Friday, September 3, 2010

The Mercenary Life

Sometimes people send me things. Sometimes they send them expecting a response that is not the response I give. That is apparently what happened today. A friend sent me an article about the heartbreak of making difficult medical decisions. The article, however, was so shocking I doubt I'll sleep at all tonight. If you dare, read "Would you get selective reduction?"

In brief, this is the story of a woman who wanted to have a second child at the age of 43 (she already had a three year old boy). Rather than having children "the old fashioned way", she and her husband skipped that after a few months and underwent fertility treatments. They wanted to try IVF, but the insurance wouldn't pay for it until they tried hormonal fertility treatments. Those treatments resulted in twins.
"But I really don't want twins," I said. "I already have a 3-year-old, and money is tight. One more is all we can handle."

...We took trips and found time for exercise and going to movies; we even had space in our two-bedroom apartment for guests. But at that moment, I didn't want to hear any of that. I'd always wanted two children, and I countered with my best argument: Preserving our lifestyle seemed like a self-centered reason to deprive our son of a sibling.

...I know it sounds selfish, but I wanted to protect the well-being of the people already in my life -- my son, my husband, and, yes, myself.
But of course, in the end depriving her son of a sibling is just what she would do. Although she wanted a second child, she didn't want a third, so she picked which one would be killed so that they wouldn't have to "change their lifestyle" more than they wanted to.

This story is so sad and chilling I don't know where to begin. It places technology, convenience and money above a human life. That's the sad part. The fact that it is presented in a matter-of-fact way as if to say that the choices being decided were of equal importance is chilling. The only bright light in this seems to the the comments, which (mostly) express disgust and dismay.


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