We live in an age that pretends to have made great strides in medical science. Maybe we have, but there are still many “anomalies.” The latest fad in medical ethics is to start legally recognizing the “voluntary” euthanizing of children—and to illegally euthanize many more.
This sort of movement is premised on the idea that we know when we should give up. It implies that we can predict that life is not ever going to get better on the basis of medical knowledge.
But that premise is not true.
An example of the limits of medical knowledge recently occurred in Halifax, Nova Scotia:
Robin Cyr’s fourth child has already packed a lifetime’s worth of emotional turmoil into her first 28 minutes in the world.
Cyr, 34, was told her baby girl had died just after being born in the IWK Health Centre in Halifax around 3 a.m. Saturday.
But shortly after getting the devastating news, a stuttering, breathless nurse rushed back into the room to say the baby had started breathing again.
“My aunt was there, and it’s a blessing because her prayers are very deep and strong,” said Cyr on Sunday, speaking in a whisper through tears at the hospital. “When she started praying, my baby came back.”
The big baby girl – who weighed nine pounds 14 ounces – got wedged in the birth canal during the delivery. Once she was born, Cyr lay on the bed waiting, for 25 minutes, for any sign of life.
“My aunt looked at me and said, ‘Your baby girl’s gone,’” she said, adding the baby’s body was taken out of the room after being declared dead. “Another nurse came over, two minutes later…she couldn’t talk. She was speechless, and another nurse came over and said, ‘Your baby’s breathing.’”
A flummoxed surgeon told Cyr’s family that he had no explanation for the seemingly impossible recovery.
“He said it’s a miracle,” said Cyr. “He said, ‘I’m very sorry I gave up on your baby when I did, because I turned around and she’s breathing on her own.’”
The chubby little girl – with an impressive shock of dark hair – is now breathing on her own in the neonatal intensive care unit, and looks like any other healthy newborn baby.
Something similar happened in Canada last year, though in that case the baby was born outdoors in freezing temperatures, so hypothermia was an available rationale for why the baby was confirmed dead and seemed dead for two hours before starting to move.
You just don’t know what is going to take place in the future! Getting rid of the ethical prohibitions on homicide is never justified. But basing such ethical revisions on the idea that we know what our quality of life is going to be like for the rest of our natural life is especially delusional.