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September 25, 2006

Comments

Love2learn Mom

How sad and awful. And I've heard of a number of families with two disabled parents who have been blessed with a child/children who have been lovingly helpful and attentive partly because they are complementary - not identical!

Naomi

Ow. Munchausen by Proxy takes on a new twist.

I've heard of Deaf parents hoping for a Deaf child, but I had hoped it wouldn't come to selection.

Blessed Margaret of Castello, pray for us.

Patricia Gonzalez

Yikes, this creeped me out -- but unfortunately, as you say, Amy, not so surprising. And yes, sad too. God have mercy on us!

Anon

I have known parents with dwarfism who fervently prayed for a child with dwarfism for several reasons- first, the issue of fitting in with the family (and the house). Second, the mother could not carry a full-sized fetus to term- even the "little" babies were delivered very preterm. Would they have terminated a baby that was full-sized? No- but at great risk to the mother and the baby. Now, this was all before PGD and only amniocentesis was available. Mainly, they didn't want to find the baby had a double dose of the dwarfism gene, which would have been fatal. So, depending on the disability, these things are very complex.

Obviously, this is a very good argument for the Church's position of leaving well enough alone. PGD should not be done. However, assuming it goes on, it seems to me that all the embryos are equal in their standing as human beings. Already, prenatal testing is aimed at producing the perfect child and eliminating the others. Why would we be more horrified at the reverse? At least, in this case, the "normal" embryos would be available for "adoption" (one would hope).

We're quickly becoming a society where illness is regarded as someone's fault, be it the parents, doctor, or patient himself. However, if you ask the afflicted person, "Would you rather you were never born?" I'm sure you can guess the response.

Maureen

And it'll be eighteen years before you can earn your way out of servitude to your owners...er, parents.

Nance

Many deaf people consider their deafness not a disability, but an essential difference they want to share with their children. And I can see the dwarfism position, too. I'd be stunned if proactive efforts to have "disabled" children went much further than this, but I've been wrong before.

The WashPost ran a story a few years ago about two deaf lesbians who conceived a child with donated sperm. They chose a deaf donor with a strong family history of congenital deafness, crossed their fingers and hoped for the desired outcome, which I believe they got.

John

Regarding the Washington Post article, the deaf lesbians had a second child. Despite their best efforts, the boy had some hearing. The "couple" decided not to have him fitted with hearing aids so that over time he would lose what little hearing he possessed. They didn't want to deny him his deaf heritage.

Anon

John,
That's child abuse plain and simple. There is no difference between that and the many cases of parental refusal of medical care for a child, based on religious or other grounds. In which case the state has a compelling interest to intervene. I hope the kid got court-ordered hearing aids, if not a new set of parents.

Andrea Harris

"Many deaf people consider their deafness not a disability, but an essential difference they want to share with their children."

Well, unfortunately the ability to hear sound is a component of being able to live a full human life, just like the ability to see. Not being able to use one of the five basic senses makes life that much harder, and this is why it's called being "disabled." Believing in the delusion that one's deafness isn't a disability is just another version of "crippled people are cursed by demons and bad luck and should be shunned!" It's one thing to not allow people who can't hear or walk or see to be mistreated or to feel that they are in any way lesser human beings, it's quite another let them indulge in unrealistic notions of their own power and to misuse other human beings because of that. There are many sorts of ways to be deaf, blind, and crippled that are worse than the physical ones.

Nance

Hey, I'm not sayin' it's something I agree with. I'm just sayin' it happens. Many deaf-culture types are quite radical about it, and are unlikely to be swayed by any argument made here. They consider cochlear implants the equivalent of black parents having their baby's skin bleached to make it white.

Sonetka

I'm with Anon - I don't see how this is somehow creepier than selecting a baby that doesn't have any flaws.

Ronny

I'm with Anon - I don't see how this is somehow creepier than selecting a baby that doesn't have any flaws.

Evil circumstances can actually compound the gravity of an already immoral act, as this practice does. The increased "creepiness" is simply a recognition that an already bad action is being made even worse.

Sean

"Well, unfortunately the ability to hear sound is a component of being able to live a full human life, just like the ability to see. Not being able to use one of the five basic senses makes life that much harder, and this is why it's called being "disabled." Believing in the delusion that one's deafness isn't a disability is just another version of "crippled people are cursed by demons and bad luck and should be shunned!" It's one thing to not allow people who can't hear or walk or see to be mistreated or to feel that they are in any way lesser human beings, it's quite another let them indulge in unrealistic notions of their own power and to misuse other human beings because of that. There are many sorts of ways to be deaf, blind, and crippled that are worse than the physical ones."

So, is being a completely insensitive moron preventing you from living a full human life, Andrea? Apparently you are the proof to your last sentiment--which is the only valid one, I might add.

Sean

"Evil circumstances can actually compound the gravity of an already immoral act, as this practice does. The increased "creepiness" is simply a recognition that an already bad action is being made even worse."

Having a baby? I think you should explain your position in more detail.

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