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June 28, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) — A baby boy who was said to have 0 percent odds of surviving after being born four months prematurely just celebrated his first birthday this month.
Richard Scott William Hutchinson is listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as the most premature baby to survive to date. He was born weighing only 11.9 ounces, so tiny that he fit in the palm of a hand, CNN reported.
He was born on June 5, 2020, after just 21 weeks and two days in his mother’s womb.
Because of COVID-19 restrictions, Richard's parents were not allowed to stay overnight with their baby boy at the hospital, so they traveled an hour every day for six months to the Minneapolis hospital to be with him.
“We made sure we were there to give him support,” his father, Rick, told Guinness Book of World Records. “I think that helped him get through this because he knew he could count on us.”
Dr. Stacy Kern, Richard's neonatologist at Children's Minnesota, likewise thinks the presence of Richard’s parents was vital in helping their baby boy to thrive.
“We know that babies that are talked to and held do better and have better outcomes,” she said. “For them to be there, always holding him and talking to him, it absolutely played a huge role.”
The parents of Alta Fixsler are pleading with the British courts not to remove life support from their brain-damaged daughter, so that they can transport her to a hospital in Israel or the U.S.
Could you do your part and SIGN and SHARE this petition which asks the British courts and hospital system to allow the Fixslers to remove their daughter from the UK so that she can live, and not be killed by so-called "passive euthanasia" where her life support is taken away?
Late last month, High Court Justice Mr. Alistair McDonald insanely ruled that it is in Alta's "best interests" to have her life support stopped, and that Manchester University NHS could begin the process of removing her life support.
But, Mr. and Mrs. Fixsler, who are are Orthodox Jews living according to Hebrew law, strenuously objected to the hospital depriving Alta of life support and she was given a reprieve, but we don't know how long that will last.
In fact, just yesterday, a British Court of Appeal declined to render judgement in this case, giving more hope that little Alta might be able to leave the UK and be treated in another country.
And, both American and Israeli lawmakers have spoken up against the planned passive euthanasia death of Alta, with a host of U.S. Senators, as well as the Israeli Health Minister and President, petitioning different British officials to stop the process of causing Alta's death.
We concur with what the Senators wrote: "It is unacceptable that people in government think they, not parents, should decide what is in the best interest of a child, even in a matter of life and death."
Please SIGN and SHARE this urgent petition now.
The story of a brain-damaged child in England in danger of a passive euthanasia opposed by both his or her parents and officials overseas is now a distressingly familiar one.
In the 2017 case of Charlie Gard, Pope Francis, President Donald Trump, and 37 European MPs sided with the infant’s parents against the British courts that agreed to allow the NHS to withdraw his life support. Almost one-year-old Charlie died 12 minutes after he was removed from a ventilator.
In 2018, Tom Evans, the Catholic father of Alfie Evans, appealed to Pope Francis on behalf of his almost two-year-old son, and the pontiff did indeed ask for prayers for the youngster. Both Polish and Italian hospitals were willing to treat the brain-injured boy, but the British courts refused to release him. Alfie died four days after he was removed from a ventilator.
In 2019, Tafida Raqeeb, then five years old, made headlines when her Muslim parents fought the Barts Health NHS Trust’s request to stop treating the brain-damaged girl. Once again, an Italian hospital offered to treat the sick child, and in this case the judge – Mr Justice Alistair MacDonald – ruled that the child could be allowed to live and taken to Italy for treatment.
And, in 2021, six-year-old Pippa Knight was not permitted to live despite the wishes of her widowed mother Paula. Pippa died in May after doctors removed her life support.
RIGHT NOW, please help little Alta and her parents fight for her right to live, and not be killed by having her life support removed.
Thank you for SIGNING and SHARING this urgent petition.
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
'No judgment yet: Panel to ‘think carefully’ about taking 2-year-old Alta Fixsler off life support' - https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/no-judgment-yet-panel-to-think-carefully-about-taking-2-year-old-alta-fixsler-off-life-support
'US senators, Israeli officials appeal against UK High Court decision to deny Jewish toddler food, water, oxygen' - https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/us-senators-israeli-officials-appeal-against-uk-high-court-decision-to-deny-jewish-toddler-food-water-oxygen
'Judge rules Jewish girl's life support can be withdrawn' - https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-manchester-57276221
Photo Credit: screenshot / 'PA'
The boy’s mother, Beth, told TODAY Parents that she and Rick had been trying to conceive for years, before she got pregnant and had a miscarriage in 2018.
His parents were finally able to take him home in December 2020, after he spent more than six months in the hospital.
“The day Richard was discharged from the NICU was such a special day. I remember picking him up out of his crib and just holding him with tears in my eyes,” said Dr. Kern.
“I couldn't believe this was the same little boy that once was so sick that I feared he may not survive. The same little boy that once fit in the palm of my hand, with skin so translucent that I could see every rib and vessel in his tiny body. I couldn't help but squeeze him and tell him how proud I was of him.”
While Richard still needs oxygen support at home, The Washington Post reported hthat e is “slowly weaning off medical equipment.”
“He’s doing really well. He’s pretty much hitting all of his milestones,” said his mother. “He’s got two teeth now and a lot of personality. He’s a happy, smiley baby, and he loves to laugh.”
Richard’s parents invited family over and treated him to cake and ice cream for his first birthday, which “was a blast.”
“Everything he’s gone through in his short little life, I couldn’t imagine going through that,” his father told The Washington Post. “But he did it, and he’s truly my hero.”
Rick and Beth plan to start a nonprofit “to support other premature babies.”
The survival of Richard, while exceptional, brings to the forefront of the abortion discussion questions about the point of fetal viability, and even about whether viability should be used as a determinant of abortion law. The question carries added weight in the United States, since Roe v. Wade held that states cannot ban abortion before fetal viability.
Nineteen states, including Minnesota, consider fetal viability to be the point at which abortion is banned, although they legally mark viability at different points during gestation.
While Casey v. Planned Parenthood, in 1992, determined that 24 weeks was the age of viability — set back from 28 weeks during the less technologically advanced time of Roe v. Wade — University of Iowa pediatrics professor Dr. Edward Bell told The New York Times in 2015 that he considers 22 weeks to be the new age of viability.
Ambitious scientists in the Netherlands are currently developing artificial wombs that they says “could save the lives of premature babies,” and consider them to be less than 10 years away from production.