Wednesday, July 14, 2010

What if nobody noticed?

A friend sent me this article from the BBC News. to summarize, Richard Rudd was in a motorcycle accident, and was left a quadriplegic, in what was believed to be a coma from which he would never emerge. He was kept alive by a ventilator. His family was asked to make the difficult decision of whether to continue treatments:
Richard's father - also called Richard - said at the time: "To keep somebody alive whilst they're suffering and they're not going to get better, it's playing God, if you like, because it's going against nature.

The family was clear that Richard would not want his treatment to be continued. They remembered when discussing a friend who had become paraplegic following a car accident, he said: "If ever this happens to me, I don't wanna go on. I don't wanna be like him."
...and yet in an examination, Professor David Menon discovered Richard could move his eyes from side to side voluntarily. After weeks of communicating to make sure Richard was sound of mind, he was asked directly.
"Finally I then asked him if we were happy for us to go on treating him and he said 'yes'. I asked him again and on three occasions he made it clear, just with yes/no answers, that this was a consistent response." 
Richard's dad has since changed his views:
"We all sit round and talk in the pub or at work and say 'if this happened to me, turn the machine off'," he said.
"It's all hypothetical and you don't know until it happens to yourself. As a family and friends, if that person can't decide for themselves, sometimes you feel that you can decide for them.
"Because, in theory, you think you can never live in that situation, you sometimes put that judgement onto somebody else.
"At the end of the day, you probably have no right to do that."
Those in society who push euthanasia and assisted suicide ignore the fact that even in "clear cut" situations, people can have a change of heart. Thank God for the vigilance of Professor Menon and the care of Richard's family. Imagine what would have happened has he not been able to move his eyes, or if nobody had noticed. Please join me in praying for Richard and his family.


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