Oh boy, here comes a story to make me rage in several directions. Let’s go.
A woman was trying to get pregnant through IVF. She ended up with twins. One of the twins had a lot of problems while the other one was fine. She decided to have what they call a selective termination where the fetus with the abnormalities is terminated while the other one continues to grow. The doctor she chose aborted the wrong fetus. Now his license has been revoked.
Let’s start by making fun of the doctor, Dr. Matthew J. Kachinas, because he seems dumb and I’m amazed he made it through med school, let alone specializing in obstetrics and gynecology. This guy had never done selective termination before, but he has never said no to a patient, so decided to go ahead and try it, even though doing it right requires a hell of a lot of experience and expertise. Ya know, when playing with lives, choosing to say no is a good thing, doc. If a patient asked you to do heart surgery, even though your specialty was ob-gyn, would you say yes? I should hope not.
I’m sure the mom is kicking herself right now. She was told that he wasn’t experienced in this, but went ahead and let him do it anyway. Part of me wonders why she would, but there is an element of trust there, and if the doctor says he can do it, I could see putting faith in him, faith that ends up being misplaced.
Now that I’m done raging about the situation, it’s time for me to go off on another little rant. There are several thoughts circling my brain like vultures, all fighting for a place to land. One freaks out at the thought of selective termination, wondering if it’s ethical at all. If my parents saw that I had optic nerve and pituitary abnormalities in utero, and I was one of a set of twins and this option was available, would they have terminated me? Would I even be here to write this blog? And would it have been right to decide that my life isn’t worth living and I’m destined for misery just because my eyes don’t work? The idea of terminating a life before you even know what his/her potential is gives me all kinds of shivers.
But then another part of my brain says who am I to judge someone’s motives? How many problems did the kid have? Was he doomed to die soon after birth? They said he had heart troubles and Down Syndrome, and to me, that doesn’t sound like a miserable fate. There are all kinds of degrees of heart defects and all kinds of degrees of Down Syndrome. But I’m not a doctor, so maybe I’m rushing to judgment.
There are a second set of cruel thoughts that won’t leave me alone. One says it serves the parents right to have had the wrong pregnancy terminated. Maybe they needed to have an “imperfect” baby so they could learn to accept people who have disabilities. But then another part of me says they would have just given the kid up anyway. I mean, after the healthy baby was terminated, they went back and terminated the one with problems. That just makes me wonder about them.
Ug, the bullshit people get into while trying to have kids. I’m thankful there are all kinds of advances to help detect things early so they can be treated and all that, but some of the options available just scream “bad idea.”