MS patient defers plans for assisted suicide

May 19, 2017

An MS patient in Inverness has deferred his plans to end his life at an assisted suicide clinic in Switzerland, after another MS patient contacted him and encouraged him to seek more support. This contact and support has given him a new optimism about life.

A video about this story can be viewed on the BBC website: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-highlands-islands-39940143

We believe in the value of every human life. This story shows what a positive difference personal contact and support from each one of us can have on another person’s life when they are struggling.


50 Questions About Abortion: 9 – Disability

March 15, 2017

This year is the 50th anniversary of the passing of the 1967 Abortion Act in the UK. Sr Roseann is answering 50 questions about abortion, to mark the 50th anniversary.

Question 9: But what if the baby is going to be disabled or have a short life expectancy?


Let’s Talk About What They Can Do, Not What They Can’t!

January 18, 2016

With all the recent press regarding the new test for mother’s who may be carrying a child with Down’s Syndrome let’s remind ourselves of what’s important.  This video says it all and I love it!


Publicity for Don’t Stop a Beating Heart

January 17, 2016

The Herald interviews a few voices behind the Don’t Stop a Beating Heart Campaign. Our very own Sr Roseann is amongst those interviewed, as well as John Deighan, CEO of SPUC Scotland and Margaret Cuthill, Coordinator of ARCH in Scotland.

ABORTION cannot be justified at any stage of foetal development. That is the clear cut, hardline conservative shared belief of the voices behind…
m.heraldscotland.com

A Wake Up Call!

December 24, 2015

** taken from SPUC Scotland**

Andrew Waters loved to dance, and swim.  He took part in drama groups.  He was loved by his family and friends.   At 51, Andrew, like many people with Down Syndrome, and without it, he had the onset of early dementia.  So he went in for routine care to East Kent Hospitals Trust for help with symptoms related to his dementia.  The junior doctor decided he should not be resuscitated if he developed heart or breathing problems.  The Do Not Resucitate (DNR) order listed Down’s Syndrome and his learning difficulties among the reasons.  Reasons which should have immediately alerted any auxiliary, nurse or doctor to get consent from Andrew’s guardian or power of attorney.  The Adults with Mental Incapacity Act is very clear on this.  So too is the Equality Act which guards disability as a protected characteristic.  Ignorance of these Acts has no defence.  The junior doctor failed to see the obvious incompatibility between Andrew’s mental state and lack of action to uphold Andrew’s basic legal and human rights, that is, to be represented.

Lynn Murray, from Saving Down Syndrome, remembers her horror when her daughter Rachel was in her arms, content and smiling, at eight months and the Registrar stated “They (People with Down Syndrome) always look happy, even at the clinics, but I wonder if that is just their ignorance.”  Lynn finds the Andrew Waters situation plain scary “we always hear that the answer is ‘more education’, yet this Junior Doctor has been trained and educated for years and has made this hurtful and potentially fatal error.  How are medical staff rising to this level of authority and remaining ignorant?  Why did no other member of staff question the need for the DNR notice and the unacceptable assumption of Andrew’s consent?”

A week on from this story, which outraged many, many people, the House of Lords debated this at the start of their session on Tuesday 17 December (http://parliamentlive.tv/event/index/640a18f6-021c-4a8f-8391-80c8e03c6096?in=15:00:04) Lord Alton stressed that the work of Blue Apple Theatre company amongst others clearly shows what great lives people often live who have Down Syndrome and that to keep misrepresenting this is unacceptable.  Baroness Evans stated that the good standard of the Adults with Mental Incapacity Act is one thing, the implementation of it is another.  We need medical staff to spend time with people and their families who have these conditions and gain practical experience.  Knowledge alone is simply not enough.  We are failing this group of people.

Andrew’s brother Michael and the rest of the family were deeply upset by the DNR order.  Andrew died two years later unrelated to the DNR notice.  However, the family have consented now to this becoming public knowledge in the hope this will mean another family is spared this.  The family are not seeking any financial compensation.  They were at the hospital and totally involved in Andrew’s care and yet only found out about the DNR notice when they came across a folded-up piece of paper in his bag after discharge.  There was nothing wrong with Andrew’s health at the time which would have had an effect on resuscitation.  The Waters family have welcomed the trust’s admission that they breached Andrew’s human rights but they have taken a long time to do this causing further upset.

Lynn Murray’s daughter Rachel is now a thriving teenager attending the same high school her elder siblings went to.  She is a true joy to people she meets and a trailblazer for ensuring inclusive education is just that, and not some trendy jargon.  Lynn, however, is worried about Rachel’s future “it looks more and more likely, considering recent cases of NHS disability abuse, that the NHS may have to look at how they comply with the Equality act in the difficult climate where discriminatory judgement is made following a DS diagnosis.  This act should simply be affirming NHS practice but it may, in fact, be exposing the conflicting culture where prenatal DS screening leads to termination”

Misunderstanding of Down Syndrome, as Andrew’s case highlights, continues despite the fact that we should be more enlightened.  Incredible advances in lifestyle and longevity for those with the condition abound and our society is entrenched in an equality narrative.  So why does this misunderstanding keep occurring?  One reason is because we are killing Down Syndrome babies before they are born.  Over 90% of babies with Down Syndrome are aborted.    These babies are wanted babies and yet eugenic-type (or watered-down eugenic) practices selectively attempt to eliminate them from our so-called egalitarian society.

Andrew Waters must not just become another statistic.  We must write to MPs to challenge the inequality before and after birth for people with Down Syndrome and other conditions society chooses to ignore, discriminate against and eradicate.


The Difference Being Born Makes

December 6, 2015

*taken from spucscotland.org*

Amnesty Club foot

 

THE DIFFERENCE BEING BORN MAKES

Thirty weeks I’d been around

And still no-one really wanted me

Just for myself, as I was.

Not my dad;

He’d just said “Get rid of it”

When my mother told him,

“It’s me or it.”

She hesitated,

And he walked out.

Out of her life

And mine.

My mother liked the idea of a perfect baby,

Beautiful and smiling,

Someone who’d adore her unconditionally.

Then she found out

That I wasn’t perfect.

I had a club foot

And a cleft palate.

I wouldn’t be beautiful

When I was born.

So she decided

To get rid of me.

Just like that.

She didn’t want a baby that wasn’t perfect,

So she started making arrangements.

What could I do?

There was only one way out.

To be born.

Babies decide when they want to be born.

I decided the time was now.

I was still still small,

And really needed the extra time in the womb.

But it was now or never.

When I arrived the doctors and nurses looked at me.

They didn’t seem worried

About my club foot and cleft palate.

“We’ll soon fix those,” I heard them say.

“No problem these days.”

My mother still didn’t want me,

An imperfect baby,

But others did.

Crowds of them.

To them I was beautiful

With just some minor faults

That could be easily fixed.

I was lucky,

I got out in time.

Others have not been so lucky,

They were still too small to be born,

Or didn’t realise the urgency.

But why should it make such a difference

Whether we’re in the world or still in the womb?

We are still babies

And should have the right to live,

And be treated just like others

Who aren’t completely  perfect.

 

Written by

Eileen Morrison


Tragic Decision in Northern Ireland

December 6, 2015

A truly sad decision for unborn children occurred last week.  Here is SPUC’s take on the situation and what the future might hold for abortion legislation.

BELFAST 30 November 2015: The Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC), the UK’s leading pro-life organisation, says that the ruling by the High Court that Northern Ireland’s ban on abortion breaches human rights is “dangerously flawed”.

SPUC is calling on the Attorney General to work with pro-life groups to mount a robust appeal against the judgement.

Earlier this year the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission applied for a judicial review of the law. The Commission claimed that the law, which prohibits abortion, violates the European Convention on Human Rights because it does not make exceptions for children who are disabled or whose mothers had been victims of rape or sexual assault.

Liam Gibson, the Northern Ireland development officer for SPUC, which intervened in the case, said:

“The ruling by Judge Mark Horner is dangerously flawed. The judge misrepresented the protection of children before birth in case law and statute law in Northern Ireland. He also confused the separate legal issues of viability and the capacity to be born alive.”

Liam Gibson continued:

“Not one universal human rights treaty recognises a right to abortion. However, the right to life is shared by all members of the human family. The Declaration on the Rights of the Child (DRC) acknowledges that ‘the child, by reason of his physical and mental immaturity, needs special safeguards and care, including appropriate legal protection, before as well as after birth’. The DRC explicitly states that the need for such special safeguards is ‘recognised in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights’.”

The greatest strength of SPUC’s campaign in Northern Ireland over the past several decades has been the united opposition to abortion by the overwhelming majority of the community by Catholics and Protestants alike. May that unity, supported by prayer, grow ever stronger as we work to restore the protection of the law for unborn children, the most persecuted group of human beings in world history.