LifeSite delivers petition to save life of Polish Catholic being starved to death in England
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LONDON, England, January 21, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) — The LifeSiteNews petition to the British government to save the life of a Polish man being euthanized in an English hospital was delivered today — but no-one would receive it in person. The petition currently has almost 25,000 signatures.
John Smeaton, the Chief Executive of the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC) took the petition on LifeSiteNews’ behalf to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in London at 2 PM local time. Beforehand, Smeaton discovered that no-one from the British government, let alone Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, would receive it in person, due to COVID fears.
Undaunted, Smeaton delivered an address outside the iconic 19th century building. He accurately described the patient, dying only because his clinically assisted nutrition and hydration (CANH) have been removed, as a “pro-life Catholic.”
RS, as the patient is known in the English-speaking world, sustained a brain injury after suffering a heart attack in early November. Not long after that, his doctors decided that further “medical treatment,” as CANH is defined in Britain, was futile. Uncomfortable that RS might live five or more years without ever being in more than a minimally conscious state, the doctors, with the help of RS’s wife, successfully petitioned the Court of Protection to withdraw CANH, so that RS’s life might come to an end.
“This is standard practice in the UK,” Smeaton said. “When the authorities decide that vulnerable people are no longer worth caring for, patients who require clinically assisted care are put on a short path to starvation and hydration.”
“However, this man’s mother and siblings have fought hard for him. The Polish government has raised their voice, too, and asked that the British authorities allow him back to his homeland where he would receive the care he needs. In addition, pro-life groups around the world have fought for him in his hour of need.”
Smeaton added that he was pleased to raise his voice for “this vulnerable human being.” He praised the Christian Legal Centre for helping RS’s birth family fight his case and thanked LifeSiteNews for “extensive reporting” on the matter. LifeSiteNews’ involvement has “helped make this a major issue in Poland and in the Polish media,” he noted.
“In addition, you have raised your voices,” he said to the petition’s signatories.
“Almost 25,000 people have signed a LifeSite petition calling for food and fluids to be restored to RS and save him from a cruel death. So the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children is doing all we can, here in cold Lockdown London, to get LifeSite’s petition on your behalf to Dominic Raab, to the U.K. Foreign Secretary, and urge him to respect the calls from around the world not to starve this poor man to death when he needs care more than ever.”
As one of Britain’s most high-profile and, after 47 years, longest-serving pro-life campaigners, Smeaton was able to explain how the island nation has fallen so far from its commitment to the right to life of critically ill patients.
“When Tony Blair was British Prime Minister, the Government’s Mental Capacity Act 2005 enshrined and expanded euthanasia by neglect in English law,” he said.
“The English Mental Capacity Act 2005 enshrined the principles of the 1992 Supreme Court judgement in English statute law, and expanded it to cover a much wider range of circumstances.”
“Tony Bland, who was severely brain-damaged, was dehydrated to death following this decision by the Supreme Court that tube-delivered food and fluids was so-called ‘medical treatment’ and could be withdrawn from him in order to cause his death.”
“As a result of the U.K.’s Supreme Court nearly 30 years ago, RS is now being dehydrated to death.”
Smeaton’s speech on RS’s behalf follows a letter from Cardinal Nichols, written by proxy, to the UK’s Minister of Health, Matt Hancock, stating Catholic teachings against starvation deaths and expressing a wish that RS be transported to Poland for care. It also follows a briefing paper from England’s Anscombe Bioethics Centre, in which Dr. David Jones raised an alarm over the court’s justifications for ending RS’s life, namely that he is alleged to have said that he would not want to be a “burden.”
Many of Poland’s political, diplomatic, and cultural leaders have voiced their support for RS and his family. Thousands of Poles have been horrified by the news that their compatriot is being starved and dehydrated to death. Yesterday, Poland’s Foreign Minister Zbigniew Rau stated that he was going to seek diplomatic status for RS. As yet, however, RS is still in an English hospital. He has not received nutrition or more hydration necessary for palliative care since last Thursday.
Readers may still sign the petition HERE.
To read LifeSiteNews’ detailed and up-to-date coverage of the RS case, please click on this link.
Readers may also donate and help the legal battle to keep RS alive at LifeSiteNews’ LifeFunder.