Abortion and the Mentally HandicappedMatt DominMWF 9:00Ms. Smith,We of the Ethics Committee have reviewed your case for an extendedperiod of time. We took into consideration, for our decision, the yearn of anyfemale to experience childbearing, child birth, and the joy of raising young.
Being a mother is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and once you become a motheryou are a mother for life. There is a tremendous amount of responsibility andwork that goes along with having children. We understand your desire tocontinue the pregnancy, and to keep the child, but due to your legal status,mental health, and the baby’s well being, the decision to terminate thepregnancy has been reached and voted for unanimously.
Your mother has proper legal custody, and as you know, wants theabortion to take place. We agree with her concern for your well-being. Childbirth is an extremely stressful situation. The trauma of the pregnancy couldintensify your paranoid schizophrenia, or cause some other mental disorder. Mrs.
Smith has informed us that she herself is not capable of caring for the child.
We feel that you will suffer further if you are forced to give up the child.
Your psychiatrist has come to the conclusion that you are not capable of being aresponsible parent, but you are, at times, capable of making rational moraldecisions. However, because you are not able to make important, rational, moraldecisions most of the time your mother can claim that you are not mentallycapable of raising a child. Also. We took in to account that the father of thisunborn child is unknown. There is no one to help you make this decision, butmore importantly, there is not another parental figure to aid in the raising andcaring for this child. From testimonies from your mother and your psychiatrist,it is our understanding that you can do neither on your own.
Ms. Smith, you have been diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia. As youknow, the treatment for paranoid schizophrenia is a variety of different drugs.
This gives you a slightly higher chance of having fetal defects such as cysticfibrosis, pulmonary emphysema, abruptioplacentae, miscarriage, or placentaprevia to name a few. We also feel that there is an increased chance that thechild will develop a mental disorder. It is not fair for the child or its’ caretakers to suffer from deformities that were caused from drug reactions. Youmust understand our position in caring for the physical health and safety ofthis child.
You will not be able to provide for the child, because you have noannual income. We feel that the child will not have equal opportunities to havepositive growth and development because of this. Living in Community Hospital’slong term care unit does not provide a heathy environment for the baby to livein. The baby will have little opportunity to go outside, be with peers, andhave friends. A baby needs a healthy environment to grow and be nurtured in.
This is a basic right that should be granted to any new born. We feel thatbecause of your living situation your baby will not get the essentials.
Adoption is another issue to be dealt with. As we stated earlier, youmight suffer more if you are you are forced to give the baby up for adoption.
You could possibly develop serious depression, and worsen your paranoidschizophrenia. You may think you give the child up for adoption to benefit theirwell being, but once you actually give birth to this child, your feelings maychange. The could cause serious emotional trauma on you, your mother, and in thelong run will hurt your child. Orphanages aren’t the best environment for achild to grow up in. If you did put your child up for adoption, the likelihoodthat someone will want to adopt a mental patient’s child is low, and if thechild is deformed in some way the chance is even smaller. You took theresponsibility to have sex, now you must take the responsibility to do what isright for your child, no matter how much pain will be placed on you. Everychild deserves to have loving, providing parents and we feel you can’t give yourchild that, and an adoption may not be successful. We, as an Ethics Committeeare not willing to take that chance with an unborn child’s life.
Children’s development is influenced by several different mediums likeenvironment, parents, friends, and personal characteristics. We feel that ifthis child were born under these circumstances, the influences presented wouldbe negative, and the baby’s well being, health, and security are top priority inthis case. Being an ethics committee, we cannot permit you to give birth tothis fetus. You are not mentally capable to bear, or properly raise the child.
Your lifestyle is not suitable for properly raising a child. Living in a mentalhospital does not provide an acceptable environment for a baby to grow in, andthe negatives of this case out way the positives.
We are truly sorry about this decision, but it is the best for you andthe child. We will do our best to help you in any way. We are here to offermental and physical support. Please understand that this is the best solutionfor everyone involved. If you have any problems or questions feel free tocontact us any time. We did not impose this decision to hurt you in any way. Wewant you to get healthy and care for yourself. Until you can care for, and haveresponsibility for yourself, you can’t care for and take responsibility foranother. This decision is final and you must cooperate with us to make thispainful situation as easy as possible. We have sent a copy of this letter toyour mother and to your doctors and we would like to talk with you further.
Thank You for your cooperation.