Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Priceless in God's eyes

One of my favorite passages in the Bible is Acts 10:34, which states "Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons." What that basically means is God does not show favoritism towards any individual and that He loves us all equally, regardless if we're a vile sinner or the pastor of a church who has led hundreds of thousands to salvation.

While I am not a Dad myself, it's been conveyed to me by those who are parents that they garner at least an infinitesimal understanding of what God's love means. That is, the birth of their children triggers such an overwhelming and unconditional love that they would literally lay down their own lives for the sake of their child. Sure, parents of disabled kids may bear an extra physical (and, at times, emotional) burden, but many of those moms and dads will never question the cost.

I guess that's why I was quite taken aback by a Florida couple who claims they would have aborted their child had they known of his impending disabilities.

Many times, “wrongful death” is at the root cause of a lawsuit, but what happens in the case of a “wrongful birth” charge?

In West Palm Beach, Florida, a couple sued a doctor and an ultrasound technician for negligence. The two claimed that they would have aborted their son, who was born with no arms and only one leg, had they known about his disabilities beforehand.’s Jane Musgrave writes:

[The parents] claimed they would have never have brought Bryan into the world had they known about his horrific disabilities. Had Morel and technicians at OB/GYN Specialists of the Palm Beaches and Perinatal Specialists of the Palm Beaches properly administered two ultrasounds and seen he was missing three limbs, the West Palm Beach couple said they would have terminated the pregnancy.

As a result of what some are calling a “wrongful birth,”
(I'm sorry, but wrongful BIRTH?!?! I don't think even the pro-choice movement could have envisioned the giving of life as being a crime - ed.) Ana Mejia and Rodolfo Santana sued Dr. Marie Morel and an ultrasound technician for $9 million — a figure that was estimated to cover the child’s expenses for the next 70 years.

The couple believe that the doctor and his staff member should have noticed the baby’s issues before he was born. For what was apparently seen as a failure to properly read sonograms, a jury comprised of four men and two women sided with the couple, holding the doctor 85 percent negligent and the technician 15 percent negligent.

While the couple didn’t win the fill amount they wanted, they walked away with $4.5 million — half of the figure that was originally requested. Feeling overjoyed, they explained that the award would greatly assist their son Bryan.

I just pray to God that somehow Bryan is sheltered from this whole episode once he is old enough to understand life's complexities. Essentially he'd be under the impression that he wasn't wanted, but since he was used as prop to obtain a huge pay day, he'll now be showered with love and affection.

Of course the comeback would be that it's easy for me to be outraged, in that I don't have to bear the extra financial burden in raising a handicapped child. Fair enough. But I guarantee if that little boy were surrendered upon birth, some compassionate couple who aspired to be parents would snap him up in a heartbeat. In fact, Florida has a safe haven law, which allows for a mother/father to bring their newborn infant up to 7 days of age to any 24 hour staffed Fire or EMS Station or Hospital as a "Safe Haven" and remain completely anonymous. No questions asked, no law enforcement notified.

I am certainly grateful for Bryan's sake that he was given life and thus has the opportunity to defy all sorts of doubts and low expectations regarding his existence in this world. I just hope Bryan's parents one day acknowledge that his being spared death was a blessing for much, much more than what it brought financially.


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