Human Exceptionalism

A Blast From the Past: Good News About Lauren Richardson

Longtime SHSers will recall the case of Lauren Richardson, the pregnant woman who had a catastrophic brain injury. After giving birth, the family was pressured to pull her feeding tube and Lauren’s parents ended up in court over the issue with Randy Richardson, fighting to save his daughter’s life. (Full disclosure: I had some significant contacts with Randy behind the scenes at his request.) Enough time elapsed and Lauren’s parents reached an accord to care for their beloved daughter. All hatchets have been buried and the family is acting with one accord in mutual love and respect.

I just met Randy at the euthanasia symposium. He told me some behind the scenes details and how some people from outside the family maintained the drive to end Lauren’s life even after her parents reached agreement. Unbelievable.

Someday, that tale will be told. But in the meantime, the good news is that Lauren will be going home with her mother very soon. She is no longer unconscious, but remains minimally responsive. She still has a feeding tube but after some speech therapy, can swallow and take a little bit of sustenance orally. (This is the same kind of therapy the Schindlers wanted for Terri, but were refused by Judge Greer.) Once Lauren is home, more therapy is planned. Meanwhile, her daughter, now age-two, is thriving.

Good news in a world in which these cases too often go in the other direction.

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