Tag Archives: children

Update to a tragic story

A brief update to this post.

They’ve locked the website that had her journal entries regarding her child’s medical condition, so that link no longer works.

I think everything I talked about, no matter what the true situation with this mother allegedly trying to suffocate her child, is important is view of our developing medical technology and its ethical application to the suffering and dying.

However, none of it may be applicable in this case.

A possible theory is that the mother has Munchausen’s by proxy. The website I’ve linked to here may not be the best presentation of the “disease,” but it’ll give you the gist.

I felt a certain compassion when I thought the mother may have been attempting euthanasia out of desperation to end the suffering of her baby. But to suppose for a moment that it is Munchausen’s, that the baby may never have been ill or had any birth defects in the first place… unthinkable.

I think of the times when I have accidentally hurt my child… I think the worst one was when my oldest daughter was about one, in my haste I accidentally caught a bit of her belly when I was zipping her footie jammies. There was the tiniest little cut, and she wailed for about three minutes, but the guilt went on for days, until the little owie had healed and went away. Okay, that’s not true, I still feel a little guilty. But I never made that mistake again.

Even having to say no to my child — when we can’t go to the park, when it’s too close to dinner to have another cookie, when I have to finish the dishes and I can’t read a book right now — and seeing them be genuinely sad as a result is difficult for me.

I cannot even fathom hurting a child ON PURPOSE. Your OWN child. Causing your perfectly healthy child to suffer.

I’m not sure I’m going to be able to find any compassion on this one.

1 Comment

Filed under kids

Family crisis

What is this world coming to?

Have you heard about the Nebraska law that has inspired parents to abandon their children at hospitals?  I have been following this story for a while now, and in every article about it you read that someone or other says, “Gosh, we need to close the loopholes in this law that was originally designed to protect newborns…” and yet I keep reading about more kids being dropped off.  How long does it take to close a loophole?  Or are they questioning whether they even should close it?

I don’t know what to think.

On the one hand, how does any situation get this bad?  The father who dropped off his nine kids, ages 1 to 17, was living in poverty after his wife had just died.  How is there no one on this planet to help this family?  There are people as we speak enjoying themselves on vacation, people buying themselves a third or fourth car, people planning what mountain of presents they will put under the Christmas tree in a couple of months, but this man was left to despair until he decided to hand over his kids to what he thought would be a better life.

On the other hand, maybe there are people out there who genuinely just don’t want their kids.  The kids are neglected, they act up, they are isolated even more by their disengaged parents, so they act up more. Are these kids better off somewhere else, maybe if we recreated orphanages so that they genuinely served all the needs of kids who have been abandoned?  If we can spend billions of dollars bailing out a huge corporation seems like we could scrape together something to help the youth of this country that someone has obviously failed to take care of. 

Who knows.  I am just trying to imagine what could possibly be going on.  Personally I don’t even understand the infant abandonment thing, I guess we accept it because the infants are more helpless and also more adoptable, whereas the older kids can fend for themselves and no one else would want them anyway.  

??????

I am not leading to any reasonable conclusion or solution.  I just think this law, whatever its original intention, raises a lot of interesting points about our current priorities in this country.  It is increasingly difficult for me to read the story passively, to remain a spectator, to have a detached curiosity.  It is beginning to feel like sitting in an armchair with a cold one while watching a building burn with people trapped inside screaming for help.

Am I being overly dramatic?  Is there a cold, aloof way to look at this that I am missing?

6 Comments

Filed under society