DOCTORS PLAYING GOD!
60 minutes last night featured this emotional story about a couple, who at 20 wks. pregnancy had an ultrasound, showing the baby’s heart to have an abnormality.
There are a number of extremely disturbing issues about this story.
- The sonographer sent the couple home with a letter of referral
- With absolutley no explanation prior to leaving, she chose to open the letter on the way home and as she explains, the words in the referral were deeply shocking “gross abnormality”, among others. Enough to cause any couple extreme anxiety.
- However, it was the doctor’s language, and attitude that were beyond belief. “No other choice but to terminate, baby not compatible with life, if baby did survive it would be an untold burden to the parents etc. etc.”
As we see from this story, they declined this ‘advice’ and now have a happy, healthy, gorgeous little boy.
DOCTORS PLAYING GOD is surely a very dangerous path to tread.
What rights do doctors have to tell anyone that they should terminate a pregnancy? This raises many other issues about giving people quite definite time frames for the remainder of their life, due to disease or illness. We have all met people who have been given eg. 6 mths. to live! Nobody can, and nobody should, (not even a doctor) claim to know this! This is perhaps for another blog!
There are so many ways to discuss this, with the couple, without giving very arrogant, god like advice, about what to do with their unborn baby.
Yes, their baby clearly had a major heart issue, but gently discussing all options, (and doctors can only do this from a medical point of view}, is surely their ethical and moral responsibility. Recognising that a couple in this situation need ‘other’ informaiton and support, that a doctor cannot provide, and making those appropriate referrals, e.g. at the very least they should have been referred to a Genetic counsellor.
VERY IMPORTANT MESSAGE:
- Women are in charge of their bodies.
- Women are in charge of their pregnancy, labour and birthing.
- Women know and understand their unborn baby better than anyone
- Women have a unique connection with their unborn baby
- Women and their partners are the only ones who can make the best decision on behalf of their baby, provided they have good, sound and balanced information and support, on which to base their choices
- doctors should understand and respect that women know much more about their unborn baby and work with them – NOT tell them what to do.
- This couple have every right to be very angry and disappointed and very let-down by ‘the system’.
It was wonderful to see them enjoying their beautiful little boy and congratulations to them for being empowered enough to make the right decision for them and their baby.