I haven’t commented on the Haleigh Poutre case, the tragic case of the 11 year old child abuse victim that the state of Massachusetts fought to remove from life support only to have her start breathing on her own. I don’t know all the intricate details of the case, but here are a few key points.
- It’s a horrible tragedy. No matter what else we can say and whether she lives or dies, the whole situation is horribly tragic.
- This wasn’t a case of a neutral judge intervening in a family dispute, even aggressively so. This was the state on its own initiative, specifically the Department of Social Services, seeking a court order to end this young girl’s life. This isn’t slippery slope stuff, this is the abyss at the bottom that the Hemlock Society promised we’d never reach.
- There’s been no mention whatsoever of Haleigh’s wishes. I understand that she’s 11. I also know enough 11 year olds to know that they do have opinions and that in a matter like this youth shouldn’t disqualify her opinion. The right to life may not be enforceable against a mother from conception, but it certainly ought to be enforceable against the state before age 18.
- Governor’s direct executive policy in most states; executive branch officials are answerable to the Governor. Perhaps Massachusetts has some odd system where this isn’t the case, but if so then a good Governor would be shouting from the rooftops about the broken system. So far as I’ve heard, no one at DSS has been fired for seeking this court order.
- When all else fails, Chief Executives impound funds to stop things from happening. Without a budget to go to court, DSS could not have gone to court. So far as I’ve heard, the DSS budget is intact.
- The Governor of Massachusetts is supposedly conservative Presidential wannabe Mitt Romney.
So far everything I’ve read or heard about Mitt Romney has been positive, but this doesn’t seem like the kind of leadership I’d expect from a chief executive who understands that governments exist to protect life, liberty and property. He has appointed a panel to probe the case, but apparently its focus is on how Haleigh ended up injured so severely in the first place and any question as to the DSS euthanasia agenda isn’t even on the table.
(Comments are open but moderated. If anyone has some insight that I’m not getting from news reports, please leave a comment.)