The UK has insisted that a two-year-old girl die. Who’s next?
‘Alta was alive and breathed on her own for 90 minutes after removing her breathing tube, âRabbi Elisha Greenbaum wrote, stating the key fact as clearly as possible.
The UK wanted Alta Fixsler, a severely disabled Hasidic girl, aged two, dead. The powers that be may not have said it so categorically, but they have decided to end his life. Fixsler’s parents wanted to bring him to Israel. There were offers from American and Israeli hospitals to try experimental treatments. But the medical establishment and the judiciary decided they knew better.
âAccording to Jewish law, everyone has the right to hydration, nutrition and breathing, and the removal of this breathing tube was tantamount to murder,â Rabbi Greenbaum wrote. “I can accept that others have different points of view, but how can contemporary society not respect each other another perspective on what was Alta’s best interest?” “
And that is exactly the problem. We live in a so-called tolerant age – but tolerant only of views that are fashionable.
A friend recently told me about an abortion in her family. The doctor advised him because the baby had many problems and had to die instantly. But who are we to say that this shouldn’t happen naturally? Let parents hold their child in their arms, even if only for hours or minutes. The baby is already and always will be a part of their life. It is a fear of suffering and sacrifice that makes medically assisted abortion and suicide acceptable, perhaps even desirable. It is economics and ideology that make a hospital and a court decide – to insist – that a child be killed against the will of his parents. Alta was treated worse than we are treating hardened criminals.
What has just been done in Alta is a grave sin according to Jewish law according to which Abraham and Chaya Fixsler, Alta’s parents, live their lives. By what authority does a court or doctor deny their religious freedom and Alta’s right to life? A judge ruled that we don’t really know whether or not Alta would agree with the way the Fixslers chose to keep her alive.
What nonsense – and what a serious violation of their religious freedom. Every day in Alta’s life was a gift to her parents, but a waste of space and money for a prominent Western government. It should give us shivers.
There was an intervention to try to help the family get to the United States or Israel – including by Senator Chuck Schumer (D., N, Y.). There was an offer of a private charter flight. But Alta was a prisoner. Her parents were portrayed as delusional monsters to hope she would be cured and to wish that at least she died in Israel (both parents are Israeli citizens).
In 1995, Pope John Paul II wrote:
There is a certain Promethean attitude in contemporary culture that leads people to believe that they can control life and death by making decisions that affect them themselves. What really happens in this case is that the individual is overwhelmed and crushed by a death deprived of any prospect of meaning or hope. We see a tragic expression of all of this in the spread of euthanasia – disguised and surreptitious, or practiced openly and even legally. As well as for reasons of misguided pity at the sight of the patient’s suffering, euthanasia is sometimes justified on the utilitarian motive of avoiding expense. . . . Thus, it is proposed to eliminate malformed babies, the severely disabled, the handicapped, the elderly, especially when they are not independent, and the terminally ill.
Rabbi Greenbaum would no doubt agree.
Those of us who pray should pray for Abraham and Chaya Fixsler. What a hole must be in their hearts. Alta Fixsler shouldn’t have died like she did. There is a macabre side that should make us think in the West about the kind of bloodlust behind our outlook on life. We see life as disposable when it is inconvenient. This is wrong, and we must fight it.
This column is based on a column available through Andrews McMeel UniversalAssociation of newspaper companies.
Something to consider
If you enjoyed reading this article, please consider joining our fight by donating to our Fall Webathon. Your contribution allows us to continue our mission of telling the truth and defending conservative principles.