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Parents of sick children who wait for a miracle

24 August 2012


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 quadraplegic.

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 (Matthew 4.7).

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



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