There is an appalling, horrifying story in the Sydney Morning Herald today, of the Family Court granting permission for medical treatment to be withdrawn from a baby which will inevitably result in the child's death.
Here are the facts as reported:
"The girl, known as ''Baby D'', was a twin born at 27 weeks' gestation in August last year. Although her twin largely recovered and graduated from neonatal intensive care, Baby D developed a blocked airway and could not breathe without a endotracheal tube. She also suffered a severe brain injury that likely rendered her blind, mentally retarded and unable to walk.
However, Baby D was a highly unusual case in that unlike other infants with severe brain injury, her brain stem was not compromised, she had no underlying irrecoverable life-threatening problems, and could breathe on her own - so long as the plastic tube opened her airway.
The court heard that she was conscious and aware, cried, responded to touch and was comforted by being held and cuddled.
Three paediatric specialists told the court they agreed with the parents' decision to extubate Baby D and provide sedation and pain relief - which would inevitably result in death - if her airway closed and she was in distress.
In a judgment handed down yesterday, Justice Young said the specialists concurred that ''any future life for Baby D is … very burdensome and futile with no expectation of any enjoyment of life and without sight and meaningful brain capacity''.
Please pray that these parents might have a change of heart.