21 October 2008

Oct. 21 Saving the life of special needs...

A post has come about on the micropreemie board about whether or not to save the life of a baby with a grade iv bleed in the brain. It is the worst bleed that can occur. Although this is a very personal issue and one I did not have to face- I can say I would definitely have fought to save my childs life. Some would choose to end support. A doctor will give the worst case scenario and tell you what can happen. But that is all they can do. They can not predict for sure what will happen. The medical field is not an exact science. There are always exceptions to the rule and no one can ever tell you for sure what will happen.

The heart of this issue comes down to the parents ability to deal with a child with special needs. And beyond that it boils down to whether a child is worthy of living it's life with disabilities. How can a parent decide such a thing? What disabilities are easy to live with and what are not? How about children who are born perfect but develop disabilities later in life (bipolar disorder, depression, mental illness, autism)??? Should these children, if we had known, even been given a shot at life since they would face such devestating disabilities? It's a preposterous claim- yet it is a valid question in order to see how disabilities affect our perceptions. One can not answer who will grow up and become disabled. What test is administered to determine what disability is easy to live with and what is not? Is it quality of life that will decide a childs fate? And what quality is so negative to determine that support should be ended?

Again- ending life support is personal and gut wrenching and based on individual cases, but if a baby has the will to survive and the ability to fight, why not give it a chance to live? If special needs is the determination of whether a life is worthy of living then there are an aweful lot of people on this earth who don't belong.

No comments: