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Old 10-14-2004, 08:48 AM   #16
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Originally posted by indra


The questions weren't is the child/person human. The questions were could you cope with it, and if you couldn't have children, but wanted them, would you adopt a profoundly retarded one or one with severe birth defects?
Underlying you question is the assumption that we have a right to relatively defect-free children.

I understand the many ways that this makes life more difficult for a parent. But, that is the nature of love. It surpasses all these things.
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Old 10-14-2004, 08:52 AM   #17
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Originally posted by Angela Harlem


Few of us are born with Mother Teresa-eque natures. Cold hard fact is it is damn difficult life for all involved. Intention and good aims are only the start.
Nobody is born with a Mother Teresa-esque nature. It is only by loving that we learn to love.

(That being said, I would allow others to abort in these circumstances. But I would keep my child and I remain staunchly pro-life otherwise.)
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Old 10-14-2004, 11:12 AM   #18
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Re: Re: Companion to the abortion question

Quote:
Originally posted by deep


Chistopher Reeve's wife spent nine years with her loved one.

Our capacity to care and love for others should not be so shallow.
I was wondering if this was going to come up. I do think there is a difference between a person who is already a part of the family who becomes incapacitated and finding out an unborn embryo would be like that all its life. I also think it makes a difference if the person is coherent in their mind, no matter how badly off their body is.
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Old 10-14-2004, 11:25 AM   #19
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I want to know what the views are of those who adamantly oppose abortion are in regard to vastly increased government funding for a lifetime of lifestyle assistance programs for those with a disability.
As it stands currently, tyhere is not enough resources and money for societies to adequately provide care and assistance for those with a disability. There is not enough funding and support for those in need of respite. Families and carers are under enormous strain for caring for a person with a disability.
As everyone can see from the other thread, I am very opposed to abortion with very few exceptions- rape, incest, mother's health, and this. I don't want to sound terrible or insensitive because I really am not that way, but Angela's point here is something to consider.

At the elementary school my kids go to, there is a class for the severly mentally and physically handicapped. There are only four such students, and they require four caretakers, two teachers, a nurse, and an aide. They also require 2 extra specially equipped school buses, 2 in each. Each bus requires not only a driver but an aide to attend to each child. That is a total of 9 employees just to care for these 4 children. The specially equipped buses (not ordinary handicapped buses) were purchased soley for these 4 students. I would say the school system is spending out of their meager budget at least a half million dollars per year just to 'educate' (it's really more like therapy, they are unable to learn) these 4 students. If there was hope for their advancement, that would not be a bad thing. But I am sorry to say these children are unaware of their surroundings, don't know their family members from teachers from janitors, will never be able to learn or understand or remember, never be able to feed themselves or even use the bathroom. They cannot really eat, in the cafeteria they are fed as their heads wallow around and groans and food oozes out of their mouths. They are being 'schooled' because the law requires it. In some localities, such special care has literally broken the school system's bank. I hate to say it, really, but all the money and time spent on them could better be used to help disadvantaged or learning disabled kids advance. Am I saying these kids should die? No, of course not. However, I am saying if it is determined early in pregnancy that a child would have such severe defomities and birth defects, that is one case where it may be better to put them to rest at that point rather than have them suffer in life. In addition to them and the financial burden it causes to schools (and the state if such children are given up by parents unable to cope) the emotional strain on the families are heavy. I know one of the families personally, and the stress on the parents, their lives never their own, the siblings are embarrassed and disturbed and cannot live normal childhoods. This is one case where it may be for the best. And that takes a LOT for me to say this, as a person who won't even step on a bug or prune a tree.

This is only in cases of severe mental and physical multiple handicaps, especially those with little or no brain function. I want to say again I do NOT feel this way about ordinary handicaps where people can be trained and helped to have relatively normal lives and should be helped.
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Old 10-14-2004, 12:36 PM   #20
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First of all, I can't even begin to imagine how hard it is to care for a child with a handicap. However, adoption is ALWAYS and option. If you don't want your baby, someone else might. Anyone who simply cannot deal with a severely handicapped child is welcome to leave the baby at any local firehouse.

Another thing is that a lot of times, what seems predetermined can turn out for the better. Sometimes doctors will say "that child will never walk" and they are wrong. The only way to find out is to give everyone a fair shot at life. One specific example I know is a girl named Aimee Walker. She was born with defects where she could not hear, could only see out of one eye, and the doctors said she'd never walk because of a hip problem. Funny, because even with the diagnosis that she'd lead a miserable life and her problems with sight and hearing she started taking gymnastics and eventually competed at the elite level :shurg:
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Old 10-14-2004, 01:25 PM   #21
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In response to Angela Harlem's question regarding government support:

I have not yet ventured into the other abortion thread, but I guess I should start by saying that I am completely pro-life. That said, I probably will fall in an unusual category in responding to your question.

As a Christian, I believe that the Christian church should be doing more mercy ministry, and support for individuals in this situation would be included with that. Politically, I'm conservative with a bit of a Libertarian bent. Small government. I can see why in a secular society people would look to the government for support in these types of areas, but it's not what I think the role of our government (as described in the constitution) is. Life. Liberty. The pursuit of happiness. Those are our guarantees from the government. For those in need, the church should be sharing and picking up the slack.
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Old 10-14-2004, 01:28 PM   #22
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I'd keep a retarded baby if I (well... my wife) had one. I'd probably reconsider having more than one child after that though, since taking care of that one may be a handful. I'd still love the kid to death though!!! (and by loving it to death I don't mean aborting it...)
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Old 10-14-2004, 03:22 PM   #23
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I suppose it depends on the severity.

If the child was diagnosed with a genetic disorder whereby he/she would die by the age of 3, in unspeakable pain, without the ability to ever speak or understand language, having dozens of surgeries, I would absolutely have an abortion. No questions asked.
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Old 10-14-2004, 08:08 PM   #24
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Thanks for your replies U2k and John1800. These are the kinds of things I was getting at. With the 4 students you described Michelle, the funding for them is probably only half of it. Outside school, they would need PSOP programs, Respite for their families if they are living at home, accomodation services if they are not, numerous medical and social workers to tend to their specific needs and then added financial aid for whomever is their legal carer. The cost of raising a person with disability is huge. This is not an argument for or against aborting an unborn child with a disability, but something which becomes a way of life for an individual with one. Frankly, I think it doesn't matter where the help comes from. It is so needed, be it from the church or government or both doesn't matter. NGO's can only do so much. A family can only do so much. As fully functioning members of society, we can give something back, but these people cannot always do so. So we need to help as much as we can. Making it easier to choose to keep a baby who has a disability needs to be a more workable option. The knowledge that help is out there, needs to be as known as possible to parents who are facing all these questions during a pregnancy.

Personally I have nothing but admiration and respect for those who do keep a child with a disability, and nothing but compassion for those who feel they cannot and thus do not. After the pregnancy though, follows a difficult life - and one which needs so much more in so many areas of welfare.
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Old 10-14-2004, 09:41 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally posted by anitram
I suppose it depends on the severity.

If the child was diagnosed with a genetic disorder whereby he/she would die by the age of 3, in unspeakable pain, without the ability to ever speak or understand language, having dozens of surgeries, I would absolutely have an abortion. No questions asked.
What if you learned of this after the child was born? Would the same reasoning permit you to kill the child?
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Old 10-14-2004, 09:50 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally posted by nbcrusader


What if you learned of this after the child was born? Would the same reasoning permit you to kill the child?
Hmm. Are you trying to open the euthanasia and comatose-patient-on-life-support fronts as well?
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Old 10-14-2004, 10:15 PM   #27
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Originally posted by nbcrusader


What if you learned of this after the child was born? Would the same reasoning permit you to kill the child?
Well I think this is interesting question...A child in a womb deals with heartbeats and being fed through an umbilical chord. If you are delivered and automatically attached to a machine, in and out of surgery, no emotional growth...is this really life?
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Old 10-15-2004, 12:32 AM   #28
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Quote:
Originally posted by nbcrusader


Underlying you question is the assumption that we have a right to relatively defect-free children.

No. The purpose of my question is to encourage people to think about what they would do or be able to handle (emotionally, physically, even financially) if they were faced with caring for a severely disabled child. Plus I will admit to a bit of a "put your money where your mouth is" attitude also, and I wanted to know what people actually do if they were faced with the prospect of caring for someone with major disabilities.

Of the people I've ask these questions in person, very, very few have ever even given it a passing thought. The vast majority never consider that the child (or children) they are going to have will be anything other that completely "defect-free."

That view has always surprised me as my family (immediate, aunts, uncles, and cousins) has many members with birth defects including relatively minor problems such as chronic crossed eyes, to severe heart malformations (several members, luckily correctable), to several cases of mental retardation ranging from moderate to profound.

Partially because of what I consider to be a higher than normal possibility of birth defects in my family history, I chose not to have childern. Another reason is that I already have a three-year-old...and have for more than half my life (she's been with me 22 years now -- since her mom died). She is my aunt and is now chronologically 55. She's not particularly difficult to take care of (personal hygiene is completely up to me), but she needs supervision 24/7/365. Now my mom also lived with me and was able to provide supervision (and until several years ago, share in the care of my aunt)...my mom was also disabled (a more progressive condition -- heart failure, intensified by my birth -- whoa! talk about a guilt trip!), so I also helped her (she died in April). There are pretty much no other relatives here, and it is a rural area.

For many years my aunt went to a sheltered workshop, but various negligence/possible abuse issues. She was choked by another client while the aide supposedly watching her - the other girl - was sitting right beside her!, and she broke both legs - in seperate incidents - requiring hospitalization, surgery (both times requiring several plates, screws, and rods), and long rehab periods. Plus the very last straw was a possible sexual abuse incident (but my aunt won't communicate, so it's nearly impossible to prove). So the sheltered workshop is out.

Respite care -- don't make me laugh. We qualify, we can get it paid for...but no one will recommend anyone (and they have to meet certain standards, so if I can find someone will to sit with my aunt that I am comfortable with, I can't get it paid for, because they don't meet the standards). Remember, these are the same people who run the sheltered workshop. I will say there are a couple of people that I trust who will watch my aunt if I really need an occasional time out, but the most reliable of these is a woman who is caring for her husband who is in the later stages of Alzheimer's disease, so that is not really a viable option.

Although many severely disabled infants don't live into adulthood, many do...and can very well out live their parents by decades. It's not just a matter of getting them to college, it's more akin to caring for an infant/toddler for the rest of your life (and trying to make sure the child is cared for after you are dead).

Oh...someone mentioned earlier that thay had never seen an unhappy or angry downs syndrome child...well, I have, and I'll tell you it isn't pretty!
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Old 10-19-2004, 12:38 PM   #29
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Life is such a mystery. Why do some people seem to suffer more than others? I encourage you to read and study the book of Wisdom and the story of Job who suffered so much....
Sometimes perhaps purgatory is here on earth.
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Old 10-19-2004, 04:19 PM   #30
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Quote:
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Deep,
I will assume you know in detail about the life of a person in care. Consider the financial strain. The emotional strain. The intellectual strain. The physical strain.
Yes, I do know.
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