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Mother of child with disabilites speaks out

Posted Nov 03 2008 8:56pm

Linda is a friend of mine and an amazing woman... I thought her viewpoint, based on her experience, was worth sharing with you. When people ask you what you believe on these kinds of topics, it's good to have had these viewpoints as part of your body of knowledge. I'm sorry this is dated, but I thought it was still a good article. Yeah, Linda, for speaking out!


Shocking Predictions from Mother of Child on Life Support Regarding Texas Hospital Controversy

DENVER,April 10 /Christian Newswire/ -- In regard to the case of 17- month-old Emilio Gonzales at Children's Hospital of Austin, Linda Evans Shepherd releases the following and is available for comment:

    As a mother whose child has been on life support since she was 18-months-old, (she's now 20,) I'm appalled that the Austin, Texas hospital's ethics committees are violating a families rights -- planning to take 17-month-old Emilio Gonzales off life support despite his family's decision to keep him alive.

    My daughter, who is still on life support, leads a very happy and healthy life. The Texas hospital we were in - in the eighties, would have gladly ended Laura's life if they'd had the power to do so, when Laura was originally hurt in a violent car crash. We, her family said "No!" to their efforts to pull her plug.

    Thank God the ethics committee had no power. Laura has grown up to be a happy, young adult; though disabled.

    But times have changed -- prejudice against the disabled is growing. Today, my family is afraid Laura will be denied emergency care at some of our local hospitals. In fact, we've already had to come against ER doctors who've tried to do just that, deny care, simply because they didn't understand the value of my daughter's life. I stood up to them and my daughter received the help she needed. The doctor who had tried to deny antibiotics, later apologized when he saw her amazing joy and personality -- as she was recovering from a simple but severe bladder infection. With tears in his eyes, this same doctor said, "I'm sorry, I didn't know."

    But my question is, where will this lack of respect for the lives of the disabled stop?

    We know where it stopped in Nazi Germany -- in specially designed vans -- used to euthanize disabled children. That is, until a local pastor stood up to the killers and said, "No more!"

    Public pressure turned the tide and the killing of disabled children stopped.

    It's not too late to take a stand. It's not too late to participate in a public outcry that says, "No more!"

    If Emilio were an endangered species like an owl, a fish or even a worm, the public outcry would be heard all the way to Washington. But he's a Hispanic baby boy.

    This is prejudice of the worst kind. If we don't cry out, how many other children, elderly, and disabled people will die at the hands of hospital ethics committees, committees who have taken both God and the value of human life out of their death-decision calculations? Their formulas will become more blood-thirsty, to the point that any American with a sudden disability, stroke or aging issue will be at risk for execution.

High resolution, copyright free pictures available at

Linda Evans Shepherd is a best selling novelist (The Potluck Club Series), and a nationally recognized speaker and radio and television personality in the Denver area.

Christian Newswire

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