British Doctors Left Premie to Die: at 21 Weeks 5 Days, Baby Boy "Just a Fetus"

By Hilary WhiteGORLESTON, UK, September 9, 2009 ( - A young British mother has criticized medical guidelines that, she said, resulted in doctors refusing treatment and leaving her newborn premature son to die. 23 year-old Sarah Capewell told media that her son Jayden, born at 21…

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Sick. That’s the only word I can say.

Ahh… the blessings of a nationalised health system.

If Big Brother decides you just don’t count … then I guess your number is up.

Ah the blessings of the US one…,2933,151386,00.html

If you’re disabled, the wrong color, and your mom’s considered mentally incompetent…then I guess your number is up - even if you’ve made it to five months outside the womb.

In this case, the hope is for a lung transplant. Perhaps a baboon’s lungs, perhaps some unfortunate child… but even if the child’s lungs won’t grow, a transplant could make the child’s life a viable possibility.

But the Republicans are just as much a part of the culture of death… when there is money in it.

The culture of death is everywhere.

May God have mercy on us all.

Holy God, please welcome this beautiful child Jayden into your arms and provide comfort for his grieving family, especially his poor mother Sarah. Please let this event show the world that this ruling is sick and wrong.

Our Father who art in Heaven
Hallowed be Thy name
Thy kingdom come
Thy will be done,
on Earth as it is in Heaven.
Give us this day, our daily bread
and forgive us our trespasses
as we forgive those who trespass against us
and lead us not into temptation
but deliver us from evil.

Hail Mary full of grace.
The Lord is with thee
Blessed art thou amoung women,
and blessed is the Fruit of thy womb; Jesus.
Holy Mary, mother of God
Pray for us sinners now
and at the hour of our death.

I don’t see how this case is comparable. They did everything they could here.
In the end, the reason the hospital had to make the decision to remove artificial life support was because the mother was mentally ill and couldn’t face reality. With the case in Britain the baby wasn’t even given a chance because of arbitrary guidelines.

So, if a baby’s mom is mentally ill, THAT’s sufficient reason to remove life support from a five month old? Guardianship couldn’t be arranged? Seems very comparable to me. Both systems were following guidelines - viability was the issue in the British case, the mother’s mental state in the US one.

The reason that life support(and this wasn’t merely a feeding tube and IV) was removed was not because the mother was mentally ill. It was because they had already done everything they could for the child and keeping him on artificial life support would be futile and cause more suffering. The decision was taken away from the mother because she was mentally ill(she though the sun would cure him). In Britain, this preemie was denied any medical care before he was given a chance based on an arbitrary line in the sand. The first case was based on an individual prognosis while the second was based on rules that apply to all babies regardless of individual circumstances.

Again, why was the mother’s mental capacity even an issue in whether or not her child lived? How was this baby’s case any different from Terri Schiavo which was going on at the same time? Both were alive and could have been kept alive. But an individual and some doctors decided to play God. Why do you think it was alright to take the US baby’s life?

First of all, there is a huge difference between this case and Terri Schiavo. Terri Schiavo was a brain damaged woman who merely needed food and water to survive. She was starved to death. Sun Hudson could only stay alive through a ventilator. He died of natural causes after unnatural and excessive means of survival were removed(the Church states this is not the same thing as withholding food and hydration).

What the mentally ill mother has to do with this is when it comes to decision making. Normal people could hear what the doctors were saying and would stop prolonging the child’s unnecessary suffering.

Sun Hudson’s death was the first time in the United States a court allowed life-sustaining treatment to be withdrawn from a pediatric patient over the objections of the child’s parent. It was done under the ‘futility’ provision of Chapter 166 of the Texas Health and Safety Code. In other words, the Texas doctors were following pre-set guidelines just like the British ones, both based on a perceived ‘futility’ of treatment. Sun died of asphyxiation: do you think he suffered any less than Terri Schiavo?

Doctors are the ones who decide if treatment is futile. They did everything they could for Sun Hudson, and based the decsion on his individual prognosis. The baby in Britain wasn’t given a chance because he wasn’t at 22 weeks gestation. And yes, I do think he suffered less than being starved to death(he was suffering by just be kept alive by such extreme means)… The Church teaches removing a ventilator is morally licit while removing basic necessities such as food and hydration are not.

Capewell said that her son Jayden cried and lived for two hours before dying in her arms. During that time, his mother took photos of him and pleaded with doctors that he be admitted to the special baby unit at James Paget University Hospital (JPH). Staff at the hospital, in Gorleston, Norfolk, told her that had Jayden been born two days later they would have helped him.

another example of what happens when we stray from our teachings. modern man could take note that Catholics invented hospitals and taught that all life is sacred.

so very, very sad.

Eternal rest grant unto Jayden, O Lord,
and let perpetual light shine upon him.
May he rest in peace.


First of all, doctors shouldn’t get to play God, be it with a five-month baby’s life or a 21 week old fetus’s life. While Sun’s condition thanatophoric dysplasia is considered virtually always lethal, there have been documented cases of survival up to 4.75 years. In one case, a child survived beyond 9 years. Sun had made it to five months with the help of a respirator. Wasn’t he entitled to continue living, even if it meant being hooked up to respirators? Wouldn’t that be ‘erring on the side of life’? He was sedated for comfort, not comatose or vegetative. Yes, the Church teaches removing a ventilator is morally licit but I doubt that the circumstances of Sun’s death were what She had in mind.

They weren’t playing God! They didn’t kill him. According to the chiurch, they merely removed excessive measures. There is no obligation to keep a person hooked up to life support when it is only prolonging death. The obligation is to provide basic care we all need to survive. That is why the church was so involved in Terri Schiavo. You said this case was similar to that and the one in Britain. It is not. Denying someone the hydration and nutrition every human needs to live is active murder. Denying a preemie even the most basic medical care to give them a shot at life is not similar either. With Sun they did all they could.

Of course they killed him. They removed his ventilator against the wishes of his mother. And they did it legally under a law that protects them from prosecution. Just like an abortionist. ALL life is sacred and denying someone the means to stay alive should not depend on someone’s definition of ‘futile care’, whether the patient be a 41 year old woman in a persistent vegetative state, a five month old baby with thanatophoric dysplasia, or a 21 week old fetus.

And if the Church considers a ventilator an excessive measure, why all the fuss in the Piergiorgio Welby case ?

There are adults who are kept alive on ventilators, and at the same time hold jobs, participate in family life, etc. One quadriplegic man on a vent even was a Congressman, I believe. Being on a vent doesnt’ necessarily mean one is suffering.

A quadriplegic on a ventilator successfully directed a movie or two, testified before congress, and remained civicly involved… Christopher Reeves.

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