Christian Legal Centre that fought to save Polish Catholic thanks LifeSiteNews readers
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LONDON, England, February 12, 2021 (LifeSiteNews)— The CEO of the British Christian legal organization that fought to save the life of a Polish Catholic has thanked LifeSiteNews readers for their generous donations.
RS, the Polish man at the heart of the battle, died in an English National Health Service hospital on January 26, 2021 after being deprived of nutrition and most hydration for 13 days.
As LifeSiteNews led the media in reporting on the RS right-to-life case, a decision was made to raise funds for the Christian Legal Centre, the organization helping RS’s birth family. Generous LifeSiteNews readers raised over £25,700 (approx. $35, 469 USD). Andrea Minichiello Williams, the chief executive officer of the legal organization has now sent thanks, via a video.
“I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for the way in which supporters and readers of LifeSiteNews got behind us at the Christian Legal Centre as during December through Christmas—indeed, even on Christmas Day—through New Year, even on New Year’s Day, we were working day and night to try and secure life and justice and hope for RS.”
Williams explained that RS’s birth family, comprised of his mother, his sisters, and his nieces, had done all they could to save him from de facto passive euthanasia. When they ran out of money in the legal fight, they turned to Christian Legal Centre. The pro bono organization took the case, even though it looked like an expensive proposition.
“The reality is this: these cases are very hard, they’re very complex, they need specialist lawyers," Williams said in her video.
“There was much of the work that we had to outsource to specialist lawyers,” she continued.
“The truth is, the costs for us come in now at around £100,000 [$138,078].”
Williams praised the £25,000+ donation as “exceptional” but is also in favour of the fundraising getting closer to LifeSiteNews’ target of £50,000 target.
“We press on; we never count the costs. We do this by faith, knowing that together with God’s people there will […] always be a way through,” she said.
“So thank you for standing with us. We truly appreciate you.”
LifeSiteNews offered extensive coverage of the RS case. RS, a night-shift worker who shouldered the entire financial burden of daily life for his wife and children, suffered a heart attack at his home in southwest England in early November and fell into a coma. He was discovered to have extensive brain damage, and his doctors predicted that he had only a small chance of improving to a minimally conscious state. At the same time, they believed that with continued hydration and nutrition, he might live for over five more years.
Therefore, supported by RS’s wife, the University Hospitals Plymouth NHS Trust went to court to request permission to cease “treating” the patient, which meant removing clinically assisted nutrition and hydration (CANH). They were vigorously opposed by RS’s mother, sisters, and niece, who argued that as a pro-life, anti-euthanasia, church-attending Catholic, RS would not want to die this way. When the Court of Protection’s Mr Justice Cohen sided with the NHS on December 15, RS’s birth family took their fight to the U.K. Court of Appeal, to the European Court of Human Rights, and finally to the Polish Government.
In a dramatic and unprecedented attempt to save the life of the Polish citizen, the Polish Government issued him a diplomatic passport and prepared to bring him back to Poland for treatment. Unfortunately, the process stalled, and RS died shortly thereafter.
One of the blocks to bringing wider public attention in the English-speaking world to the RS case was a court-ordered publication ban called a “Transparency Order.” This prevented the publication of the names of the patient, any of his family members, his doctors, and the hospital in which he was refused the “medical care” of hydration and nutrition. Because the patient could not be named, his plight went largely unremarked by the British press. The Polish press, however, ignored the ban to a certain extent—providing readers with RS’s Christian name, the names of his sisters and the name of his English hospital—and the case became a cause célèbre in the patient’s native Poland. It also touched hearts in Italy, as can be seen in this musical tribute to RS.
Those wishing to contribute towards covering the cost of the legal expenses incurred in fighting to save RS’ life can do so here.