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Posts Tagged ‘Infanticide’

Where the liberals stand on infanticide–Honoring baby killers

Posted by MDViews on January 30, 2005

Conservative News Service has this article about a murder that happened here in Minnesota (before I moved here). Apparently, Mine Ener was an instructor in the Villanova history department and was director of the Center of Arab American Studies at that university. She gave birth to a daughter with Down syndrome. She was a married woman, so was not without help or support at home. When she and her daughter were visiting her parents in St. Paul MN she slashed her child’s throat two times with a kitchen knife. The baby girl was six months old. She admitted to killing the child because she did not want her daughter to “go through life suffering”. Her apologists say she was suffering from post partum depression (although receiving treatment) and as such was not responsible for her actions.

While incarcerated, Ms. Ener committed suicide in her Ramsey County jail cell by putting a plastic bag over her head.

Villanova now has decided to honor her memory by dedicating a new section of its library to “commemorate Ener’s life and work.” News articles also state that this area is being dedicated to her memory not only because of her life and work but also to raise awareness of post partum depression.

Oh, dear, where to begin.

I’ve provided care for countless women with post partum depression. At this writing, I’ve been delivering babies now for over a quarter of a century (I am old!)and have yet to see a patient kill her child. I’ve had some threatened to harm themselves or their children and I’ve aided them in obtaining psychiatric help, but NONE acted on that impulse.

And besides, by her own words, she did not kill the child because of her depression or the fact that she had lost touch with reality. She did it so the baby would not “go through life suffering.” Sounds like she knew exactly what she was doing and why. Her thinking does not appear to be delusional or psychotic.

So, in my mind at least, this woman murdered her daughter and post partum depression or not, she was aware, coherent and making perfect sense.

Her daughter had Down syndrome. This disability is just that–a disability, not a life sentence of misery.

My older brother and his wife started their family when they were already in their 30’s. They have three children now, MJ, Marc and Dianna. MJ, their first, has Down syndrome. My wife and I are his god-parents in addition to being his uncle and aunt. He is now 22 years old and is one of the happier souls on this planet. He voted for George Bush for president which means what he lacks in IQ, he more than compensates for in judgment.

Would I have wanted the ultimate solution for little MJ when he was six months old? God forbid.

Now, having a son with Down syndrome is no walk in the park. My brother and his wife have had their hands full. Their was an initial sadness that swept over the entire family as the magnitude of his disability settled in. How tragic! Both my brother and sister-in-law are teachers. They are educated people so in love with books and school and all that goes with it. Then to know that their son, their first born, would never really share that with them, would never reach a intelligence to perhaps even live on his own. Such a heartbreak.

But life goes on and his did too. It gave our somewhat smug family of high achievers an insight into the meaning of disabilities and also helped us appreciate that the disabled are people, too. We don’t think of MJ as our nephew with Down syndrome, we just think of him as MJ.

I say all this to point out that a disability is NOT a justification for homicide.

But now I’m left to wonder: Why is Villanova honoring the memory of this woman? One blog, Open Book has a good summary and many helpful posts. Would they be honoring her if she had killed someone else’s baby? Would they honor her if the slain child did not suffer from Down syndrome? The liberals are the first to defend the right to kill an unborn child with Down syndrome. It seems to me to be a minor moral stretch to extend the killing to those six months old with Down syndrome.

When asked, the university said that they wanted to honor her life, not her tragic ending. Like it was something that “just happened” to her, not something for which she was responsible. One student from Villanova points out, however, that the university removed the name of John DuPont from a building when he was convicted of murder. So they just “selectively” honor murderers at Villanova.

I, of all people, having provided care to women with post partum depression, would not want to minimize the impact of the disease. It is and can be devastating. But even those in the depths of post partum depression do not murder. It just is not a justification in my mind.

So, shame on Villanova for their actions. This appears to be another black eye for the Catholic Church (Villanova is a Catholic university) as if they didn’t have enough already.

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…At The Extremes

Posted by MDViews on January 6, 2005

Yahoo! News – Study: Extreme Preemies Have Disabilities

AP trumpets a study from this weeks New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) about severely premature infants from 22 to 25 weeks and their development over the first 6 years of life. To no one’s surprise, these most tiny of the tiny often survive with some disabilities, sometimes profound disabilities when they do survive. About 1/2 have what are described as moderate to severe disabilities including CP, vision or hearing loss and learning problems. One third are mildly disabled and 20% are OK.

I don’t have access to the NEJM having let my subscription lapse. However, the purpose of the article, I think, is mentioned in the fourth paragraph: “Guidelines call for not resuscitating the most severely premature babies…”

Some thoughts come to mind…

First, none of this information is new, so why the big splash in Yahoo? Why state the obvious with such a sense of discovery?

Because an article this big and this important and this authoritative will provide cover for doctors and parents who want to pull the plug on the very premature.

I’ve worked with neonatologist angry, upset, depressed that a couple said, “Yes, doctor, do everything you can to save our baby.” This article will give them cover. It’s easy to see the conversation. “Well, Mr. and Mrs. Jones. I know that your baby’s heart is beating and lungs are breathing and we would like to do all we can, but we have guidelines that show your baby will be a vegetable, so just give up and say good-bye. There just isn’t any hope.” The parents will recoil at the thought. There will be anger and tears, but the doctor will prevail and “do what’s best for the baby.”

Then, think of the premature baby that has been in the nursery for 2 months and has had a stormy course and is certainly looking at a life of disabilities. How long before the “guidelines” get stretched to include that soul into the final solution.

Either life is precious and valuable or it’s not. Either life at the extremes should be protected and defended or not.

Do disabilities disqualify one from life? Is a potential learning disability a reason to pull the plug? Do we have to be perfect to be loved and appreciated on God’s green earth?

Pray that they don’t come for you, dear friend, if perfection is the criteria.

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