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LONDON (ChurchMilitant.com) - The highest-ranking prelate of Poland, as well as numerous officials in the country, are continuing appeals to spare the life of a Polish national scheduled for euthanasia in a British hospital.
This week Polish archbishop Stanisław Gądecki wrote a letter to Cdl. Vincent Nichols, president of the Episcopal Conference of England and Wales, urging him to intervene in saving the life of the Polish man in a hospital in Plymouth, England.
Mr. Sławomir —as he is referred to in Polish media — suffered a heart attack Nov. 6 that resulted in a brain injury. Since then, his life has hung in the balance — with the Culture of Life on one side and the Culture of Death on the other.
"I turn to Your Eminence ... asking for your help in this difficult matter and to undertake steps towards saving the life of our compatriot," Gądecki implored the president of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of England and Wales.
The archbishop underscored that public opinion in Poland "was shaken by the decision of the British court to stop giving food and water" to the Polish man. "In fact, he was sentenced to death by starvation," Gądecki wrote.
The Polish archbishop referred to the British court's ruling in December that it was in Mr. Sławomir's "best interest" to have him killed by disconnecting his hydration and nutrition.
On Nov. 6, 2020, my son had a massive heart attack, followed by brain hypoxia and coma. The hospital said that the son would never wake up and that life in such a state was "unworthy." But my son woke up, breathes on his own, reacts on his name, he is crying.
The Ordo Iuris Institute further stated in the petition: "The attempt to kill a Pole is an example of a dispute between the civilization of life and the civilization of death. Let us not allow Mr. Sławomir to starve! We will appeal for the transfer of our compatriot to Poland as soon as possible, where an attempt to save him will be made."
Gądecki referred to the wishes of Mr. Sławomir's mother in his letter.
He reminded the cardinal that although the man's wife and children, living in England, agreed with the hospital's decision, his mother, along with both sisters and a niece, had expressed their objection.
(Suggesting doubt that even the man's wife supported the decision of his death by starvation, LifeSite News reported recently that Katie Gollop, a legal representative acting on behalf of Mr. Sławomir, intimated she may have succumbed to "harsh" online pressure.)
Gądecki further reminded the cardinal that the government of Poland has agreed to pick up the financial cost of transport to a Polish hospital that would help the imperiled man survive.
"The authorities of our country assured that they would cover the costs of treatment and transport," he affirmed. But "[t]he British court does not agree to transport the patient as the journey may be life-threatening.”
A number of Polish officials continue to speak out in defense of Mr. Sławomir's life.
Notes from Poland reported on Monday that the aide to President Andrzej Duda, Krzysztof Szczerski, said at the president's request, he had held a "long" and "difficult" discussion about the case with the British ambassador to Poland, and that he was in touch with Polish consuls in Plymouth.
And on Tuesday, the speaker of the Sejm, Elżbieta Witek, posted a picture showing a video call she had with the ambassador and reported that she had also sent a letter to her British counterpart, Lindsay Hoyle.
And in a creative move, Deputy Justice Minister Marcin Warchoł proposed today that the foreign minister appoint Mr. Sławomir as a Polish diplomat to protect him from court rulings in the UK.
Warchoł wrote in his proposal: "I draw attention to the possibility of excluding RS [a term used to refer to Mr. Sławomir by some media] from the civil jurisdiction of British courts by granting him the status of a diplomatic representative of the Republic of Poland.
Making an ethical appeal to his British counterpart, Gądecki quoted Pope St. John Paul II in Evangelium Vitae: "A person who, because of illness, handicap or, more simply, just by existing, compromises the well-being or lifestyle of those who are more favored tends to be looked upon as an enemy to be resisted or eliminated."
The sainted pope added in that same document sentiments perfectly attuned to Mr. Sławomir's situation: "In this way, a kind of 'conspiracy against life' is unleashed. This conspiracy involves not only individuals in their personal, family or group relationships, but goes far beyond, to the point of damaging and distorting, at the international level, relations between peoples and States."