In New Zealand:
parents of a child with spina bifida could receive an ACC payout after successfully arguing they were denied the chance to abort their daughter.
Doctors missed signs of the defect in the foetus during a 20-week scan.
The couple said they would have terminated the pregnancy had they known the daughter, who was born in 2007, had spina bifida.
In a decision released today, the Court of Appeal ruled that the couple, who have name suppression, suffered a personal injury because of the misdiagnosis.
The case would now return to the district court.
The mother claims that, “In no way are we saying we don’t want her now.” But they are effectively saying that they regret the fact that she is alive, that they weren’t given a chance to kill her. Gross. This ruling is not a victory for anyone; it is very much a loss for all mankind.
Though it comes in varying degrees, some cases more severe than others, Spina bifida, by and large, is a very livable condition. My first roommate in rehab after my accident was a young woman with spina bifida. She was the happiest, most full of life chick I’ve ever met and her love for life influenced me greatly, helping me more easily adjust to life with a major disability.
Spina bifida should not be a death sentence for anyone — in or out of the womb. These “wrongful birth” lawsuits make me sick — almost as sick as the eugenic abortions, themselves.
[editor's note: the little girl in this photo is not the little girl who's parents are involved in this awful lawsuit. Just an image of a child with spina bifida I found on Google.]
To love at all is to be vulnerable. -C.S. Lewis
“To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly be broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even to an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements; lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket — safe, dark, motionless, airless — it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. The alternative to tragedy, or at least to the risk of tragedy, is damnation. The only place outside of Heaven where you can be perfectly safe from all the dangers and perturbations of love is Hell.”
This reminds me of something Carl Anderson and Fr. José Granados wrote in their book Called to Love: Approaching John Paul II’s Theology of the Body
It’s true, of course, that everyone who loves sooner or later gets hurt. Yet this very risk of pain has a positive side: By taking us out of ourselves, emotions are an entryway into the world of other people. By coming to share in that world, we learn to live more richly. And this is surely a risk worth taking.
For most of us, the call to love resounding in our bodies invites us to go out of ourselves and to build a world together with another. God will, for the most part, influence our coming into contact with a potentially suitable partner. But, then it is up to us to take action, to go out on a limb and open ourselves up to them in order to find out if they really are the one for us.
There is always a risk involved in this openness, of course. Feelings may not always be mutual and it may end up hurting in the end, but love is a risk worth taking. There is always something to be gained when we go outside ourselves and learn to share in someone else’s world, even if only for a short while. This is true whether we’re talking about romantic love, friendship or just the daily struggle to love our neighbor.
“Man…cannot fully find himself except through a sincere gift of himself” Gaudium et Spes, 24
Good advice: How God works in bringing people together
For the record: I love sci-fi and fantasy as much as the next geek (obviously). BUT, I have never seen an episode of Dr. Who in my life — and I am quite comfortable with that, thankyouverymuch.
That being said, I did find University of Leicester academic, Dr Chris Willmott’s insight into some aspects of the series quite interesting:
“What we see portrayed is one of the classic dilemmas in modern bioethics – the tension between an intervention being a ‘therapy’ or an ‘enhancement’…
“The therapy/enhancement tension is particularly well examined in the 2006 two-parter ‘Rise of the Cybermen’ and ‘The Age of Steel’. On a parallel Earth, inventor John Lumic has been developing the Cybermen as a research tool as he sought a resolution to how he might survive his own degenerative illness. However the story finishes in a transhumanist’s nightmare when he is forcibly upgraded by his creations.
“Most people would agree that the various Cybermen storylines offer a pretty bleak image of the potential interaction between humans and Posthumans. There are, however, some philosophers who still argue that their ambition for pain-free immortality sits squarely with the goals of many humans. Over the years the details of how humans get turned into Cybermen have varied, but regardless of the mechanics of the conversion process, it has always been clear that the creatures within the shiny suits started out as people.”
…and Catholic. In case you were wondering:
“Among the vulnerable for whom the Church wishes to care with particular love and concern are unborn children, the most defenceless and innocent among us. Nowadays efforts are made to deny them their human dignity and to do with them whatever one pleases, taking their lives and passing laws preventing anyone from standing in the way of this. Frequently, as a way of ridiculing the Church’s effort to defend their lives, attempts are made to present her position as ideological, obscurantist and conservative. Yet this defence of unborn life is closely linked to the defence of each and every other human right. It involves the conviction that a human being is always sacred and inviolable, in any situation and at every stage of development. Human beings are ends in themselves and never a means of resolving other problems. Once this conviction disappears, so do solid and lasting foundations for the defence of human rights, which would always be subject to the passing whims of the powers that be. Reason alone is sufficient to recognize the inviolable value of each single human life, but if we also look at the issue from the standpoint of faith, “every violation of the personal dignity of the human being cries out in vengeance to God and is an offence against the creator of the individual”.
Precisely because this involves the internal consistency of our message about the value of the human person, the Church cannot be expected to change her position on this question. I want to be completely honest in this regard. This is not something subject to alleged reforms or “modernizations”. It is not “progressive” to try to resolve problems by eliminating a human life. On the other hand, it is also true that we have done little to adequately accompany women in very difficult situations, where abortion appears as a quick solution to their profound anguish, especially when the life developing within them is the result of rape or a situation of extreme poverty. Who can remain unmoved before such painful situations?” -Pope Francis, Evangelii Gaudium (The Joy of the Gospel)
Emily Stimpson continues her look at the Theology of the Body in a slightly different way than it is traditionally presented:
[W]hat makes a body beautiful is how well it loves.
That’s not pious claptrap. It’s the simple reason why people walked away from Mother Teresa fully convinced that they’d just met the most beautiful woman in the world.
Her love for God and man were written on her face. Her virtue—her compassion, her purity, her obedience, her respect for life—manifested itself in her every look and action. And that didn’t just make her soul beautiful. It made her body beautiful. It caused people to see her as lovely. They liked to look upon her.
The same holds true for us.
Read more. And don’t forget to check out her book These Beautiful Bones: An Everyday Theology of the Body
JPII, Food, Sex, and God
Jennifer Lahl writes:
I’m just back from Charleston, South Carolina, where I attended the American Academy of Assisted Reproductive Technology Attorneys (AAARTA) professional conference. I listened in for three days on presentations addressing all things associated with third party reproduction from the perspective of lawyers, lobbyists, and advocates for LGBT rights and expanding global laws. I learned a lot.
Much of what I learned disturbed me. I hope to write more about the different sessions at the conference moving forward.
One thing that really bothered me, though, was how every presenter called women “carriers” and “donors”. It was especially bothersome against the background of the slave history of South Carolina. While I was there I toured the city, visited The Old Slave Mart Museum, and learned about the early history of the slave breeders.
It appears we have not learned from history.
The baby-making industry has absolutely no respect for the women it depends on to put their bodies on the line in order to obtain the “raw materials” needed for their experimentation.
Dear readers, this year I am grateful to have become a monthly guest on a wonderful local Catholic radio show. The Mike Allen Show airs Mon-Fri, 5-6pm EST on Real life Radio 1380AM & 94.9FM in Lexington, KY (and world-wide at realliferadio.com)
On the bioethical complexities of transhumanism and performance enhancing drugs:
On end-of-life ethics in light of an old Star Trek TNG episode. Also, lessons about suffering from the Little Flower:
If you like what you hear, please click here and consider offering them whatever support you can afford.
Today I will be on the air in Lexington, KY to discuss the bio-ethical issues surrounding pre-natal genetic testing, including both the benefits and dangers.
After seeing their Eggsploitation documentary, a former egg donor recruiter came forward and agreed to talk to the Center for Bioethics and Culture about her experience working for 18 years with a leading fertility center in the United States. It’s an interesting look into the industry.
The last few years was all about pleasing the recipients who were using egg donors. We stopped taking care of donors, but choosing donors based on their ‘select ability’. Our clinic didn’t want to waste time and resources on donors who weren’t going to be chosen, or wouldn’t produce a good quantity of eggs, but focused on girls who would be picked and produce many eggs. It weighed heavy on my mind that people wanted ‘designer babies’ — not that they just wanted a baby, but that they wanted a particular kind of baby. It wasn’t that we stopped ‘taking care’ of the donors, but in my opinion, they were viewed as employees who were contracted and paid to perform a service. It also weighed heavily on my mind that your so called ‘average’ woman wasn’t good enough anymore.
While we’re praying for an end to abortion and the conversion of abortionists and abortion facility workers, let’s also remember to pray for an end to the commodification of men, women and children through IVF and for the conversion of those who manufacture and destroy life in IVF clinics and science labs all over the world.
Emily Stimson has a TOB must read over at CatholicVote about how discovering JP II’s vision of the human person helped her overcome anorexia and negative body image issues:
The Theology of the Body taught me that my body was not some hunk of flesh encasing my soul; it was me. It expressed me. It made me present to the world, enabling me to love and be loved.
It also taught me that those curves I despised were gifts, reflecting my feminine heart and God himself, who nourishes and nurtures his people with more tender care than any mother who nourishes and nurtures her child.
And it helped me see food not as something to be feared, but as a perpetual witness to that nourishing love of God’s. It unlocked the power and beauty of the Eucharist and changed every meal into a natural foreshadowing of One, Holy, Sacrificial Meal.
Perhaps most impressively, it did all that in the first reading.
Read the rest: What the Pope Taught Me About Food, Sex, and God
In her new book These Beautiful Bones: An Everyday Theology of the Body, Emily seeks to have a different conversation about the TOB than we’ve seen in recent years.