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National Campus Life Network > Blog > Articles by: Danny Ricci

University of Toronto Students for Life: Unfinished business part 1: The Baby Joseph case

This post was written for University of Toronto Students for Life by Danny Ricci. It does not necessarily represent the views of NCLN.

Blogging has been lighter than I wanted lately but thanks to Michael and Blaise for helping me out! There were two comments on this blog that I had not responded to and I just thought I would use them as another post. I wanted to rebuttal this comment by Sam Sansalone:

You stupid little fools. You don’t cut, slice, poke, and invade someones body on their deathbed. The little guy deserves peace, without invasive procedures. Grow up and learn a little.

Thanks for the comment Sam. Maybe it was not clear enough in the original post, but this is not a case of euthanasia but rather a case of parental rights. I have also corrected the category of the original post.

This is not a case of euthanasia because removing the ventilator would not have caused the death of baby Joseph. Rather, baby Joseph would have either survived or died due to his medical condition. Euthanasia is an act that causes the death of someone with the intent of relieving suffering. This was not the case for baby Joseph.

The problem in this case was that the parents wanted to have a tracheotomy done so that baby Joseph could die in their care while the hospital wanted to remove the ventilator and baby Joseph would have probably died in a short time. The parents had the tracheotomy done on their first child about 8 years ago and wanted the same for baby Joseph.

As an update, baby Joseph is in a children’s hospital in St. Louis, Missouri and doctors are coming up with a treatment plan for him.

Therefore, the main question in this case is “Who has the right to decide?” . Do parents have the right to decide what is in the best interest of their child, even if it goes against medical advise?  We hope, and parents hope, that the answer is yes and we continue to pray and hope for the best for baby Joseph and his family.


Read the comments at the University of Toronto Students for Life website.

University of Toronto Students for Life: Tale of the Tape: Stephanie Gray

This post was written for University of Toronto Students for Life by Danny Ricci. It does not necessarily represent the views of NCLN.

Yesterday we profiled Dr. Donald Ainslie in our lead-up to our debate next Monday night! Now I will highlight Dr. Ainslie’s opponent for the evening – Stephanie Gray:

EDUCATION

2008–2009 Certification, with Distinction, in Health Care Ethics, U.S. National Catholic Bioethics Center

1998–2002 Bachelor of Arts in Political Science, University of British Columbia

AREAS OF SPECIALIZATION

Scientific and philosophical defense for the pro-life view (basic and advanced) and approaches for effective dialogue

Debates

Christian-based motivational presentations

Strategy for the pro-life movement

Organizing and conducting visual displays (e.g., the Genocide Awareness Project [GAP])

Speakers training

Fundraising training

Other Credentials:

- President of Lifeline, the University of British Columbia’s pro-life club from 1999–2001

- Guest on television programs such as CTV, VTV, and ATV News, Global News, 100 Huntley Street’s Listen Up, and the Miracle Channel’s Insight

- Interviewed by ABC-, NBC-, FOX-, and CBS-affiliated television news programs throughout the Midwest of the United States

This is going to be an epic night. I will post all of the details of the debate tomorrow. Don’t miss it!


Read the comments at the University of Toronto Students for Life website.

University of Toronto Students for Life: Tale of the Tape: Dr. Donald Ainslie

This post was written for University of Toronto Students for Life by Danny Ricci. It does not necessarily represent the views of NCLN.

UTSFL would first like to thank Dr. Ainslie for being a part of the most spectacular spectacle (does that make sense?) that U of T has ever seen: Debate 2011! Abortion: Human Right or Human Rights Violation? Please mark off March 14, 2011 on your calendar and join us for what promises to be a great night of debating (venue still to be determined by our fearless leader Lucy). Here are the goods on Dr. Donald Ainslie:

Education: BSc (Mathematics, Queen’s), MA, PhD (Pittsburgh)

Associate Professor

Professor Ainslie has research interests in the philosophy of David Hume, naturalism in ethics, and the foundation of bioethics.

Selected Articles

“Hume a Scotish Socrates?”, Canadian Journal of Philosophy 33(1). 2003.
“AIDS and Sex: Is Warning a Moral Obligation?”, Health Care Analysis 10(1). 2002.
“Bioethics And The Problem Of Pluralism”, Social Philosophy and Policy 19(2). 2002.
“Hume’s reflections on the identity and simplicity of mind”, Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 62(3). 2001.
“Scepticism about persons in Book II of Hume’s Treatise”, Journal of the History of Philosophy 37(3). 1999.
“The Problem of the National Self in Hume’s Theory of Justice”, Hume Studies 21(2). 1995.
Tomorrow: Stephanie Gray

Read the comments at the University of Toronto Students for Life website.

University of Toronto Students for Life: Did I mention there is a debate happening?

This post was written for University of Toronto Students for Life by Danny Ricci. It does not necessarily represent the views of NCLN.

You know, it is kind of sad that pro-choicers are the first ones to advertise the debate happening March 14, 2011 on “Abortion: Human Right or Human Rights Violation?”. We here at UTSFL have been waiting quite some time for a debate and now that time has arrived! All this week this blog will be in preparation mode for this debate and it is sure to be a great event! I will have information on both debaters, Stephanie Gray (pro-life side) and Donald Ainslie (pro-choice side) along with other goodies to get you guys ready. The venue has yet to be determined but when it is it will be posted on the blog. Until then check out the pro-choicers doing my dirty work for me in advertising:

http://www.facebook.com/v/10150093128796050

HT: Alissa Golob of the Campaign Life Coalition


Read the comments at the University of Toronto Students for Life website.

University of Toronto Students for Life: Let’s talk about eugenics

This post was written for University of Toronto Students for Life by Danny Ricci. It does not necessarily represent the views of NCLN.

A friend of UTSFL sent this post to us. It is definitely worth a read!

What is one of the the number one things that pro-abortion advocates don’t want people thinking about? Maybe that over 90% of babies with Down Syndrome are aborted.

There is a silent eugenics campaign going on against persons with disabilities, in the form of abortion. Advocates for abortion on demand never mention how many babies with disabilities are aborted every year. In the US 80%  to 90% of babies with spinal bifida are aborted. Over 90% of babies with Down Syndrome. Many babies with cystic fibrosis are aborted. Many more babies with rare ailments, mental disabilities, or physical disibilities are aborted every year. Women even choose to abort babies when ultrasounds late in pregnancy reveal birth defects like a cleft palate or a clubfoot.

It’s a not a simple issue issue. There are some cases where the baby would suffer very much if born. Many parents who choose abortion in these cases do it with the best intentions, out of love for their child and a desire not to see that child suffer. Further, raising a child with a disability really is difficult, emotionally and financially, for parents. A person with a disability may never be able to live independantly. He may always depend on support from parents or siblings. He might have a significantly reduced quality of life.

However, does that make the child any less a person? Just because someone looks different or is physically less able, or learns slower than you or me, that doesn’t make them less human. There is a whole gradient of ability amongst the human race. Is someone who got a PhD in physics at age seventeen more human than a barely-literate highschool dropout? Is an olympic athelete more human than someone in a wheelchair?

A disability certainly makes life more difficult, but can we really assume that someone who will have a more difficult life than average wouldn’t want to live or shouldn’t have the right to live?

The life of someone with mental and physical disabilities is not necessarily one of constant, unmitigated pain and suffering. With support from their family and community, many disabled people can live very happy and fulfilling lives. If you look around, you’ll find young adults with Down Syndrome graduating from highschool and taking classes at community college. There are special needs basketball teams, and there are children with special needs playing clarinet in their school bands. You’ll find people who would have been institutionalized 50 years ago who hold down steady jobs. They have friends, they have favourite pop singers, they have hobbies and interests. Yes, a child with serious mental disibilities will never grow up to be Prime Minister, and a child with serious physical disibilities will never grow up to be an NHL player–but, neither will the vast majority of us.

The growing trend of aborting babies with disabilities and congenital birth defects has stark societal consequences. Couples who choose to keep their “abnormal” children are viewed as cruel or crazy for allowing these children to be born, to suffer and to waste our reasources. There are journalists and intellectuals who have called for euthansia of children with disabilities at birth. We’re writing off whole groups of people as having no value or importance to society, just because they look different and they are unable to do some of the things that other people can. Instead of viewing persons with disabilities as human beings, people view them as subhuman creatures that are a drain on society.

Debating with some pro-choice friends about abortion, I brought up the fact that 90% of babies with Down Syndrome are aborted–and someone was quick to reply that it didn’t matter if you aborted a child with Down Syndrome, becuase they were more like monkeys than human beings.

As long as abortion is legal, this issue isn’t going to go away. In fact, as medical sciences advance further and we can test more accurately, earlier, for a broader range of “abnormalities”, it will likely become even more common. A prenatal test for autism is in the works. How many parents would abort their child, knowing he or she had autism?

If you support legalized abortion, this is something you have to take into consideration–is it a good thing that every year we’re aborting thousands of babies who were initially wanted by their parents, until they found out that there was something “wrong” with their child?

On the other hand, if we as pro-lifers say these children have a right to be born and to live, then we have an additional responsibility to offer some measure of help and support to those with disabilities. This is something which should be as much a part of the pro-life cause and pro-life action as running crisis pregnancy centres, or holding prayer vigils outside abortion clinics. Volunteer with a group that runs programs for special needs kids, or patronize businesses that employ people with disabilities, like the Coffee Shed (there’s one in the New College library at U of T), a coffee shop run by people with special needs.

Laila Hulbert


Read the comments at the University of Toronto Students for Life website.

University of Toronto Students for Life: Baby Joseph saved from removal of life support

This post was written for University of Toronto Students for Life by Danny Ricci. It does not necessarily represent the views of NCLN.

My friend, Nicole Lau, tipped me off to this story. Baby Joseph, who was to have life support removed today at 10 am (ironic that it is Family Day in Ontario) after being diagnosed with severe neurological issues, has been given more time on his ventilator. Lifesitenews has the story.

One-year-old Joseph Maraachli of Windsor, Ontario, who was to have his life support removed Monday at 10 am. against his parents’ wishes, will now not die on the day that Ontario residents celebrate as Family Day.  A hustle by pro-life and anti-euthanasia groups resulted in a change in legal counsel, which has led to at least a temporary stay of removal of the child’s ventilator……

In a statement released today, London Health Sciences Centre said it has received a request from a Michigan hospital “to review Baby Joseph Maraachli’s medical information regarding the feasibility and appropriateness of a potential patient transfer.” 

“Our focus at this time is to work with the family on a patient care plan and to continue to provide compassionate and dignified care and comfort to Baby Joseph,” said the statement.

The Superior Court was no help to the parents either:

But in January, the Consent and Capacity Board of Ontario sided with the hospital, and a date for removing Joseph’s respirator was set.  The family was able to hold it off by filing an appeal with the Superior Court.

Superior Court Justice Helen Rady also sided with the hospital, saying that Joseph is in a permanent vegetative state with no brain stem reflex. However, Joseph’s family members have said that the boy still responds to stimuli.

It is sad that parents have to fight so hard to have their children be with them, even if it will be for a short time. Please do read the rest of the article and join the facebook group in support of Baby Joseph.


Read the comments at the University of Toronto Students for Life website.

University of Toronto Students for Life: “I might have risked my life for her, but she was worth it.”

This post was written for University of Toronto Students for Life by Danny Ricci. It does not necessarily represent the views of NCLN.

These types of stories never get old. Mother needs treatment that will kill her unborn child. Doctors warn mother to have an abortion first. Mother refuses and gives birth to healthy baby. And to top it all off, the mother is on the road to recovery! Happy news and God bless both of them!

Victoria, 33, went for a routine blood test when she was five months pregnant and was given the shattering news she had cancer.

She desperately needed chemotherapy – but medics warned it would kill her unborn girl so begged her to have an abortion.

Needless to say, Victoria did not go through with the abortion and instead went through a more grueling treatment for her cancer.

Jessica was born perfectly healthy. And yesterday – with the baby now ten months old – her mum was on the road to recovery from her chronic myeloid leukaemia after finally starting on the delayed chemotherapy.

She said there was no choice, but mum definitely chose life. Now her response to why she chose life:

Holding my daughter in my arms was an amazing moment. I might have risked my life for her, but she was worth it.

Enough said.

HT:  ProWomanProLife


Read the comments at the University of Toronto Students for Life website.