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LONDON (ChurchMilitant.com) - The Polish man who caught the world's attention while he hung onto life for weeks in a U.K. hospital has passed away.
The expatriate patient, whose life has been caught in a public tug of war between anti-life forces wanting to euthanize him and pro-life forces fighting for his life, died on Tuesday. The Catholic man, referred to as Mr. Sławomir by Polish media, was in a coma since Nov. 6 and was deprived of fluids and nutrition by Plymouth hospital on Jan. 13.
Poland's Deputy Minister of Justice Marcin Warchoł publicly mourned the man's passing:
Personally, I am shocked by this tragedy, and I feel the loss [as though it were] the passing of a loved one. Although I have never met Mr. Sławomir, I have become involved in this matter and personally feel a great loss. May God reward Heaven for the suffering he has suffered recently on earth.
Warchoł is one of many Polish officials who tried to save the Pole's life.
Late last week, Warchoł negotiated diplomatic status for his countryman, which allowed him protection from U.K. court rulings and thus transport to a Polish hospital.
Poland's Deputy Health Minister Waldemar Kraska was also fighting for the man's life. Kraska confirmed that Polish authorities were ready to transport the patient to the Budzik Clinic in northern Poland, which had agreed to accept him.
"A person should always be given a chance. It is not we who decide when a man dies," Kraska said.
Let me start by expressing my sympathy to the family, all relatives who believed that the patient should be given a chance — a chance that the hospital in Plymouth talked about, saying that it was a small chance, but still a chance. This protective statement confirms that what we were dealing with, i.e., not giving the patient a chance, not giving the possibility to help this patient ... is simply something terrible.
Like Warchoł, the neurosurgeon was personally affected. "I was unable to fall asleep yesterday when I read information about the controlled deterioration of the patient's condition and subcutaneous administration of fluid to him," he said. "Barbarian method, administering agents to suppress the work of the brain. Altogether, there is no other way to call it than euthanasia."
"I would say that it was really a barbaric murder," he concluded.
After the efforts of multiple Polish officials, the momentum to save Mr. Sławomir's life came to a halt. According to Polish media, a Polish representative who sought to make contact with him last weekend was blocked from the hospital. The wPolityce.pl outlet reported the blocking was the result of "a quick court procedure" launched by hospital officials.
Church Militant reported last week that the man's mother, as well as his sisters and niece, pleaded for her son's life. She verified that her son wakes up, breathes on his own, reacts to his name and even cries at times.
The man's wife approved of his being taken off life support, saying that he would not want to be a "burden" on his family, according to a press release issued by Christian Concern, a Christian advocacy group in the UK.
The patient's mother argued that her son would object to anti-life measures as he was a practicing Catholic who always voiced support for the sanctity of life.
In reaction to her son's passing, she lamented:
I am devastated that the British authorities have decided to dehydrate my son to death. What the British authorities have done to my son is euthanasia by the back door. Depriving him of nutrition and hydration is functionally the same as giving him an injection to end his life, except that the entire process is longer, degrading and inhumane treatment.
She indicated she has "spent most of her savings trying to save her son."
The Christian Legal Center, a pro-life group that provides pro bono legal support, has stepped up to help her. The group has also advocated for the parents of baby Alfie Evans in their legal battle to save the infant's life in 2018.
The press release reported that Mr. Sławomir "was outraged by the decision to remove Alfie's life support" at the time the drama played out two years ago in the United Kingdom.
"It is ironic that he now finds himself a victim of a similar decision," it added.
Maksymowicz made a damning indictment of wealthy nations like the United Kingdom regarding their disrespect of human life. The neurosurgeon observed that "especially in wealthy countries, [there is] less and less sensitivity to human life, especially if it is not in an optimal state. And we are [all] not always in optimal condition."
"In these countries, it is not entirely safe to stay in intensive care," he said. "As you can see, a life-ending decision can be made in a camouflaged manner, without a fight."
President of the Polish Episcopate, Abp. Stanisław Gądecki also offered condolences.
"I express my deep sorrow at the death of a Pole in Plymouth. I pray for Heaven for him and for consolation for his family. Let us say boldly 'NO' to the barbaric civilization of death," said Gądecki on Twitter.