Letter: Thomas Creedon: legal precedent, faith and quality of life

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From The Rev Thomas P. J. Bodkin and Canon Michael Butler

Sir: As the result of the Court decision ("Parents seek right to let their son die", 1 August), it is encouraging to learn that the parents of 22-month-old Thomas Creedon will not have to bear the ultimate responsibility on their own.

Again we all agonise over the dilemma of understanding a life which, by the standards of our consumerist society, is null and void.

The situation of Thomas Creedon is complex because it is not so much about the direct taking or prolongation of life but the problem of when to withdraw nutritional and medical care in a way which is humane.

We are back again to asking the all-time question of what is a person and what is a reasonable quality of life.

However, there are examples of babies born with multiple disabilities who live out what appears an uninterrupted lifespan, whether long or short. Their families subsequently speak in their grief of the depth of gratitude they experience from what they have received from their son or daughter, and how much they will be missed.

Yours faithfully,

Thomas P. K. Bodkin

Michael Butler


East Sussex

1 August