I came across this article the other day http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/health/2012/03/10/parents-get-2-9m-in-down-syndrome-girl-wrongful-birth-suit/. Take the few minutes to read it and then continue with this post.
Unbelievable. I cannot fathom the thoughts of these people. How can you say in one breath that you love your child, but also admit that if you could do it all over again, you would have aborted her? Why? Because she is not perfect.
Okay, I can kind of get the legal aspect of it. It comes down to simple malpractice, giving them the right to sue the doctors for misinformation. Trust me, after the number a surgeon did on my grandma during her brain surgery, I have often wondered why we have not gone after him. But, to think that these parents would have killed their little girl if the test had come out positive? And that they still think this even after meeting her? It is simply unbelievable to me.
So they received $2.9 million for the cost of their child. Because the doctors failed to prepare them for the expensive child they would deliver. Hmm. Where is my extra money for all the trips to the ER I have had with one boy so far? Where is the extra money for parents whose children develop physical or mental challenges later in life?
There are no guarantees when it comes to children. We have no promises of perfect health or an easy road of parenting. There is no way of knowing the decisions that they will make or how long they will live. If there was some magic test to tell us of all the heartache that we as parents would face, then we might all give up and decide it was not worth it.
I have read many arguments about the value of this child's life. Some who are in favor of the lawsuit argue that people should be able to abort their special needs children because of the quality of that child's life. Seriously? Who are we to say who is valuable and worthy of living? Who are we to know what kind of life these DS kids will go on to live? Every single day is a gift.
Nick's Aunt Judy had Down Syndrome. She was a lovely person who passed away when I was pregnant with Caleb. As the youngest sibling in my father-in-law's family, she was a joy to everyone. Yes, I am sure it was a challenge for her parents and siblings, but would they change that? Absolutely not. Ask anyone who knew her and they would tell you how full of joy she was.
To this day, when we sing certain songs in church (especially anything with an Alleluia in it), we think of Judy. She would belt out her favorite songs from the back row, loud enough for the front rows to hear. I can imagine that she is leading the choir in Heaven right now. Judy's love for Jesus and her family was amazing. Everytime that the Rosenfeldts get together, we still miss her presence.
Judy was valuable. She was worthy of life. Just like every child who is killed because they are not good enough for their parents. Or because they might cost a little more money than they are prepared to spend.
Oh, and by the way, there is this beautiful thing called adoption. I have seen the arguments that special needs children do not get adopted. Check out http://theshepherdscrook.org/. This family in our church seeks out to adopt special needs children. And they are not the only ones in the world.
Life is beautiful. It is messy and most often not easy, but it is still beautiful. It seems to me that every child should be given a chance to be a part of it.