Futile Care Theory strikes at the very heart of both pro choice and pro life conviction. One being that each individual should be able to choose what happens to her or his own body and that each individual, regardless of age, race, gender, ideology, disability, or even whether or not they have been born yet, has a right to life. Pro life and Pro choice people can be united in condemning the imposition of futile care theory on patients and their families.
Yet, these impositions continue to occur with little news coverage and, sadly, little cooperation between these communities in stopping it. Not that there haven’t been cooperations. In 2007, both the Texas Right to Life Committee and the Texas ACLU fought for the right of Catarina Gonzales to decide to continue her son, Emilio’s life support until he died of natural causes.
A few years ago, doctors in Winnipeg, Canada attempted to withdraw life support from Samuel Golubchuk. He also died while his family was fighting this imposition. Recently, Winnipeg Canada is in the news once again as it seeks to discontinue the life support of a baby against his parent’s wishes. The baby, Isaiah James, has shown signs of improvement, such as gaining weight and breathing on his own, even though doctors said that he would never do this, yet the doctors are still fighting to withdraw treatment, and his family is still fighting the doctors.
My question is: why aren’t pro life and pro choice indivivduals working together to address and stop these travesties? In VA and TX laws also exist giving doctors the right to withdraw treatment against a patient and/or his family’s wishes. This is a threat to both the sanctity of life and the sanctity of personal choice, thus, both pro life and pro choice people have a stake in this matter. Why, outside of pro choice disability rights websites and right to life websites, has no one mentioned this case? Is it because people with the ideals that are simultaneously compromised aren’t communicating enough with one another, or that people on both sides have become apathetic?
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One thing I do know: The founders of the free societies in America and Canada did not go through everything they went through so that people’s basic right to exist could be trampled on by people who think they know who should live and who should die. As people who value life and choice, we should be united on this.