From Mr J. Longstaff
Sir, - That one judge can decide the fate of an ill child and
end its life (
News, 17 August) concerns me greatly. Some years ago, our
two-year-old daughter was in a coma, having being resuscitated
after dying from meningitis. The consultant gave little hope of her
surviving the first night, given her condition, and we were advised
that if she did happen to survive, she would most likely be a
After much medical care and
considerable prayer from many Christian people, our daughter has
now started work as a doctor. I am glad we did not totally trust
the consultant's opinion. Doctors and judges can, and do, make
mistakes, but no one can bring back a life after the life-support
machine is finally turned off.
4A The Green, Woodford Green, Essex IG8 0NF
From Canon John Goodchild
Sir, - Your news item about disagreements between doctors and
parents of sick children is sad. It is surely right to expect great
things from God, but not to demand miracles.
In the Bible, miracles are rationed.
There were many lepers in Israel in Elisha's day, but only one was
healed - Naaman the Syrian, commander of the enemy army. At the
pool of Bethzatha, many sick people lay in need, but only one man,
a sinner, was healed (John 5.3,14). It was the devil who urged
Jesus to demand a miracle by jumping from the parapet of the
temple, but he said it was wrong to put God to the test like this
Usually, God works through doctors
(Sirach 37.1-15). For scientific medicine to develop and
responsible ethical behaviour to be possible, we need a regular,
predictable world. We should believe that sick children are
precious in God's sight and pray for their healing, but co-operate
with the way God chooses to work.
39 St Michael's Road, Liverpool L17 7AN