Life Is Just So Daily

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Working on my paper...

So, I have a paper due soon...
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Here, I'll give you a topic:

When prenatal testing has diagnosed severe disabilities of an unborn child, should parents be asked to consider the cost to society for the care of the child, in making the decision to terminate the pregnancy?

Discuss.

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22 Comments:

At 5:44 PM , Blogger susraff said...

A hard decision no matter what and no matter how you feel about abortion. But I don't think you can make a true informed decision about keeping or not keeping the baby unless you have experienced the detriment first hand. Majorly depends on the deformity, but I know that many a nights I have been faced with - why do we do this - why do we allow these poor babies to suffer - is it fair to torture these babies for the rest of their life with the support that they need? Anyhoo - on the other hand every fetus is a life and even a deformed baby with an abnormal brain still has a hearbeat and a soul. Tough one.- sus

 
At 5:59 PM , Blogger Lainey-Paney said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 
At 6:38 PM , Blogger Zephra said...

Couldn't you just ask us what 2+2=? Now THAT I can answer.

I think though that ultimately, the parents have the hardest road and if they choose to travel that road by keeping the baby, then we, as a society, should support it. How can we force an abortion on parents who are willing to have the child?

It is said by some people that children born with severe problems are even more special in God's eyes and that parents who are blessed with these children are truly special.

 
At 7:15 PM , Blogger Judy said...

Unless your name is Adolf Hitler, I can't imagine anyone telling parents to terminate a pregnancy based on its impact on "society".

Case in point - I did a nuchal fold test when I was preggers with Tyler at 12 weeks because I was "at risk" (nephew with Downs - let's not even go there - and over 35). The test came back abnormal. My doctor's response was to suggest CVS testing or amnio to determine a more accurate assessment of what we were dealing with, but our gut reaction was to just let it go. The baby would be whatever he would be. And I gave birth to an almost 9 pound HEALTHY baby boy. Yes, it could have been Trisomy 18 or Hunter's Disease (if a girl) or Downs Syndrome, and we would have loved him for what he was and how he was.

Next case - a family in our church found out a week before her delivery that there appeared to be some pretty significant deformities. And there were. No eyelids, one ear missing, cleft palate, heart issues, lung issues, intestines outside the body - that is just the start of it. The child is almost a year old and still has quite a road ahead of him, but he smiles, he has eyelids, he can hear and he is such a joy to be around. They repeatedly tell people that finding out a week before his birth gave them a bit of time to assimilate what was happening, and had they had this information early in her pregnancy, they would have just been that much more prepared.

Where am I going with this? I have no idea really. You asked for discussion, and here it is...sorry - eating ice cream and typing doesn't seem to be compatible activities!

 
At 7:47 PM , Blogger Mojavi said...

i think no..... in the days before testing this wouldn't even be an option. I think there is much to be said for the soul of the child, this begs the question do disabled children add value to society? In my opinion yes they do.

 
At 6:44 AM , Blogger Kat said...

I second Mojavi. What a horrible thought. Just because someone will is born with a disability does not mean their life is worth less than anybody else's and can therefore be terminated at the "social" benefit of whoever.

 
At 6:57 AM , Blogger Reid said...

Okay--as far as the topic..AAACK!

Here are my thoughts...when in doubt of how you feel about it, ALWAYS go back to the NASW Code of Ethics and pull out something applicable. You always have to start where the client is, THEIR belief systems, THEIR supports, THEIR faith base, etc. Yougive them info about all sides and then you give them resources to deal with whatever they decide.

See how well I remember my SW 101 Class?? :)

I don't envy you this. After I finished my MSW in 2000, I proclaimed never to write another paper like that again. AMEN.

 
At 7:12 AM , Blogger Beth said...

Of all the things parents must contemplate and consider upon being informed of such news, that should not be one of them. And even if they were asked to consider it, I don't think they would be in an emotional state to address such a consideration.

 
At 7:27 AM , Blogger gmcountrymama said...

No, the only question should be if the parents can love and care for the baby with disabilities. And the decision is personal, who cares what society thinks? OK not a scientific answer, just no.

 
At 7:31 AM , Blogger gmcountrymama said...

And, a "normal healthy" baby can aquire or inherit an illness later in life that could cost just as much.

 
At 8:06 AM , Blogger mpotter said...

so, i'm thinking that faced with such news, the parent would already be overwhelmed, burdened, stressed, and anxious to think about their personal beliefs/needs.

i can't imagine how someone sitting on their shoulder saying to them: "think of the cost!" would help their decision.

i know it's a personal decision, and it should be made with PERSONAL feelings. not societal ideals.

i would imagine that the answer for these parents wouldn't change based on society's needs.

and by the way... so much of society (at least around here) already says there's too many people on the planet anyway. so given that thought, NOBODY should be having babies anyway...

YEAH RIGHT.

so, um.... good luck on your paper.

 
At 9:39 AM , Blogger ~JJ! said...

eeeek...I'm so glad I'm not in school right now.

yeah, that means if I even try to help you with this one, my brain will explode.

Good luck.

 
At 10:51 AM , Blogger Jeninacide said...

I also agree with Mojavi. This wouldn't have even been a consideration before the days of testing. Not that we can completely rule out the use of technology in all instances, but this is one where I don't think the "cost to society" should have a lot of bearing. I chose to forgo any "extra" testing during my pregnancy because my husband and I decided that even if there was some kind of abnormality, it would not change the way that I chose to handle the pregnancy.

However, if I had tested positive for Cystic Fibrosis or other serious abnormalities at 15 weeks I can't say I wouldn't consider my "options".. Gah! OMG I hate this question!

New Homework Assignment PLEASE!

 
At 11:21 AM , Anonymous Tara said...

While I would love to discuss this, I have my own paper I need to be writing about Act Utilitarianism versus Rule Utilitarianism. Fascinating, no?

 
At 12:24 PM , Blogger Em said...

Thats tough!

I think first time around i would have had the attituded that if anything wrong i would terminate but since becoming a Mum my thoughts are very different. I dont think that anyone who makes that decision is bad tho, my Grandmother has the head of a school for children with disabiltys and i have seen children with terrilbe quality of life.

 
At 3:23 PM , Blogger Pregnantly Plump said...

That's such an awful situation to be in to begin with, that I think adding the phrase, "Oh, and don't forget about the cost to society," would be even more cruel. This is an already difficult situation. What a tough assignment.

 
At 3:49 PM , Blogger Maria said...

I really enjoyed reading all the musings on this one...

And it beats the question that I will have on my class test this week for my students:

Compare the psychological impact of Morley Safer's reporting of Cam Ne in the Vietnam war with the current news reports about our war in Iraq. Is the psychological impact worse because we know so much more than those in the 60's or better because we are acclimated to it? Do you trust the media? Did the 60's viewers trust their media?

Yeah, there is a reason they say I am too tough.

 
At 8:02 PM , Blogger Ann(ie) said...

I also love Mojavi's answer. Wise blogger!

 
At 8:25 PM , Blogger Swishy said...

Wow, heavy topic! Definitely not ... I think that is a very personal, very private decision.

 
At 9:07 PM , Blogger Beenzzz said...

I think it's hard enough to have to hear that kind of news. Having anyone bombard you with "the cost to society" is just wrong. That kind of thing needs time to mull over. Besides, it's the parents decision, not anyone elses.

 
At 1:39 PM , Blogger Jenster said...

I am so unqualified to comment on this. My heart and my head are at odds on this issue and I really think it's a case by case thing.

That said - I don't think it's "society's" business as to what decision is made.

 
At 1:47 PM , Blogger Denver Dad said...

Strangely, this is sort of up my professional alley and I have to say, in my opinion, that no... that's not the sort of question you should put before a couple dealing with a difficult prenatal diagnosis. They already have enough to process given the diagnosis.

I think, more importantly, is the question of whether or not they can provide that child with a good quality of life. Often, money comes into that, but society's costs? That leads in the direction of death penalties, I think. It's a dangerous area.

 

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