This CNA story, in the link, by David Kerr reports on the proposal to withhold treatment from babies born prematurely or sick due to some disorder.
Dr. Wilkinson outlines his controversial argument in the American Journal of Bioethics. “The prevailing official view is that treatment may be withdrawn only if the burdens in an infant’s future life outweigh the benefits. ... I conclude that it is justifiable in some circumstances for parents and doctors to decide to allow an infant to die even though the infant’s life would be worth living,” Dr. Wilkinson wrote.This judgment, that the baby would be "allowed to die" is precisely the type of attitude at the basis of the Canadian doctors' refusal to treat the child in the well-known case of Baby Joseph.
A proposal to allow premature or sick newborn babies to die even when their life would be deemed worth living by medical staff has been condemned by a leading member of the Pontifical Academy for Life.
Doctor Carlo Bellieni says the suggestion being made by the Oxford-based physician James Wilkinson is both “flawed” and “an erroneous way of considering life.”The report goes on to explain Dr. Bellieni's reasoning:
Such a suggestion makes for bad ethics and poor patient care. “Firstly, babies are not the property of their parents. Secondly, at birth parents are often stressed and full of pain and suffering. The mother has the pain of childbirth. The father has the shock and stress of being faced with a very premature baby. When you’re in such pain and stress, you’re not really free to make clear-minded decisions that are so important for your offspring.”
Most importantly, Dr. Bellieni said, “the decision about life should only be taken on an objective basis and in the interest of the patient, not in the interests of a third party.”