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Old 01-17-2006, 10:10 PM   #46
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This story is very sad and makes me sick to know a possible child murderer called a "de facto" parent aka stepfather to this child, this innocent soul, who is the one responsible for the state she is currnetly hanging on in could possibly be granted custody of her? Makes me ill. Let the state take over and remove the life support. Then let the de fact rot in prison for the rest of his life, hopefully being reminded day after day what he did.Hopfully justice will prevail here.

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Old 01-18-2006, 05:54 AM   #47
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Re: "Right To Die" Case Of Battered Girl

Originally posted by MrsSpringsteen
This raises so many questions-does he have that legal right? The moral right? And obviously he has clear motivation to avoid the murder charge..

That poor little girl


BOSTON (Reuters) - A man facing a possible murder charge for beating his stepdaughter so badly she is in a permanent vegetative state asked Massachussetts' top court on Tuesday to keep her alive in a case that highlights the divisive "right to die" issue in America.

Jason Strickland, a 31-year-old auto mechanic, is accused of battering 11-year-old Haleigh Poutre, whose brain was found partly sheared when she was hospitalized on September 11. Her body was covered with burns, cuts and bruises and her teeth were broken.

But Strickland, who never adopted the child, wants to be legally recognized as her de-facto father because he lived with Haleigh for four years.

If the court grants his wish, it would allow Stickland to decide whether to take Haleigh off life support and could also allow him to avoid a charge of murder.

Justice John Greaney questioned the wisdom of putting the girl's fate in the hands of her alleged abuser.

"When you talk about de-facto parent you are talking about someone who is substituting for the real parent who is nurturing and taking care of the child," he said.

"You don't talk about it in terms, as it seems to me that you have here, of someone who has inflicted injuries on the child and has harmed that child...," he said. "That would turn the whole concept completely on its head."
Hey, if Michael Schiavo can beat a murder rap for killing his wife then NOTHING surprises me anymore in the so-called "Justice" system.

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Old 01-18-2006, 07:00 AM   #48
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since the other picture doesn't show up anymore, here's another picture of Haleigh

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Old 01-18-2006, 07:54 AM   #49
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Haleigh Poutre's end-of-life case has been compared to the well-publicized saga involving Terri Schiavo, a brain-damaged Florida woman from Florida who was on life support for 15 years before dying March 31 at age 41. Following are questions and answers about similarities and differences in the cases.

Q. How do the two patients compare medically?

A. Schiavo suffered brain damage in 1990 after her heart stopped from a chemical imbalance, possibly caused by an eating disorder.

She was in a persistent vegetative state, which means she was awake but unconscious. She could breathe on her own, but could not feed herself or communicate. She was kept alive only by a feeding tube and died 13 days after the tube was removed.

Haleigh was allegedly brutally beaten last fall by her adoptive mother and stepfather. According to court records, the 11-year-old girl is "virtually brain dead" and in an "irreversible coma," suggesting she has suffered more brain damage than Schiavo. She has yet to show she can breathe on her own for extended periods of time. She has severe injury to her brain stem, which controls the body's vital functions. Doctors predict she will not live for more than a couple of months longer, even if she remains attached to a feeding tube.

Q. How do the two cases compare legally and politically?

A. Schiavo's case was taken up at the highest legislative and judicial levels of both state and federal governments. President Bush and his brother, Governor Jeb Bush of Florida, intervened to keep her feeding tube attached. Schiavo also had family members appealing to keep her alive, and they sought a range of political, legal, and religious groups to help their cause.

Haleigh's case has so far remained within the state court system.

Haleigh has no family members passionately arguing to keep her alive. Her stepfather, who has been accused in her beating, has appealed to keep her life-support systems going, but the courts have said he has no legal standing.

Q. Why did the cases end up in court?

A. Schiavo was old enough to have a healthcare proxy spelling out who would make decisions for her if she became incapacitated.

But she did not designate in writing anyone to make decisions for her, leaving her husband, who said it would have been her wish to remove the feeding tube, and her parents fighting the legal battle.

Without any legal parents to speak for her, Haleigh was placed in the custody of the state Department of Social Services. All end-oflife medical care for children in state custody must be reviewed by the courts.
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Old 01-19-2006, 07:07 AM   #50
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A day after the state's highest court ruled that the Department of Social Services could withdraw life support from a brain-damaged girl, the agency said yesterday that Haleigh Poutre might be emerging from her vegetative state.

DSS also said it has no immediate plans to remove her feeding tube.

''There has been a change in her condition," said a DSS spokeswoman, Denise Monteiro. ''The vegetative state may not be a total vegetative state."

Monteiro said Haleigh is breathing on her own, without the ventilator she has depended on for four months. Monteiro also said that doctors at Baystate Medical Center in Springfield elicited responses from Haleigh during tests performed yesterday.

They will begin more medical tests today to determine her neurological activity. Further tests, Monteiro said, could show whether Haleigh is going to be ''a miracle child."

Monteiro said that doctors did not tell DSS, which has custody of Haleigh, that her condition had changed until yesterday afternoon. She also said the agency's decision to seek court approval to remove life support was based on the ''best diagnosis that we thought we had at the time."

Many neurologists say it is rare for a patient with severe brain-stem injuries to fully recover from a persistent vegetative state that lasts for more than a month. Sometimes, patients can partially recover, such as showing increasing responsiveness to touch by frowning or moving their hand, said Dr. Steve Williams, chief of rehabilitation medicine at Boston Medical Center.

But rarely do these patients fully recover so they can communicate, feed themselves, and live ordinary lives, he said.

He added, however, that the recoveries, when they happen, are more likely with children than adults. ''There's more plasticity to their brain," he said. ''There's potentially other areas of the brain that can take over."
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Old 01-19-2006, 04:59 PM   #51
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Comatose beaten girl breathing on her own

SPRINGFIELD, Massachusetts (AP) -- A severely beaten and comatose 11-year-old girl is now breathing on her own, officials said Thursday, two days after Massachusetts' highest court ruled the state had the authority to remove her from life support.

Denise Monteiro, a spokeswoman for the Department of Social Services, said doctors have weaned Haleigh Poutre off a ventilator in the past week.

"She can intake air, but she can't swallow on her own," Monteiro said.

Haleigh has been in the agency's custody since she was hospitalized four months ago with a badly damaged brain stem that authorities say resulted from abuse. Thinking that she was in an irreversible vegetative condition, the state had gone to court to seek permission to remove her from life support.

Haleigh's stepfather, Jason Strickland, is charged with beating the girl and could face a murder charge if she dies. He has fought to keep her on life support, but this week's high court ruling said he has no say in her medical care.

"This is exactly the point we were trying to make. What's the rush? Just give her a chance," attorney John Egan said. "Medical science is not that certain. We would hope the whole process will slow down, and everyone will step back and end the compulsion to end her life."

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