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Old 10-13-2004, 05:32 PM   #1
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Companion to the abortion question

I hope I'm allowed to do this (the companion question, that is). I don't want to just toss it in with the abortion question, but things mentioned in that thread made me wonder...

Could you cope with taking care of a profoundly retarded child or a child with severe birth defects?

If you could not have children yourself, but wanted children, would you be willing to adopt a profoundly retarded child or one with severe birth defects?

And I certainly welcome anyone who does have or has had experience in this area to comment too. I'm interested in actual experiences as well was theory.

Thanks!
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Old 10-13-2004, 05:33 PM   #2
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If I was told I was pregnant with a baby that would have down syndrome I would keep it. I've never seen an unhappy child with down syndrome...they seem pretty chipper and loving to me.
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Old 10-13-2004, 05:38 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally posted by starsgoblue
If I was told I was pregnant with a baby that would have down syndrome I would keep it. I've never seen an unhappy child with down syndrome...they seem pretty chipper and loving to me.
Have you ever taken care of one? I'm not intending to bash you, not at all, but I'm wondering? It's interesting to me...and I'll post why a bit later.
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Old 10-13-2004, 05:44 PM   #4
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i think it takes an extraordinary person to properly care for... well, any child, to tell the truth. even more so for children with birth defects/developmental problems. people who manage to parent well have my utmost respect and admiration.

i don't think i was cut out to be a parent, personally, so my answer to your question would have to be no. i have enough trouble looking after myself, so the thought of being responsible for another tiny human being is out of the question.

curious to hear your story, indra.
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Old 10-13-2004, 05:45 PM   #5
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As staunchly anti- abortion as I am when it's for reasons of selfishness and convenience, I do believe that extreme birth defects and deformities are an understandable reason to abort. I don't believe it's justifyable to put a kid out of its misery just because its parents are poor and it MIGHT have a crap life, but I do think this (severely multiple handicapped)should be one of the few exceptions it should be available in.

Caring for a severely mentally and physically handicapped child is something most families cannot deal with emotionally or financially. It's also hard on the state if the child is turned over to them, and the school system's costs are astronimical. I'm not talking about blind or deaf or paralyzed or missing a limb here, or even Down's syndrome. I'm talking about problems so severe the child never is really aware of its surroundings and is never able to feed or dress itself or use the toilet. Most of these children never really think and feel or understand anything.

However this makes up only 3% of abortions performed in the US

On the other hand if anyone can and will care for such a child, they are a special and wonderful person.
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Old 10-13-2004, 05:48 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally posted by indra


Have you ever taken care of one? I'm not intending to bash you, not at all, but I'm wondering? It's interesting to me...and I'll post why a bit later.

Not 24/7 round the clock...but yes I have. My roomate works with alot of autistic children too....
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Old 10-13-2004, 05:50 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally posted by U2Kitten
However this makes up only 3% of abortions performed in the US

So true...so many agrue the "health of the mother or severely deformed child" card for abortion. The actual numbers of those are so miniscule to the convenience factor.
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Old 10-13-2004, 06:09 PM   #8
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Well, a human is a human, even if it's a retarded human.
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Old 10-13-2004, 06:11 PM   #9
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Well that is true. A life is a life
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Old 10-13-2004, 06:24 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by shart1780
Well, a human is a human, even if it's a retarded human.
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?
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Old 10-13-2004, 07:02 PM   #11
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Define profoundly. Define severe. What might be impossible for you to deal with may be 'no big deal' for another family.
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Old 10-13-2004, 08:30 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally posted by bonosloveslave
Define profoundly. Define severe. What might be impossible for you to deal with may be 'no big deal' for another family.
Here are some definitions and information. First about mental retardation (with a emphasis on the profound variety).

Quote:

Profound mental retardation

Only 1-2% of the mentally retarded population is classified as profoundly retarded. Profoundly retarded individuals have IQ scores under 20-25. They may be able to develop basic self-care and communication skills with appropriate support and training. Their retardation is often caused by an accompanying neurological disorder. The profoundly retarded need a high level of structure and supervision.




The American Association on Mental Retardation (AAMR) has developed another widely accepted diagnostic classification system for mental retardation. The AAMR classification system focuses on the capabilities of the retarded individual rather than on the limitations. The categories describe the level of support required. They are: intermittent support, limited support, extensive support, and pervasive support. To some extent, the AAMR classification mirrors the DSM-IV classification. Intermittent support, for example, is support needed only occasionally, perhaps during times of stress or crisis. It is the type of support typically required for most mildly retarded individuals. At the other end of the spectrum, pervasive support, or life-long, daily support for most adaptive areas, would be required for profoundly retarded individuals.



The outlook is less promising for those with severe to profound retardation. Studies have shown that these individuals have a shortened life expectancy. The diseases that are usually associated with severe retardation may cause the shorter life span. People with Down syndrome will develop the brain changes that characterize Alzheimer's disease in later life and may develop the clinical symptoms of this disease as well.

General definition of a birth defect below. And a definition of severe is "to a great degree." So that would be great physical or mental disability, or is fatal.

Quote:
A birth defect is an abnormality of structure, function or metabolism (body chemistry) present at birth that results in physical or mental disability, or is fatal. Several thousand different birth defects have been identified. Birth defects are the leading cause of death in the first year of life.

* edited to say I forgot to cerdit the original reference for these quotes...then my pc crashed and now I can't find the damn things! Well, not the exact sources. I just googled and picked one for each, but I forget what I typed in the first time! Sorry.
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Old 10-13-2004, 10:46 PM   #13
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Re: Companion to the abortion question

Quote:
Originally posted by indra

Could you cope with taking care of a profoundly retarded child or a child with severe birth defects?



What's your point?

I am pro chioce

and yes I would care for a child with birth defects.


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

Our capacity to care and love for others should not be so shallow.
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Old 10-13-2004, 11:42 PM   #14
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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.
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Old 10-13-2004, 11:44 PM   #15
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Deep, I'm not going to make grand assumptions about your personal life, instead 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.

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.
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Old 10-14-2004, 07:48 AM   #16
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Quote:
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, 07:52 AM   #17
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Quote:
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, 10:12 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, 10:25 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally posted by Angela Harlem
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, 11:36 AM   #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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