Haleigh Poutre Almost Victim of Euthanasia, Now Making Good Progress

Bioethics   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Sep 4, 2006   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Haleigh Poutre Almost Victim of Euthanasia, Now Making Good Progress Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
September 4
, 2006

Boston, MA (LifeNews.com) — Haleigh Poutre was the victim of child abuse and was nearly killed via euthanasia when Massachusetts officials gave up on her after she entered a coma. Now Poutre, once termed "brain dead" by doctors, continues to improve and is speaking a few words, her grandmother says.

Sandra Sudyka, the girl’s biological grandmother, is no longer allowed to visit her granddaughter and now says she is ready to speak to the media about Poutre’s condition.

She told The Republican newspaper that she last saw Poutre on July 18 but indicated she was "doing well."

"She was bright-eyed and smiling. She is always responsive to us," Sudyka explained.

Department of Social Services had asked Sudyka not to talk with reporters about Haleigh, but since they will no longer allow her and Haleigh’s biological mother, Allison Avrett, to visit the 12 year-old, she said she’s going to talk to the media.

"I decided since they broke the deal, I am going to talk. People should know how well she is doing," Sudyka told the newspaper.

"They don’t want people to know how she is doing after they wanted to pull the plug," Sudyka said.

DSS spokeswoman Denise Monteiro declined an interview with The Republican but said that the visiting privileges have been suspended, not terminated.

Haleigh first began speaking in June, her grandmother told the newspaper.

"I was saying to her ‘I love you,’ and she was trying to say ‘love’ and it came out as a vibration…’ove,’" Sudyka said.

Sudyka, who is working with an attorney to adopt the girl, said she has said hello, responds to comments and questions, speaks nonverbally and is able to write her name. Haleigh can’t walk and is confined to a wheelchair.

Avrett, Poutre’s biological mother, lost custody of her daughter after physically abusing her. Poutre was put into a foster home where her adoptive parents also abused her. Her adopted mother committed suicide after abusing Poutre so much she had to be hospitalized.

DSS took Poutre into custody and when she appeared to slip into a coma, the agency asked the state Supreme Court for permission to take her life. That’s when Poutre began responding.

Poutre has been receiving physical, speech and occupational therapy since January 26 at Franciscan Hospital for Children in Brighton.

Gov. Mitt Romney appointed a commission to look into how the state failed to properly handle the girl’s case.