Pediatric palliative care is under-recognized and under-subscribed, it is an area that is sorely needed at this ominous juncture in time. Disabled newborns are often left to die -- denied food and water -- at the advice or cooperation of hospitals, and consent of their parents. Perhaps this is the way and sway of secular hospitals but Christian health care facilities must never cooperate in the killing of any human being regardless of how hopeless the case. As Malcolm Muggeridge said,
"Jesus healed the sick, raised Lazarus from the dead, gave back sanity to the deranged, but never did He practice, or include, killing as part of the mercy that occupied His heart. His true followers cannot but adopt the same attitude."
A disabled child in utero must never be killed in Christian hospitals -- nor can Christian hospitals legitimately cooperate in attaining such an end. Once born, a disabled baby may only live an hour, but in that hour the child must be welcomed into a tender embrace of Christian love and palliative care -- and not abandoned by withholding food and water. That may be the way of the world of bioethics but it has no place in the actions of a follower of Christ, or institutions that align themselves with His name.
The child's family must also find themselves in the same tender embrace of loving Christian care throughout their bereavement and recovery. This is the call of authentic Christianity to health care professionals, in cooperation and support of Christ's Church. I can think of no more powerful witness to Christ's love. It is shoe-leather evangelism at its finest.
It is time for health care facilities everywhere bearing Christian affiliation to examine their policies and practices to ensure that they are life-affirming and never life-denying. If they are not prepared to do this … then cease their Christian affiliation and stop maligning the holy name of Christ and His Church!
In this new Dark Age of early 21st century North America, authentic Christianity has the opportunity to shine the light of Jesus Christ, showing His love and mercy to the “least of these.” Remember our Lord’s words: