||[Apr. 4th, 2007|02:46 pm]
The Question Club
Suppose a child is born somewhere. Let's say it's in North America.|
When it is born, it becomes known that the newborn child has a physical and mental condition that will debilitate it to the point of never being able to live a normal life. It will never be able to contribute to society, and will always need personal care and financial support. (EDIT: By this, let's suppose they'll never have the mental capacity to hold even a menial job, or really connect with people at all, however, they'd be able to complete a bowel movement and eat without (much) assistance.)
Imagine the parents state that they would like to terminate this baby's life. Their reasoning is thus:
- If this condition was known *before* the baby was born, they would have terminated the pregnancy. However, this condition cannot be detected until after birth.
- Their child will never live a normal life, let alone a fulfilling one.
- The family does not have the resources to care for this child, but feels that a life in foster or community care will be even more traumatizing for the child.
- The health care system, welfare system, and social care system are all horribly overburdened as it is.
- It is likely that once there is no longer anyone to care for the child as it grows up, either due to lack of resources, lack of funding, or legislation that limits care, it will end up living on the streets like huge numbers people who have mental and physical disabilities do today.
- Aside from the fact that homeless life is not one they want for their child, the world already has way too many homeless people that are unwanted or forgotten by society, so their child's chances of finding help getting out of this situation are very slim.
- The world is overpopulated as it is, and adding another person who not only does not contribute, but drains the world's and society's resources is immoral.
Let's also say for the sake of fewer criteria to argue over that ALL of the child's family (immediate and extended) are in agreement with this.
How would you react to this? Would you agree with the parents?
Would your answer change if the child had been diagnosed with such a condition at 6 months? 1 year? 2 years? 3?
What if the parents, instead of stating that they "would like to" terminate their baby's life, had suffocated it instead, and this were their defense in court?