Should judicial life support decision be secret?

Should judicial life support decision be secret?

Some pro-lifers in Massachusetts are starting to organize an effort to change the law so that judicial decisions to remove life support cannot be sealed under court order. This is what happened in the case of Haleigh Poutre, who I mentioned the other day. She’s a ward of the state who was allegedly abused by her adoptive parents and is on life support. The state asked to have her removed from a ventilator and feeding tube, but when the ventilator was removed this week she kept breathing on her own.

But even the Supreme Judicial Court, which upheld the lower court’s ruling to have her killed by judicial fiat, thought such orders should not be kept secret. In a concurring minority opinion, one of the justices wrote:

I write separately to call attention to an issue that was not raised by the parties but has a significant impact on the public interest. The issue is whether a judicial hearing on a petition to withdraw life support systems from a child should be closed to the public simply because it takes place in the context of a care and protection proceeding.

No American citizen should ever be deprived of their life in a secret court. That goes against everything our country stands for.

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