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View Full Version : Abort your child if you knew he/she has facial deformities?


Zhao
May 6th, 2012, 01:33 PM
Doctors advised parents to abort girl born with deformed face, breathing troubles
Clara Beatty born with rare Treacher Collins syndrome

Clara Beatty, 9, looks at her mother while doing homework at their Winnetka, Ill., home.

What if you knew, even before your child was born, that she wouldn't look like everyone else?

Clara Beatty's parents knew.

They were living in Belgium at the time, a decade ago. Prenatal screening was extensive, probably more than would have been done in the United States.

Those tests determined that baby Clara, their third child, was likely to be a perfectly normal kid inside. But even in the womb, doctors could see severe facial deformities - droopy eyes, under-developed cheekbones and a tiny jaw. It meant she'd need a tube in her neck to help her breathe after birth. The lack of an outer ear and restricted ear canals also would mean she'd have hearing aids by the time she was 6 months old.

In Belgium, it was unusual for babies to be born with Treacher Collins syndrome, caused by a genetic mutation. Parents almost always opted to abort, doctors said.

But the Beattys wouldn't hear of it. It wasn't any big moral statement, they say.

"There was just no question," Janet Beatty says. No wavering, despite the looks of disapproval from the medical staff before she was born and even after, in the intensive care unit.

"It was kind of strange sometimes with the doctors, some of whom I think really, really questioned why we had this baby," says Eric Beatty, Clara's dad.

The next few years would be so challenging that the family moved back to the United States, both for family support and to seek medical care at Chicago's Children's Memorial Hospital and other institutions. There were breathing and feeding issues. The family had 24-hour nursing care for the first three years of Clara's life because she vomited so frequently.

They were lucky, they realized, to have that kind of help.

Still, it took a toll on Clara's parents, especially her mom. Janet Beatty just wanted her daughter to be OK physically, to not be constantly worried that she might stop breathing, or choke. She wanted her daughter to have the happy childhood that her other two children had had - free from the physical challenges and, yes, free from the constant stares of strangers when they were out in public.

Clara Beatty, 9, looks at her childhood photos on a computer with her mother. (Martha Irvine/AP)
"Make her normal," her mother, Janet Beatty, thought privately. "I want that normal kid. I didn't want people to stare, and I didn't want people running away from her."

Cosmetic surgery was an option. But on a child so young, it would have to be redone, over and over. It was better, doctors said, to wait until her teen years.

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Helen Lawson
May 6th, 2012, 01:56 PM
The parents did the right thing, neurologically, the child was always fine. Really shocking the doctors pressed so hard for an abortion. What about freedom of choice?

Sammo
May 6th, 2012, 02:35 PM
If she's neurologically fine I wouldn't abort at all. She can always get facial surgery if she wants at age 20 for example, if cosmetic surgery is incredible now imagine it in 11 years.

ElusiveChanteuse
May 6th, 2012, 04:14 PM
I think it's just up to the parents. If the parents can be patient and understanding as this couple, they should keep their baby. They need to be supportive with their kids no matter what happens to the kid. Or else it would be pointless to let the kids survive without their parents' support. and kudos to Clara's parents.:)

Zhao
May 6th, 2012, 04:17 PM
Has anyone thought of this issue from the child's perspective? Issit fair for them to go through the weird stares... the mockings etc etc?

meyerpl
May 6th, 2012, 04:44 PM
Hell yes, but I'd abort my child if I knew he was going to be left-handed, have a birthmark, vote Libertarian or grow up to be a damn Methodist.

kwilliams
May 6th, 2012, 05:07 PM
Has anyone thought of this issue from the child's perspective? Issit fair for them to go through the weird stares... the mockings etc etc?

Is it fair to never even have the chance to live and see how you can deal with such things? Those doctors might have advised for the mother to have an abortion because of the difficulties the child would face but very few could truly know what her quality of life would be (without experiencing it) There are people out there who live with extreme difficulties and still derive so much from their lives, those who feel lucky just to be alive and make the most of what they have.

I'm not anti-abortion or anything but I don't think this is a situation where a parent could be "expected" to abort their child.

Sammo
May 6th, 2012, 05:10 PM
Has anyone thought of this issue from the child's perspective? Issit fair for them to go through the weird stares... the mockings etc etc?

Let's say that at age 28 she gets facial surgery and becomes a beautiful lady, then she gets therapy, forgets about the past, lives in the present and becomes happier than ever. Would it be fair to deny the girl this chance?

Mynarco
May 6th, 2012, 05:18 PM
I will. I just don't want my child to suffer

Novichok
May 6th, 2012, 05:24 PM
Abortion is horrible. I hope people don't get abortions for such superficial reasons.

ElusiveChanteuse
May 6th, 2012, 06:19 PM
Has anyone thought of this issue from the child's perspective? Issit fair for them to go through the weird stares... the mockings etc etc?

That is why parents' upbringing play a very important factor.:shrug: You don't expect that child with deformity to be able to accept all the stares and abnormality with positive perspective. Parents would need to bear the heaviest responsibility to give the children the best possible living environment in order not to let them feel any more abnormal.

Anyway, I don't think I would be that great.:shrug: I also wouldn't want to see my kid suffer.

Novichok
May 6th, 2012, 06:22 PM
People who would abort a fetus because it deviates from the physical norm should not be having children in the first place. :o :o :o

ElusiveChanteuse
May 6th, 2012, 06:33 PM
People who would abort a fetus because it deviates from the physical norm should not be having children in the first place. :o :o :o
So if you were the parent of the abnormal kid, you would keep that child because you would think the abortion itself would be cruel and you would want the kid to live under weird stares, suffering due to medical reasons (i.e. endless and tiring surgeries)?:shrug:

Novichok
May 6th, 2012, 06:52 PM
So if you were the parent of the abnormal kid, you would keep that child because you would think the abortion itself would be cruel and you would want the kid to live under weird stares, suffering due to medical reasons (i.e. endless and tiring surgeries)?:shrug:

If I were the potential parent of an abnormal child, I wouldn't abort it. Is it entirely obvious that a child born with those conditions would live such a miserable life? Is it entirely obvious that there won't be medical advancements in the future that could increase that child's chance of living a happy life? Is it entirely obvious that nonexistence is better than a potential miserable existence on Earth? I don't see any of these as at all obvious. And since, I'm not convinced that there is an afterlife, I would not condemn my child to nonexistence. If she is unhappy with her life on Earth, once she is capable of thought/language, then I would not be opposed to suicide.

In The Zone
May 6th, 2012, 06:54 PM
So if you were the parent of the abnormal kid, you would keep that child because you would think the abortion itself would be cruel and you would want the kid to live under weird stares, suffering due to medical reasons (i.e. endless and tiring surgeries)?:shrug:

You think that justifies not living at all? What's the value of life to you then?

cowsonice
May 6th, 2012, 07:03 PM
Don't know too much about this syndrome, but if it hinders the child's way of living or needs consistent medical attention, I would abort it.

It would be too much strain and suffering on the family and child.

For me, it boils down to the socioeconomic status of the family. If the family is rich enough to take care of a child like this, then I wouldn't abort it. :shrug:

young_gunner913
May 6th, 2012, 07:18 PM
Has anyone thought of this issue from the child's perspective? Issit fair for them to go through the weird stares... the mockings etc etc?

Child who aren't physically deformed go through that everyday.

Reptilia
May 7th, 2012, 12:02 AM
Can see both sides to the argument. Def not a decision i'd want to have to make. :(

delicatecutter
May 7th, 2012, 12:10 AM
Can see both sides to the argument. Def not a decision i'd want to have to make. :(

Luckily you probably won't have to.

Darop.
May 7th, 2012, 01:02 AM
I think there are much vaster implications than the simple moral one; firstly it's not just about having a "goofy appearance", but all the other medical problems that come with her disease.
I'm not saying I'd abort, but knowing myself and my personality I'd find it extremely difficult to manage a situation like that, and I'd be extremely afraid I wouldn't be able to give the poor child everything she needs.