Saturday, March 21, 2009

Hi all. Here is your 5th journal question:

Linda Purdy argues that in situations of genetic risk, it is immoral to
conceive a child. Do you agree or disagree? Why?

That's a hard one- probably for a few reasons this would depend on whether the person knew before they got pregnant . For this journal entry, I will assume that this is known beforehand, and not discovered during pregnancy.

As a couple contemplates pregnancy, I think it does behoove them to consider the life their child might lead if they were predisposed to a genetic illness. I am not sure where that line needs to be drawn, however, as once consent has been given from the woman, is it okay to terminate a pregnancy?

In this case, I do not think it is okay to terminate. As I write this, it feels wrong. It is an emotional response to be sure, and one that is complex as the variety of cases that could occur as a result of such a finding. If you found out that your child was going to be born with a condition that was life threatening, and painful medical conditions would happen, then I would consider a heart wrenching decision that a couple would have to confront themselves.

Back to the original assertion- One knows with a high degree of certainty that their child is likely to be born with a condition that would be life threatening, life limiting, and debilitating in all available resources. Is this morally responsible behavior?

As horrifying as this is for me to say, I do NOT think it is responsible. If a child is to enter this world, a world that is difficult at best- to enter with such problems to start seems quite unfair to the unborn child.

I place faith, too, that anyone that takes the time to get genetic testing would have done so knowing that they did not want to risk having a child that might have issues that would prove difficult.

Ah! But here is the thing! I got into work tonight- and lo and behold- we have a woman who is 24, on her 4th pregnancy, and is vented with an isolette outside her room, as if she codes, a c-section will have to be performed. ( not common, nor a good idea to perform this sort of thing on a cardiac ICU...) This woman has a congenital heart defect. She knows- and was told that she should not have children. So, she has 4. Well, this baby, if born alive, will have been subjected to many medications, and will be born very early (she is currently 27 weeks along)

I don't know if this heart condition that will be passed along- what I do know is that these kids will not have mom that is capable of taking care of them- once one has gotten to this place, things are not going to be good.

Do I think feeling this way is "right"? Nope, I don't. I feel bad about this, seems judgemental- which I hate to think of my self being. But, this woman has done a disservice to herself and her children. For many reasons- I think this is wrong. Again, makes me feel like a heel.

Okay, and taking this one step further- education probably plays a role in this. Perhaps again not the way to feel or think. In looking at my first thought- if someone did have the knowledge, you'd hope they would think about the ramifications.

I just learned that ain't necessarily so.

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