Pro-Life Advocates With Disabled Children Worried by Health Care Bills’ Rationing

Bioethics   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Sep 15, 2009   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Pro-Life Advocates With Disabled Children Worried by Health Care Bills’ Rationing

by Steven Ertelt Editor
September 15
, 2009

Washington, DC ( — Pro-life advocates with children with disabilities are concerned about the rationing found in the health care "reform" bills pending in Congress. They say the legislation puts the U.S. in league with nations like Canada and the U.K. where health care rationing is much more prevalent.

In the Senate, pro-life advocates have tried to stop rationing but were unsuccessful. The major bill in the House has also been a cause for concern.

Kristan Hawkins, executive director of Students for Life of America, is the founder of Healthcare for Gunner to identify the kind of rationing her disabled son would face because of his cystic fibrosis.

She and other parents of disabled children joined pro-life Reps. Cathy McMorris-Rodgers and Trent Franks for a press conference outside Congress today.

“I want my family and my doctor to control my son’s healthcare decision, not a government-appointed committee,” she told

“Should President Obama get his way, the life of my son, and millions across the country who are elderly, chronically ill, or require expensive medical treatment, will be at the hands of some bureaucrat in Washington," she said.

Jeanne Devine Bolewitz, mother of Josh, a patient with Down Syndrome, also joined the dozen other parents of children with disabilities.

“When rationing begins, you all will look at my son and other people with disabilities and may wonder what kind of drain he is imposing on this new limited system or wonder what he’s taking away from you,” she said.

The parents want Obama and Congress to know that it will be their children and their families who will suffer the most and be denied critical care under current health care reform plans.

They issued a white paper on the effects of rationing as well as a letter to President Obama and House and Senate Leadership detailing the severe repercussions of comparative effectiveness and Washington bureaucrats deciding who gets to live and who gets to die.

They told that, to see how rationing of health care would work for the disabled, people should look no further than other countries that have similar systems, like Canada and the United Kingdom.

They pointed to the premature birth of a baby last week in England where doctors refused to provide medical care because the government would not allow it.

The mother said she was shocked “to discover that another child, born in the U.S. at 21 weeks and six days into her mother’s pregnancy, had survived.”

Barb Farlow spoke today about her daughter, Annie, who was born with a genetic condition associated with grim statistics and serious disabilities. Annie died in a Canadian hospital 80 days after her birth. Barb investigated and was horrified at the results.

“We later discovered that no diagnostic tests had been done and a “do not resuscitate order” was written before we had provided consent," she said.

She added: "The discovery that our fundamental, parental rights had been violated in such a manner without cause has left us shocked and devastated. Sadly, we believe that to our medical system Annie was not a child but a label with associated statistics and a price tag. We will never know Annie’s potential and so we grieve her death and the life she might have had.”

Related web sites:
Health Care for Gunner –

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