Catholic bishop prays for mother who has lost her appeal to save her 5-year-old daughter’s life

Our own Father John Sherrington, now auxiliary bishop of the archdiocese of Westminster and spokesperson for the Bishops’ Conference on life issues, of has spoken of his distress over a court-ruled ending of treatment for a young girl with a particular disability, which was made without the consent of her mother. Bishop John spoke of the personal worth and dignity that every human being enjoys, independently of their medical condition. Independent judgements about the child’s ‘quality of life’ failed to account for that human dignity, he said, for adequate care should include nutrition and hydration. More on this story at this link.

The bishop is supported by the Anscombe Centre for Bioethics in Oxford, which has also called the judgement and ruling ‘deeply flawed.’ [link to PDF statement] Please pray for little Pippa Knight, and for her mother Paula, who now plans to appeal to the Supreme Court for permission to have the child returned home to her family. It is rather important for us as Catholics to understand why the thinking behind the quality-of-life rulings for extremely ill children are ethically flawed from the perspective of the Church, so the above PDF statement and the longer document available from the website of the Anscombe Centre (linked above) are very useful.