Delaware House of Representatives Approves Resolution for Lauren Richardson

Bioethics   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jul 7, 2008   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Delaware House of Representatives Approves Resolution for Lauren Richardson

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by Steven Ertelt Editor
July 7
, 2008

Dover, DE ( — Last week, the Delaware House of Representatives approved a resolution supporting a disabled patient and her father, who is trying to keep her from becoming a euthanasia victim. The legislature backed Lauren Richardson, whose father and other family members continue to press her case.

Richardson is a 23-year-old woman who overdosed on heroin in August 2006 while she was three months pregnant with a baby girl.

Doctors kept Lauren on life support until she delivered her baby in February 2007. Shortly thereafter, her parents began a fight that is reminiscent of the battle over Terri’s life and death.

The Delaware House is backing Randy Richardson, Lauren’s father, who is fighting to save her life and wants to be appointed as her guardian to ensure she receives appropriate medical care and treatment.

According to a WorldNetDaily report, it approved a measure saying "it is against the public policy of this state" to withdraw food and water from patients.

"It is against the public policy of this State and this State’s interest in life, health and safety, for hydration and nutrition that is not harming a patient to be involuntarily removed from a non-terminal, apparently brain-incapacitated patient if doing so will cause the individual’s death," the resolution reads.

The measure also says withdrawing food and water without a valid advanced directive from a patient is also a violation of the public policy of the state.

Meanwhile, Lauren’s father issued a recent update on the family’s web site about Lauren and his battle to protect her.

"Lauren herself has had some minor ups and downs but is doing pretty well. We are visiting her, interacting with her, and enjoying her life every day," he writes.

Richardson says the next chapter of the legal battle to protect his daughter is expected to unfold later this month.

"Lauren’s case is still ongoing and no decision has been made yet by the trial judge," Richardson adds.

"Some of the items on schedule in the court case in May and June occurred while others did not. We do not know what the upcoming schedule will be exactly, but at least some court-related activities will occur in July," he explains.

"All of this means that Lauren’s case is still hanging in the balance for a decision about whether she will be allowed to receive care and assistance from her loving family or whether she will starve and dehydrate simply because she has a disability," he continues. "Please continue to pray for Lauren and everyone involved in this case."

Randy Richardson is battling Edith Towers, Lauren’s mother, who wants to remove her feeding tube and starve and dehydrate her to death in the same manner that Michael Schiavo subjected Terri.

Randy Richardson says, "Lauren’s mother, after convincing one Delaware judge to declare that she should be Lauren’s guardian, remains resolute in her assertion that Lauren is vegetative and cannot recover."

"Her mother has withheld authorization for any rehabilitative medical treatment and therapy for Lauren, and intends to have Lauren’s feeding tube halted" if his efforts to save her fail.

Richardson’s family is calling on Delaware Gov. Ruth Ann Minner to intervene and save Lauren from an expected court order dictating her euthanasia death.

As in the Terri Schiavo case, physicians have been quick to label Lauren as having a persistent vegetative state — something Terri’s family called dehumanizing and medically inaccurate as patients have recovered from it.

Noted attorney and author Wesley Smith has written about Lauren’s case and he says he viewed a video Richardson’s father released and he says she seems reactive particularly when her father attempts to interact with her.

"Whether she is conscious or not is irrelevant to her equal moral worth as a human being," Smith adds.

"The fight in this case is over whether she lives as a profoundly disabled woman or is made to die slowly over two weeks by dehydration–as Terri Schiavo did," Smith explained. "If we did that to a dog, we would go to jail. Do it to a disabled woman who needs a feeding tube and it is called medical ethics."

ACTION: Contact Delaware Gov. Ruth Ann Minner at [email protected] and ask her to help Randy Richardson save his daughter’s life.

Related web sites:
Life for Lauren –

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