Apparently, a new trend in “preventing deformity” is to stop the natural growth of children with developmental disabilities. It’s been hit in a few Catholic blogs already.
Of course, one of my major objectives is to make the point that disabled people should be free to live as “normally” as possible, even if we require more work to get there.
It’s also to argue that we can’t “prevent” bad things from happening. Life stinks. There are certain things we can do in certain situations to prevent problems, but if we always live our lives “preventing”, that leads to misery. I see it so often. I am so sick of people telling me, “You can’t do that because of X” (whether X is financial, physical, whatever).
Some risks are worth taking in order to have a full life.
A lot of Marfan parents use growth-retarding hormones, particularly on girls, to at least save them some of the social stigma of being too tall, and hopefully to prevent some of the manifestations of Marfan from being as severe. Even that has struck me as far too Frankensteinish.
Lastly, our society increasingly sees children as toys. I see it in how my children are treated by the extended family on both sides. Buy them lots of stuff to see them open their presents. Beg for them to visit “so we can see the kids.” Then when they actually act like kids, throw a fit that they’re not behaving properly. Then complain that they have too many toys lying around. Do whatever you want to in their presence without thought to how it might effect them emotionally or spiritually.
My mom recently had a procedure done where they gave her some tissue grown from amniotic cells. they warned her that the tissue graft might fall apart after a few weeks. It actually fell apart after a week, leaving her eye in worse condition than it started.
Of course, given all the risks of amniocentesis, this still has problems, but at least any risk to the baby is a secondary effect. But you shouldn’t just go around doing amniocentesis.
On the media end of things, AOL has a very misleading poll, asking “Do you support stem cell research?”, making no clear distinction between the various forms. I didn’t respond at all. Someone beat me to the punch of posting on their blog about the misleading poll, but I replied.
One day, people are going to look back on our society’s use of contraception at the cost of women’s health, ignoring the scientific facts to suit our lust for pleasure, and look on us the way we look on those who ignored the scientific data on tobacco for decades (if not centuries).
One day, people are going to look back on legalized abortion, where one class of people were degraded for the social advancement of others, where one group of people were allowed to determine the “personhood” of another group, and look upon us the way we look upon the antebelllum South.
One day, people are going to look back on our desire for scientific progress at the expense of any moral boundaries (but never at the expense of our pleasure, see above), and they’re going to look on us the way we look on the Nazis and the inventors of the nuclear bomb.