Monday, November 06, 2006

Compassionate conservatism ... at a distance.

As a followup to an earlier post, I'm amused by the first two comments here discussing the recent story regarding the possibility of "active euthanasia" for disabled babies.

Jason writes:

I'm against late-term abortion, but I'd certainly think long and hard about aborting a 6 month old fetus with Down's Syndrome, if you want the honest truth.

An 8 month old fetus with Down's Syndrome I'd probably want to give up for adoption.

Doesn't mean I have anything against people with Down's, I just don't have what it takes to provide and care for such a person, I'm afraid.

In other words, Jason admits he would be incapable of terminating an 8-month-old fetus with Down's Syndrome but, hey, he'd be delighted to give it up for adoption so that it would be someone else's problem. My, that's big of him.

But that doesn't begin to compare with the hypocritical wankery of blog author Joanne, who gushes sanctimonously:

Jason, that's a very honest answer. I wish more people thought like you, and realized their limits for such challenges, and would give someone else the opportunity to adopt.

Why, yes, it's a darned shame there aren't more people like Jason who are happy to dump their disabled children on someone else 'cuz those kids would, you know, seriously cramp his style and everything.

Notice how Joanne has nothing but praise for someone who's prepared to unload their disabled kid, but what about the folks prepared to adopt those same kids? Apparently, in Joanne's world, once you've carried those damaged goods to term, you've done your job and can rest easy knowing that it's now someone else's burden. And by now, I'm sure you see a pattern here, don't you?

The Right's poster child for hypocritical compassion, Terri Schiavo, was in a persistent vegetative state for well over 10 years, but it was only toward the end of her life that it became stylish to become terribly, terribly concerned. Sadly, that concern didn't involve actually, you know, getting involved to the extent of, say, volunteering to help care for Schiavo physically. Rather, the compassion typically extended as far as getting gussied up in your Sunday best and standing with a poster across the street from her hospital, hoping to get some air time when the camera crews came by.

And when Schiavo finally died, I'm sure you all noticed how all that compassion, rather than being redirected to the tens of thousands of other people in similar situations in the U.S., just kind of petered out. Heaven forbid that any of those sanctimonious, moralizing windbags actually volunteered to work at a hospice for the terminally ill or anything. I mean, ewwwwwwwww. Those places are full of, well, sick people.

And here we go again -- killing disabled babies? How awful! Surely there are other people who would be willing to adopt. Yes, these people are just bottomless pits of compassion, aren't they? As long as they don't have to get their hands dirty.


Procrastinatrix said...

No, those other people won't be willing to adopt disabled babies because they are too busy saving IVF blastocysts from being flushed down the toilets. This group seems to focus more on bundles of multipotent stem cells that, given the right environment, have the POTENTIAL to develop into a baby, rather than focus on the thousands of children who actually have made it out of that stem cell stage only to find themselves pushed around in a foster care system until they are 18 because no one wants a "used product". Maybe instead of obsessing about which stage of meiosis a cell becomes a human, its time to take responsibility of the children that are terminally differentiated and are capable of conscious thought. Adopt a 5 or 10 year old.

All this stuff about "killing" sick babies is ridiculous. like doctors will be going around arbitrarily killing babies. Obviously they have the medical training that will enable them to make a sound and justified decision on the baby's health or future. If science is so evil, then how come they are depending on it to keep these kids alive via ventilators etc? If it weren't for medical advances, these children wouldn't make it. In cases where the kid will be in constant pain, or have no quality of life (vegetative), and can't breathe on their own, then it is completely selfish of the parents to keep the child on a ventilator. What happens if you run out of ventilators and a kid who got in a car accident needs it? Should that kid die to keep a vegetative brain dead baby alive? Just a question.

canucklehead said...

Think about it this way:
Fetuses and stem cells are pre-birth. They're about to become something wonderful, so let's make sure that it happens.
Babies, children, teenagers, adults, and seniors (especially the sick ones), are pre-death. We're not worth wasting time and energy on.

Whoa. I think I just channeled a right-wing pundit there. Someone pass the hand sanitizier.

M@ said...

Could we just reclassify all those dead soldiers in Iraq as late, late, late term abortions? Then they'd finally be the Democrats' fault!

meh said...

Or "de-conceived".

Joanne (True Blue) said...

So what exactly are you trying to say?

Are you in favour of terminating the life of an infant born with Down's syndrome rather than have the baby put up for adoption, if the parents feel unable to handle the responsibility?

Ruth said...

The original poster (and indeed, the first four posters in this discussion) appear to be unaware of the the actual issue being promoted by the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecology.
The issue is active euthanasia. Active euthanasia is not the same as passive euthanasia, where a patient is left without treatment and allowed to die (as in the Schiavo case). Removing a ventilator or feeding tube qualifies as passive euthanasia. Active euthanasia is the practice of speeding the death process in a patient. Lethal injections are the most frequent method used.
like doctors will be going around arbitrarily killing babies. Obviously they have the medical training that will enable them to make a sound and justified decision on the baby's health or future.
Actually, if you read the original article again, you will find that the story also centers around a family whose daughter was born three months prematurely. The doctors pushed the family to terminate her life, but the parents fought hard to keep her alive. The girl is now three years old. There are always cases like this which defy medical explanation.
I would encourage everyone here to familiarize themselves with the argument presented by the Royal College. Their arguments for the active euthanasia of infants are not only based upon life-altering disabilities but whether or not the child is wanted by their parents.

Anonymous said...

As a young grandmother of three little ones and one more on the way, diagnosed with Down's Syndrome, I would like to add my opinoins on this subject. I do believe that life begins at the time of conception, and that we have a responsibility to that life that we bring into the world. I also know that life brings many issues and or baggage along with it, some due to our own making and some not our "fault" or choosing. But if we have the misbelief that we can plan a perfect life and that is the way it will stay, that is so much out of the realm of reality. Also out of my experience, I know first hand the pain of having a very healthy child, and that child having a serious illness that would leave him handicapped and with lots of problems, requiring full time care and supervision.
God strengthens all who ask and seek His devine wisdom, and a travesty can be turned into a blessing.
That is my experience and I know many others have had ones like that.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Thank you, Anonymous!

In an ideal world, everyone would have perfect children, and all those children would be healthy forever.

But this is reality and we actually learn and grow by challenges. But if some people like Jason don't feel they are up to the challenge, far better to give the children up for adoption than have them aborted or murdered as the U.K. medics are proposing.

Anonymous said...

i must say...the last two comments restored my faith in mankind!! i can't believe how selfish and naive people are!! we have seven children--two with disabilities--and i couldn't imagine life without a one of them!! our one son was developing 'normally' and developed unexplained seizures at age 3.5, which caused him to be developmentally delayed. he was, what some would call, 'perfect,' then--bang!--God spoke and woke us ALL up!

our other son has down syndrome, which wasn't diagnosed until he was four months old, but he has taught us about humility and forgiveness that no amount of catechism could EVER teach!

i'll end with a quote from out 17yo daughter: "i'm tired of people saying that daniel is more like normal kids than not. why can't people say that normal kids are more like dan??' touche!

take care and GB,


btw...we're obviously dealing with a very hurting individual who can't look beyond his own pain and selfishness (misery loves company?). they have a tendency to seek out and hurt those who are 'weaker'....