Click amount to donate direct to CounterPunch
  • $25
  • $50
  • $100
  • $500
  • $other
  • use PayPal
Keep CounterPunch ad free. Support our annual fund drive today!

Barbara Bush: We Should Have Pulled the Plug on Our Daughter


Austin, Texas

It’s well-documented how W. Bush and Tom DeLay used the Schiavo case for cynical political purposes. But these colossal hypocrites both have instances in their own families which show they or their mothers do not favor “erring on the side of life” in such cases in their own families.

DeLay’s instance of agreeing with a decision to pull the plug on his own father when he was in a coma is more widely known than Bush’s instance.

In 1953, Robin Bush, a younger sister of W.’s, tragically died of leukemia at the age of 3. The family tried to extend Robin’s life with painful blood transfusions and bone marrow transplants, but she died seven months after being diagnosed.

I found a very interesting quote from Barbara Bush in Fortunate Son by J.H. Hatfield, which I could not find in any other book or document or through an Internet search. The late Hatfield apparently obtained the quote from another source, either her autobiography or another book or article, as he does not footnote it, but he lists many sources at the end of the book for the entire chapter.

The quote goes:

“[Dr. Dorothy Wyvell, Robin’s pediatrician] gave us the best advice anyone could have given, which of course we didn’t take,” Barbara Bush said. “She said, ‘Number one, don’t tell anyone. Number two, don’t treat her. You should take her home, make life as easy as possible for her, and in three weeks’ time, she’ll be gone.'”

How’s that for supporting a young girl’s right-to-life?

To be fair, Bush was only 7 at the time of his sister’s death, and his parents did not even tell him his sister was terminally ill. I could not find any statement by him agreeing with his mother, but it’s interesting, to say the least, that Barbara Bush holds such a view.

Another insensitive aspect of this case was how friends of the Bushes in that Texas town treated young Robin in her final months – they wouldn’t let their kids near her, ignorantly fearing that leukemia was contagious.

JACKSON THOREAU can be reached at:












More articles by:

2016 Fund Drive
Smart. Fierce. Uncompromised. Support CounterPunch Now!

  • cp-store
  • donate paypal

CounterPunch Magazine


Weekend Edition
October 28, 2016
Friday - Sunday
Louis Proyect
The Outsider-Insider: Isaac Babel’s Big Mistake
Martin Billheimer
Now and Then, Ancient Sorceries
October 27, 2016
Paul Street
An Identity-Politicized Election and World Series Lakefront Liberals Can Love
Matthew Stevenson
Sex and the Presidential City
Jim Kavanagh
Tom Hayden’s Haunting
CJ Hopkins
The Pathologization of Dissent
Mike Merryman-Lotze
The Inherent Violence of Israel’s Gaza Blockade
Robert Fisk
Is Yemen Too Much for the World to Take?
Shamus Cooke
Stopping Hillary’s Coming War on Syria
Jan Oberg
Security Politics and the Closing of the Open Society
Ramzy Baroud
The War on UNESCO: Al-Aqsa Mosque is Palestinian and East Jerusalem is Illegally Occupied
Colin Todhunter
Lower Yields and Agropoisons: What is the Point of GM Mustard in India?
Norman Pollack
The Election: Does It Matter Who Wins?
Nyla Ali Khan
The Political and Cultural Richness of Kashmiriyat
Barbara Nimri Aziz
“It’s Only a Car!”
October 26, 2016
John W. Whitehead
A Deep State of Mind: America’s Shadow Government and Its Silent Coup
Eric Draitser
Dear Liberals: Trump is Right
Anthony Tarrant
On the Unbearable Lightness of Whiteness
Mark Weisbrot
The Most Dangerous Place in the World: US Pours in Money, as Blood Flows in Honduras
Chris Welzenbach
The Establishment and the Chattering Hack: a Response to Nicholas Lemann
Luke O'Brien
The Churchill Thing: Some Big Words About Trump and Some Other Chap
Sabia Rigby
In the “Jungle:” Report from the Refugee Camp in Calais, France
Linn Washington Jr.
Pot Decriminalization Yields $9-million in Savings for Philadelphia
Pepe Escobar
“America has lost” in the Philippines
Pauline Murphy
Political Feminism: the Legacy of Victoria Woodhull
Lizzie Maldonado
The Burdens of World War III
David Swanson
Slavery Was Abolished
Thomas Mountain
Preventing Cultural Genocide with the Mother Tongue Policy in Eritrea
Colin Todhunter
Agrochemicals And The Cesspool Of Corruption: Dr. Mason Writes To The US EPA
October 25, 2016
David Swanson
Halloween Is Coming, Vladimir Putin Isn’t
Hiroyuki Hamada
Fear Laundering: an Elaborate Psychological Diversion and Bid for Power
Priti Gulati Cox
President Obama: Before the Empire Falls, Free Leonard Peltier and Mumia Abu-Jamal
Kathy Deacon
Plus ça Change: Regime Change 1917-1920
Robin Goodman
Appetite for Destruction: America’s War Against Itself
Richard Moser
On Power, Privilege, and Passage: a Letter to My Nephew
Rev. William Alberts
The Epicenter of the Moral Universe is Our Common Humanity, Not Religion
Dan Bacher
Inspector General says Reclamation Wasted $32.2 Million on Klamath irrigators
David Mattson
A Recipe for Killing: the “Trust Us” Argument of State Grizzly Bear Managers
Derek Royden
The Tragedy in Yemen
Ralph Nader
Breaking Through Power: It’s Easier Than We Think
Norman Pollack
Centrist Fascism: Lurching Forward
Guillermo R. Gil
Cell to Cell Communication: On How to Become Governor of Puerto Rico
Mateo Pimentel
You, Me, and the Trolley Make Three
Cathy Breen
“Today Is One of the Heaviest Days of My Life”
October 24, 2016
John Steppling
The Unwoke: Sleepwalking into the Nightmare