Sunday, 21 February 2010

"Mercy killing? Never."

Photo: Daily Mail
The Daily Mail the other day reported on the story of James Shepherd and his mother, Elisabeth. At the age of eight, James was knocked over by a car which had mounted the pavement; he was left in a coma from which doctors advised that he had virtually no chance of recovery. He did recover consciousness and some use of speech but has no controlled use of his limbs.

Elisabeth Sheppard contacted the Daily Mail in order to provide an alternative to the widespread support for Kay Gilderdale who helped her daughter Lynn, who suffered from ME, to commit suicide. The story of the Sheppards is all the more powerful because of the genuine difficulties and temptations that Mrs Sheppard admits to facing. Her marriage broke up, she was in mental chaos for some time and did herself consider helping her son to die. From these experiences, she draws the conclusion that she was at times an unreliable carer in need of effective support, and that:
It's this close involvement in his care that convinces me that we must maintain the protection of the courts for people like my son, even from me, his mother'.
Mrs Sheppard's courageous honesty makes this story a most powerful witness to the sanctity of human life. Let us remember her and James in our prayers.

Full Story in the Daily Mail: Mercy killing? Never. I'll always fight like a lioness for my darling boy...
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