The decision of a judge in CA has given the family of 8 year old Jahi McMath until January 7 to prove that she is worth at least attempting to save. Little Jahi went in for what was expected to be a routine tonsillectomy to help her sleep apnea. Instead, the botched operation left her in a coma. The hospital says she’s brain dead and insisted that her life support be discontinued just a couple of days before Christmas. Her family has fought in court to prevent the hospital from acting without the family’s permission. I’m not a neurologist and wouldn’t pretend to know the level if any of Jahi’s brain function. But I am a parent and grandparent, and I would fight with all within me to hold on to any hope to protect the life of a member of my family. And I would probably not be overly confident of the opinion of the hospital that said my daughter’s brain was dead because they also said the surgery that put her in that condition was routine and low risk. The family may come to believe that there is nothing that will save their daughter, take her off life support and allow her to be in the hands of God alone as to whether she lives. But a larger issue comes from this in the form of a question that deserves an answer: “Whose life is it?” Does Jahi belong to the hospital? To lawyers and judges? To medical experts? To the state? Or to her parents? For me, the answer is simple: Mothers and fathers are held responsible for the child’s creation, early nurture, training of basic social and personal skills, religious values, and even decisions about health, hygiene, and education. Does government or its institutions have the right to usurp the parents and step in as a power greater than parents and equal with God? I’m reminded again through this case that my unwavering commitment to the value of every human life is based on the notion that every life has value and worth. There is no such person who is disposable; one whose life has been deemed by others to be less than others and therefore expendable. The road that starts with deciding that some lives have less value and are unworthy of protection leads to a culture that tolerates the undeserved killing of over 55 million unborn children in America; to China’s birth policy that limits the number of children for a family and enforces forced abortion if they deviate from the state determined ideal; it’s the culture that allowed the Nazis to hideously justify the savage slaughter of millions of Jews, disabled people, old people, and those with mental illness. They first had to devalue them. I don’t know what I would do if I were Jahi’s parents because I’m not her parents. But I know that I want for these dear people to be allowed to make the decision about their daughter’s future and not the medical staff of a hospital or a court. The court so far has ruled right in ruling to continue to protect the parents’ rights. Let’s hope and pray the courts continue to do what every court should do—respect parents over government; family over hospitals, and above all, protect Jahi from them all.

Comments 1-5 of 35

  • Fr. Anthony Batt

    01/26/2014 08:30 PM

    Gov. Huckabee, I've been meaning to write for a few months now and this seems like a good opportunity. Since our country has decided to accept abortion [and contraception]we have lost respect and love for our children. I believe this is one factor in the numerous school shootings. I also believe it is the cause that the 'powers to be' want to pass off our current debt to our children. Many other comparisons can be applied to this theroy.
    Thank you for all you do,
    Fr. Batt

  • Loretta J. Simms

    01/09/2014 07:42 PM

    Please confirm the knowledge regarding the individuals you are writing about. Case in point, Jahi McMath I believe is a 14 yr. old not an 8 yr. old. Thank you for this venue

  • Patricia

    01/06/2014 09:59 PM

    Such a hard thing. letting go is never easy and only God knows the time of a person to go...the real thing here is if they take this child off the life support she might die if they leave her on and she has died they won't really know...it is such a hard thing.....i have lost a child and it is not easy thing no matter what the situation...In Jesus Name Father God helpthis family to know the truth....open their eyes and let it be an agreement with the hospital what to do...life is in the hands of the Lord....patricia

  • Judy Johnson

    01/06/2014 09:33 PM

    Mr. Huckabee,
    I feel really bad for this child's family. However, there are MANY tests that go into DXing someone as brain dead. I have personally been a part of these tests. Normally, I am a person that will quickly tell anyone the less government in your life the better off you are. BUT, in this situation and many others similar to, because of all that is put into diagnosing, it is sad to know the child is really already gone. This actually draws out the grieving for the family. One thing that I talked with a friend today about concerning this case is COPA. Think of all the people she could help. Part of her could live on! Now, I will tell you that I do believe in Divine intervention. If they disconnect her from the ventilator and she breathes on her on then that's a whole different story. I am sure they have already done the apnea/CO2 test, EEGs,etc. After working in the medical field for many years and seeing families just let their love ones literally rot with bed sores and infections it is SAD. We treat animals better than we do humans sometimes. Finally, many times I have seen elective supposedly simple procedures not turn out that way. That is why you sign that dotted line. Actually, I would love to see a miracle. But knowing the process done to declare her brain dead. Not viable without ventilator. The best thing I think that could come out of this is organ donation. Sincerely, Judy Johnson

  • Mary Glover

    01/06/2014 08:23 PM

    If the hospital or the Drs. in it somehow caused this little girl's predicament, then I believe they have nothing to say about anything. They have admitted botching the op? If so they had better get their defense ready.

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