Parents of disabled baby want to “hurry” his death, refuse operation

From a writer and researcher who spent time in a pediatric hospital, where they took care of disabled babies and did “genetic counseling,” where they sometimes advised women to abort their disabled children, this passage describes a family that chose not to treat their disabled baby and instead to allow him to die:

“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.”

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

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