was an individual person.Whether you like to admit it or not , this is a choice that people make, it is NOT a mistake.To suggest that it is a mistake is to do further injustice.
    What is your position on " that standard" that Barbara refers to in her letter ?

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  6. Barbara, i am so sorry for your loss...what a tragic lack of thought on the part of a medical community that should no better. I cannot begin to tell u i understand how u feel but i can tell you how much it has helped me over the years to know that i have someone in heaven that is caring for me...i had 5 miscarriages (the last being triplets) and by the grace of our loving God all 7 were baptised...the last 3 being done by the dr. in the operating room. I know their lives had a purpose as did your daughter and she and them will live with God for all eternity...i pray you will find that as consoling as i do. If there is ever anything i can do for you i can always be reached through Father Tim. God bless you always

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  7. Larry: All good points. The issue however is not as you frame it. Medical professionals (lay & trained clergy) deliberate whether or not the risk of permitting a 'non-viable' gestation to continue becomes too dangerous to mother and child. This is not inconsiderately entered into and the risks are real. I have had to bury mothers who died by allowing the child to come to full gestation even though the children were unable to survive outside of the womb.

    But let's be clear about what is done. ONCE the child has reached a point by which s/he holds a chance of sustain existence outside of the womb, labor is induced (or 'C Section' if needed) and the child is born. The child is NOT aborted. It is birthed.

    The decisions that follow from that point them become unique to each case. In some cases simple nutrition and comfort are provided until the defect separates soul from body. In other cases, extra-ordinary means are used to preserve and promote life to the MAX! It all depends on whether or not the child can self-sustain his/her self without never ending extra-ordinary means... and upon the wishes of the parents.

    I know some of the people involved in this particular case. I have discussed these issues with them and know for certain that they proceed with the intent of respecting and preserving life where ever possible. They do not deserve your's, mine or anyone else's scorn for trying to work and minister in these difficult cases because some times they fail in attaining the best possible outcome that everyone wants.

    Medical ethicists are working on the health care 'freeway'... where the rubber REALLY hits the road every day!! They've got the tire tracks on their bodies to prove it - wounds the willingly bear as they try to bring Christ's light, comfort and grace into these difficult cases. Barbara grieves her child... and rightly so. These other professionals carry the weight of hundreds if not thousands of other griefs as well. Charity demands that all concerned be given the benefit of the doubt, at least as regards their best intent.

    Fr. Tim

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  8. Fr.Tim
    "At the age of 80 days, my daughter had respiratory distress and was rushed to the children's hospital in *********. Within 24 hours, she was dead. We discovered that a DNR had been ordered without our knowledge or consent. Lethal quantities of narcotics had been withdrawn for her and all documents related to narcotics were absent. The Hospital apologized for communication." What bearing does this grave injustice have on whether or not you know the people responsible for her death ? How anyone can be cognizant of the death of this child and come up sympathetic toward those who decided that she would be better dead may appear sensible to egos who's intellect get the better of them but it defies what is most profoundly human in us and in Christ. The "good intent" you speak so colorfully of is an intent based on blindness . The " justice" about which Jesus preaches is based on reality not simply on intent. He knew far to well that He would be killed by those who's intent was good but based on blindness. He forgave them before He was dead but don't expect Barbara or anyone else who feels the pain from these terrible acts of injustice to forgive so quickly.

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  9. Fr. Tim,

    While I try to give people the benefit of the doubt, the intentions of these professionals should be taken into account, and mistakes do happen, I really can't see how their deliberate actions which resulted in killing the child could be considered helping the child in any way, shape, or form? While their intentions can be taken into account it doesn't take away that the act of killing an innocent child is both morally reprehensible, unethical, and goes directly against the teachings of the Catholic Church.

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  10. Teresa: They DID NOT kill the child. She died of birth defects. Barbara fears that her child was killed with a lethal injection but she has not been able to prove that.

    Had her daughter been born without the defect, she would most likely be alive and well today. But she did... and she died.

    What we are arguing over here is time measured in hours, days or weeks that was stolen from Barbara with her daughter. We are not speaking about infanticide.

    Fr. Tim

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  11. Fr. Tim,

    After re-reading, I agree that neither the hospital or the Church killed her baby. Mistakes happen. It seems like there was a lack of communication or miscommuniation between the hospital officials and Barbara. It seems like the information that she found out about the priests and her experiencing a trauma (PTSD?) may be clouding her judgement in assuming that there is a connection between the Catholic Church or the priests with somehow ordering the mistake at the hospital. That doesn't make sense. But, the news she found out was after the fact, and doesn't seem to have played a role in the mistakes made by the hospital. Tragedies, unfortunately happen. When tragedies happen it is very important that to look to God to help us get through those tragedies.

    God Bless.

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  12. I have spoken extensively with a nurse who works in the intensive care floor of the children's hospital in my city. She is the person who is the liason between families and doctors in the cases of pregnancies that are critical. These are the infants diagnosed with life-threatening disabilities in the womb. She had no problem telling me that this "early induction" is abortion, because it is not the intention of the medical professionals that the child should survive. These infants with medical problems are delivered early, and so their chances of surviving are even less, because they don't have the advantage of going to term, something that might help in their chance of making it.
    The reason for this - she had no qualms in telling me that this is about saving money. The doctors do not want these kids born with expensive conditions that they will have to tend to. So the choice is early delivery and the parents are then told they can hold their child until it dies, they can comfort that child. In fact, this nurse has helped to bring about palliative care for these infants, because prior to her being there, they were simply left to die.
    How many per week? at least one she tells me.
    I'm sorry, Father Tim, but I think you have been convinced by these so-called ethicists and you believe what they say. However, the story of Fr Prieur was covered on LifeSite two years ago, and a statement was printed from archbishop Prendergast, stating that these cases are clearly abortion.

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  13. A quote from LifeSiteNews, a statement by Father Prieur, the priest in question in this case.
    "Now it’s not called abortion. We’re not killing the baby. We’re bringing the baby out and allowing the baby to die. That’s a very important distinction,"

    I would like to ask then, if one shortens the life of a person with a terminal illness outside the womb, that is considered euthanasia - correct?
    If shortening the life of child inside the womb is not called abortion, what would you call it? Early induction of labour of a child with a health issue brings about the death of that child earlier than God would have.
    I cannot see that this is morally correct in any sense.
    If we cannot justify shortening the death of someone outside the womb, why is there this effort to justify shortening the life of someone inside the womb?
    Life is still life, whether inside or outside the womb. To bring about the earlier death of an infant is, in effect, saying that the life of the unborn is not of the same value as that of the born.

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  14. Fr. Tim
    My last posting yesterday on this matter failed to receive your approval. It’s to bad because it is important even if you cannot accept it as such. It has a particular relevance to the following comment but I’ll proceed without it in the hope that this one meets your standard for approval.
    The colour and the poetic finesse with which you articulated your response to Barbara , from my perspective made you stand out like a peacock fully opened. They do that to attract other peacocks.
    I truly have not ever witnessed such an ostentatious and hollow expression of ‘sympathy.

    As for what follows in you responses further on this matter:

    Your first line of defence for the people involved with this tragedy was to try to persuade those who see the injustice that has taken place to look away because “ mistakes happen and it wasn’t done deliberately or with malice. The intent was good you say.” I addressed these in the comment that didn’t make it here.
    Next you shift the focus from the death of a child ( 80 days of age ) to talking about when the all knowing ‘professionals and trained clergy ‘ decide it’s okay to abort the human fetes.
    Then you come up with the bewildering and unreasonable argument which draws from the assumption that since Barbara’s little girl was born with a birth defect , no one could have killed her. Then there is a “BUT”
    But if they did kill her we are only talking about hours or days or weeks that was stolen.

    I read somewhere else on this blog about how professionals are so often wrong about there “ prognostications”
    How long is the required guarantee of life span before a human being is deemed worthy of respect , dignity and to be treated equally ?

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  15. Larry: I have no idea what you are talking about. I have not declined to publish anything recently (unless you actually want to shop with online chinese businesses).

    Fr. Tim

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  16. May I add that you're particularly vitriolic in your assumptions about me or my intentions. You would be a fool to take what I write at anything more than face value. You are also being personally disrespectful to me. Insult me to your hearts content on Sylvia's Site or the NP, but spare me your insult on my own blog.

    As to your questions (regarding such issues evidently beyond your scope of comprehension and practice) regarding 'respect', 'dignity' and civility, may I suggest that when you are mature enough to make an argument without personal invective or insult you will be welcomed here to engage in conversation. I hope that's sometime soon for I will not tolerate any further being falsely calumniated by the likes of you.

    Fr. Tim

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  17. I thought this was where the rubber hits the road.The truth is very powerful Tim,if it insults you it is with good intention.You said earlier that you were not offended at all by my comments on Sylvia's site and I dont know what the "NP" is.
    I am aware as well as you are that I lack the ability to construct a 'good' argument. I,m not sure though if that is altogether an indication of immaturity but maybe it is. I believe though that it's more to do with the fact that I only have grade ten education but I can assure you that my inability will never stop me from standing up to intellectual and spiritual bully's like yourself or anybody else, in order to defend those more helpless than the likes of me. If I have to make the choice between denying the truth or insulting you , I will always insult you.

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  18. All true Larry/ But calling someone a peacock and calling my remarks ostentatious and hollow is not intellectual. It's simple name calling.

    Please try to do better.

    Fr. Tim

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  19. "I thought this was where the rubber hits the road."

    It is, Larry. And you're about to be vulcanized.

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