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POZNAN, Poland, January 19, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) — The head of the Bishops Conference of Poland has written to Cardinal Vincent Nichols in the hope that his English counterpart will do something to save a Polish Catholic currently dying of passive euthanasia in an English hospital.
Archbishop Stanislaw Gądecki has explained that there is strong public feeling in the patient’s homeland against the British court which permitted the hospital responsible for his care to remove his clinically assisted nutrition and hydration.
“He was, de facto, sentenced to death of starvation,” Gądecki wrote.
The patient, who is known in the English-speaking world as “RS” because of a court order protecting his identity, is a Polish Catholic who suffered a heart attack in his home in England on November 6 and sustained serious brain damage. Although he can breathe for himself, he relies on clinically assisted nutrition and hydration (CANH) for survival. His hospital doctors believe that he is in a vegetative state and that he has only a small chance of becoming even minimally conscious. At the same time, they expected him to live another five or more years with the help of CANH. Believing this was not in his “best interests” the doctors received permission from the British Court of Protection to discontinue CAHN.
PETITION UPDATE (1/26/21) -
With regret, we report that Mr. R.S. has passed away (+RIP). May his soul and the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace.
Thank you for keeping him and his loved ones in your prayers.
Please read this LifeSite article on R.S.'s passing: 'BREAKING: Pro-life Polish Catholic dies from dehydration, starvation in English hospital' - https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/breaking-pro-life-polish-catholic-dies-from-dehydration-starvation-in-english-hospital
We hereby suspend this petition.
PETITION UPDATE (1/22/21) -
The Polish government has issued a diplomatic passport to a Polish patient dying from the withdrawal of nutrition and hydration in an English hospital.
According to multiple Polish media sources, including the mainstream national newspaper Rzeczpospolita, the Polish government has issued the passport in an attempt to remove the Polish patient from the power of the British courts. Conservative news website wPolityce has reported that the passport is already on its way to London.
The case has become a major scandal in Poland, public anger snowballing since the news spread to the Eastern European country in late December. Jacek Kotula, a Polish regional councillor and leading pro-life activist, told LifeSiteNews that “all Poland” is talking about it.
“Thank you for the support,” he said, referring to LifeSiteNews’ ongoing coverage of the case, “because it is a battle with the Civilization of Death.”
“For us Poles, euthanasia is Hitlerism [Nazism] … How can a normal person say that is in the best interests of a dying Pole that he should die? In Poland we fight until the end for life, which is the greatest gift of the Creator!”
Please continue to SIGN and SHARE this urgent petition. And, please continue to pray for a miracle. Thank you!
PETITION UPDATE (1/19/21) -
Another legal intervention on behalf of R.S. to save his life by having nutrition and hydration restored to him has been refused by the presiding judge in the U.K.
Judge Cohen refused to allow the Polish Consul General to visit R.S., a Polish national who suffered a brain injury while residing in Britain.
This is the latest set-back for R.S.'s birth family, who have been trying every legal avenue to have R.S.'s nourishment reinstated, so that he could be transported from the U.K. to his native Poland, where he could be cared for.
Please pray that this situation would somehow be resolved, and life-enabling treatment restored.
'BREAKING: UK court forbids Polish Consul General from visiting Pole dying in English hospital' - https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/breaking-uk-court-forbids-polish-consul-general-from-visiting-pole-dying-in-english-hospital
A Polish Catholic man who suffered a brain injury, R.S. (his identity has been protected), is being deliberately starved and dehydrated to death in a British hospital, even though he has shown signs of improvement.
Please SIGN and SHARE this urgent petition to help save this man's life by demanding that the British government and the treating hospital re-authorize nutrition and hydration with immediate effect.
This shocking situation has been going on since December, as R.S.'s wife and doctors have argued that R.S.'s vital life-support should be cut-off while his birth family has argued that his life-support should be maintained so that he can be transported back to Poland where he would be cared for.
R.S.'s mother stated: "I am devastated that the British authorities have decided to dehydrate my son to death. I want to take my son back to his own country, where I would be allowed to care for him," she said. "What the British authorities are trying to do to my son is euthanasia by a back door."
And, at Christmas, video of R.S. was taken showing his condition to have improved since he sustained his brain injury.
In the same video, R.S. is seen in what some have described as a 'minimally-conscious state,' but that evidence, and the accompanying testimony of two neurologists, was rejected out-of-hand by a British judge.
The birth family of R.S. then took the case to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), which also summarily rejected the case for a technicality based on standing. The presiding judge, Judge Grozev, said that R.S.'s niece was not a close enough relation to him for the case to be heard.
How appalling a reason to deprive a man of food and water!
But, right now, R.S.'s lawyers from the Christian Legal Centre (CLC) are now pursuing a last-ditch effort to have the ECHR judge recused from the case because, as Dr. Roger Kiska of the CLC told LifeSite, "Mr. Grozev was a long-time member of the George Soros funded Open Society Foundation which advocates for the type of euthanasia being utilised in the R.S. case," before he became an ECHR judge.
All the while, the Polish Government has been doing everything in its power, including offering to airlift R.S. back to Poland, to help the situation.
So, in other words, there are people ready and willing to help take care of R.S. if and when released by the hospital for transit out of Britain.
Please SIGN this urgent petition to the British Government demanding that they stop the process of euthanizing R.S., and allow him to return to his home country where he may be able to recover from his current state.
After signing, please take a few minutes to politely contact the following:
British Embassy in Washington, D.C.
+1 (202) 588-6500
3100 Massachusetts Avenue, NW
Washington DC 20008
British High Commission
+1 (613) 237-1530
80 Elgin Street Ottawa Ontario K1P 5K7
Dominic Raab, Foreign Secretary
House of Commons
020 7219 7069
BREAKING: UK court forbids Polish Consul General from visiting Pole dying in English hospital - https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/breaking-uk-court-forbids-polish-consul-general-from-visiting-pole-dying-in-english-hospital
'Hope dims for pro-life Polish Catholic now dying of hunger, thirst in English hospital' - https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/hope-dims-for-pro-life-polish-catholic-now-dying-of-hunger-thirst-in-english-hospital
'UK Courts Accused of 'Euthanasia by a Back Door' After Ordering Withdrawal of Vital Treatment for Foreign Citizen' - https://www1.cbn.com/cbnnews/world/2021/january/uk-courts-accused-of-euthanasia-by-a-back-door-after-ordering-withdrawal-of-vital-treatment-for-foreign-citizen
**Photo Credit: Shutterstock.com
In Britain, CANH is considered “medical treatment” and therefore its withdrawal is not legally considered euthanasia. The practise is considered barbaric and cruel in RS’s native Poland, and the case has caught the attention of the Polish press and public. Video footage of RS in his hospital bed has been widely circulated in Poland, much to the disgust of the judge who made the order forbidding the identification of RS. Two neurologists consulted by RS’s birth family have given their opinion that RS is progressing to a minimally conscious state, but their evidence has been rejected by both the Court of Protection and the Court of Appeal.
In his letter, which Polish online newspaper Polonia Christiana reproduced in full, the Polish archbishop reminded the English cardinal of the basic details of the case: that the patient’s wife and children, who live in England, agree with the decision to end his life, but that his mother and sister who live in Poland, and his sister and niece, who live in England, are opposed to it. Gądecki noted also that the European Court of Human Rights have refused to hear the latter’s case on more than one occasion, and so the hospital is continuing to allow RS to die.
RS’s birth family testified that RS was a devout Catholic who was opposed to both abortion and euthanasia, who believed that sick people deserved compassionate care and had a right to their lives. One of RS’s sisters told LifeSiteNews that he was furious with British court decisions to end the life of toddler Alfie Evans. However, RS’s wife testified that her husband would not want to be “a burden” or to be remembered by his children as “disabled.”
Although RS’s birth family, with the support of the Polish Government, have attempted to appeal the decision to end RS’s life and, as Gądecki recalled in his letter, the Polish Government has asked permission to take RS to Poland for care, the British courts have refused. Mr Justice Cohen has repeated his judgment that it is in RS’s “best interests” not to receive life-sustaining care.
RS’s sister also told LifeSiteNews that her brother had met St. John Paul II and treasured a photograph he had of the two of them together. In his letter to Cardinal Nichols, Archbishop Gądecki reminded the prelate of the Polish pope’s warnings against the “culture of death.”
St. John Paul II, in his encyclical Evangelium Vitae, wrote:
it is possible to speak in a certain sense of a war of the powerful against the weak: a life which would require greater acceptance, love and care is considered useless, or held to be an intolerable burden, and is therefore rejected in one way or another. A person who, because of illness, handicap or, more simply, just by existing, compromises the well-being or life-style of those who are more favoured tends to be looked upon as an enemy to be resisted or eliminated. In this way a kind of “conspiracy against life” is unleashed. This conspiracy involves not only individuals in their personal, family or group relationships, but goes far beyond, to the point of damaging and distorting, at the international level, relations between peoples and States.
The Polish archbishop concluded his letter by asking Cardinal Nichols’ help in “this difficult situation” and to make an attempt at saving the life of “our compatriot.” The Polish word Archbishop Gądecki used to describe RS, “rodak,” is derived from the same root from which the Polish word for family, “rodzina”, is derived. It denotes strong and warm ties through nationality.
Hitherto, the most prominent Catholic to speak up against the dehydration and starvation death of RS was the Anscombe Bioethics Centre’s Dr. David Jones, who published a position paper on the topic on January 12, 2021. Jones underscored that RS had previously expressed opposition to euthanasia. He was particularly troubled by the implications of hydration and nutrition being removed from vulnerable people on the grounds that they would not want to be “a burden.”
LifeSiteNews has reached out to the Archdiocese of Westminster for comment and is awaiting a response.