Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Is this really progress?

I heard on the radio about a new blood test that will be used by pregnant mothers to determine if their child has a certain birth defect – it is still being tested but looks very promising. Instead of needing to take fluid from the womb to test for something like Down Syndrome, this test can use mom’s blood to identify if the foetus has a chromosomal disorder. The person sharing this news on the radio was excited about this scientific progress as this new test is a less risky and less intrusive than our current measures, and it can be administered at as early as 5 weeks. He explained the implications of this – more pregnant woman can now be screened (not just those over 35 years), and should a defect be found, they can terminate the pregnancy as early as 5 or 6 weeks. My mind followed the logic of this increased screening to the next step = less people with Down Syndrome will be born.

My heart broke.

I looked at my little Matt sitting in front of me – yes he is developing differently from most, but he is still so full of life, vibrancy, love, joy… so full of LIFE. Kids with Down Syndrome also have the potential for a full life. My heart broke for all those little persons whose lives will now be terminated.

My heart broke for our society. I think we are a better people when we engage with those who have disabilities – it challenges the blind and selfish pursuit of success, materialism, and personal satisfaction at all costs. Matt and those who develop differently compel us to find our humanity, our compassion, and our goodness. I believe we will all be worse off by eliminating those with Down Syndrome and the like from our world.

Sometimes this world seems really upside down.

7 comments:

hennhouse said...

Yes. It seems very upside down. My boss said it best yesterday when she said, "There is just something wrong with society today."

Cindy said...

We agree with you (and God!) that this is terribly wrong. With all the wrong in society, we can only take comfort that ultimately God's will, will prevail.

Kyle & Tarah Peacock said...

Wow, how sad. How many times have you heard people being told that there may be a problem with their baby and then they come out perfectly fine. It just doesn't seem right.

Kristi said...

Ironic that you posted about this. I had my first prenatal yesterday and they were asking me what genetic tests I wanted. I look at Noah and know that I wouldn't change anything anyways..

Sys said...

Can't help thinking, who is next on the list to be eliminated from society?

Is the future trend cloned, uniform babies, which comply with a set standard?

hennhouse said...

When I originally read this post, the same questions that SYS asked in his/her comment crossed my mind, too. And I wonder, if that is the way things are going, who gets to set the standard? I think my kids--including all of their disorders and disabilities and pain and grief and issues--are pretty perfect. And if they weren't the way they are, I wouldn't be who I am becoming. I can't help but wonder, as we "perfect" the "baby pool" how much of ourselves are we giving up as well?

Dani said...

It seems that in our world your parenting to Matt will be more and more prophetic. More and more a visual of how God calls us to live and how God calls us to live in a way that includes all. It seems that science only allows us to be more efficient in the things that the prophets warned Israel about. But we are all to eager to sell the poor for silver and the needy for a pair of sandals. And now we can do it easily.