I understand the anxiety of wanting to know your baby is alright, while in the womb. But look–how many couples do I know in my own life whose prognosis from these ultrasounds was poor and the baby was perfect? (Three, since you asked.) Does that reduce anxiety? And since the doctors are quite open about there being no treatments when abnormalities are detected–this seems like one more way to make abortion easier, all in search of the “perfect” child.
Unfortunately, little can be done to treat most of the physical anomalies that may be detected early, such as skull malformations. …When the ultrasound delivers bad news, women who may decide to terminate a troubled pregnancy can make that decision earlier.
Some things are not really a choice at all. Killing your disabled child at an earlier stage doesn’t make it any easier.
Véronique asks: Did you count me in those three? My youngest was diagnosed by ultrasound with a symmetrical intra-uterine growth retardation, which I later learned — once I went into neonatal bioethics — was very bad news indeed. Thank goodness I didn’t really know what the deal was back then or I would have panicked. Anyhow. Do I need to add that he was born a healthy 7 pounds 4 and completely “normal” (in quotes because he is 2 1/2 today and what toddler is normal, I ask you??)?
Since I started studying bioethics, I have been dumbfounded by the number of people who terminate (abort) on the sole basis of an ultrasound. Granted, the physicians I know would encourage further testing. But I also observed that people who are frightened by the possibility of a disabled child will terminate so fast, it makes your head spin. Almost as if they wanted to do it before they could change their minds. Very troubling.
Brigitte wonders: Here’s what the doctor in charge of the program says:
When the ultrasound delivers bad news, women who may decide to terminate a troubled pregnancy can make that decision earlier.
“It’s safer to do it early on. There are less complications,” he says.
Safer? Complications? Whoa, where did that come from?
Andrea adds: No, I didn’t count you, Véronique. So make that four.by