Allowing disabled babies to die is par for the course in pediatric hospital

The book All God’s Mistakes: Genetic Counseling in a Pediatric Hospital was written by an author who spent some time in a hospital that specialized in genetic counseling in the care of disabled infants. He discovered that many of the babies who were born with severe disabilities or who were very sick were allowed to die. Here are 2 quotes from the book:

“Here you have this situation, you have this tragedy: it’s terrible, it’s hard to recover from, it’s just miserable, whatever. You have this situation where nature is ready to take its course; but, if you go ahead and intervene, who knows? You may save the baby, which is the last thing anybody really wants in the situation.”

Charles L Bosk All God’s Mistakes: Genetic Counseling in a Pediatric Hospital (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1992) 76

“She [the woman who counseled the parents] reported that the parents had decided not only that they did not want to repair the child’s oomphalecele, but they wanted the child to die, and they were willing to do what they could to hurry that event along. The parents had left orders that the child not be fed. She reported that Berger was very upset with this turn of events… Berger claimed that it was one thing for the physicians and the parents to handle this, and quite another for the nurses who had to deal with the infant every day and would be the ones to watch it starve.”

“Bill [a doctor] reported that the mother was discouraged because today the baby looks good. She was hoping that it would die soon, so seeing it looked healthy really discouraged her.”

77, 80

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Author: Sarah

Sarah Terzo is a writer for Live Action and a member of the board of The Pro-life Alliance of Gays and Lesbians and Consistent Life. She lives in NJ.

2 thoughts on “Allowing disabled babies to die is par for the course in pediatric hospital”

  1. If there were no suffering in this world there would be no need of charity. A world without love: how pointless, how desolate…
    Duty is the greater part of love. Anyone who fails to respond to the basic needs of a disabled human, anyone who fails to love and care for them is spiritually and morally dead or catastrophically disabled. I am physically disabled and I would prefer to live a lifetime disabled than live one day when I would reject the needs and human rights of a disabled baby. The world is dying for lack of love. A.

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