15 April 2010

Created, Then Destroyed: An American Tragedy

The horrifying story out of Sarasota, Florida this week is still hard for me to comprehend, though I've read it a dozen times.  It leaves me in such sorrow and tears, and it simply must be known by every family in America because it so perfectly illustrates the alarming moral and spiritually bankruptcy of our nation.

A woman conceived twins via IVF and at 15 weeks of gestation, testing and ultrasound showed one twin, a boy, likely had Down Syndrome and a heart defect.  The other twin, a girl, appeared healthy.  The woman and her husband decided to abort the little boy and keep the little girl.  They went to see Dr. Matthew Kachinas, and though he admitted he had no experience with the procedure required to kill their son, they asked him to proceed with the “reduction.”

By injecting deadly chemicals directly into the baby's heart, Dr. Kachinas did as they asked and killed the baby.  Problem was, he killed the wrong baby.  A week later, the woman had another ultrasound and it was discovered that Dr. Kachinas had accidentally killed the girl and not the boy.  (Shockingly, the dead baby's body is left inside the uterus, where it is supposed to dissipate while the other baby continues to grow.)  When the mother was informed of the mistake, she returned to Dr. Kachinas days later and had him kill the boy, too.

Two children – murdered.

Dr. Kachinas blames poor ultrasound equipment and his inability to say no to a patient.  He was apparently on suicide watch for a time because this case was his “downfall” and he says he is “haunted by the outcome.”  He should be haunted.  Every one of us should be haunted.  I'm not sure we can sink much lower than this.

One of the news stories surrounding this grotesque crime said, “Upon learning that the wrong fetus had been aborted, she went back to Kachinas and had the male fetus terminated as well.”  The wrong fetus aborted – how depraved that there is a right fetus to be aborted!  Alas,  if only Dr. Kachinas had been a more precise executioner...

His medical license was revoked, and he reportedly settled with the couple for $250,000 for the “botched procedure.”  It was a medical mistake; an error; a botched procedure.  This poor, unfortunate couple was put through unnecessary grief and trauma due to the doctor's negligence.  What a shame.

Wrong – it is sickening and evil.  Not that a “mistake” was made, but that there is no tragedy in killing a baby with Downs; there's no tragedy even in killing a healthy baby if that baby isn't wanted.  It is evil that there's no tragedy in killing a child in the womb at all.

This, by the way, is a premier example of why the Catholic Church teaches that in vitro fertilization is morally wrong.  We are the beneficiaries of life; not the authors of life.  Children are not commodities to be manufactured at will.  If we believe we have the right to create them, it follows logically we will think we have the right to kill them as well.  If new life is at our whim and subject to our terms and standards of acceptability, then life is no longer sacred.  In addition, IVF results in what is euphemistically called "spare embryos"; human beings who are then discarded.  Human lives are routinely killed in this process.  Many couples seeking IVF do not realize this.

We should be in awe of life and its mystery and frailty, but we're not any longer.  We've ceased to depend on God to give and create life because we fancy ourselves clever and ingenious enough to play God whenever we want, and if something goes awry by our definitions and our creation isn't turning out quite right, we have no qualms about destroying what we've made.

Children do not come with assurances.  They don't come with a return or refund policy.  Life does not come with guarantees.  Life is a gift of monumental proportion; an awesome, fragile gift.  It is here one minute and can be suddenly gone the next.  It can be forever altered in the blink of an eye, for better or worse.  That's what makes it precious and sacred. 

At least two beloved new human beings were purchased and created for this couple because they said they wanted children.  But as soon as things weren't turning out as they'd planned and one of their kids was found to have health problems, they abandoned that child and decided he should die.  They would only welcome the normal, healthy baby.  When that chosen baby was killed by mistake, they had the chance to rethink their actions and welcome their baby boy.  But for a second time, they chose death for their son.

My heart is simultaneously grief-stricken and furiously angry with this couple because they destroyed two precious, beautiful children that they'd paid to have created for them, and then they were rewarded with $250,000 when it was all over.  They weren't prepared to welcome a son and daughter with unconditional love, which is what parents are called to do every single day.  Only a “normal” child was wanted, and by refusing the gift of their son, they lost their daughter as well.  It is unspeakably tragic.  It is the fruit of our morally and spiritually impoverished society.

The statistics I've seen lately say that 90% of babies found to have Down Syndrome are aborted.  If Dr. Kachinas hadn't made this “mistake”, there would have been no story here because babies with “defects” are routinely executed in the womb under the perverted guise of compassion.  I can't help but wonder if that percentage will be urged toward 100% as government appointed panels of “experts” determine which medical procedures will be covered by federally-funded insurance and which will be deemed outside the cost–to–benefit ratio.

Is the day long in coming when a child with health problems will be denied birth by the law because his care would be deemed too costly and not worth it?  It's not hard to imagine at all.  We're already half-way there.

I hope for their sakes that this couple comes to understand what they've thrown away, and I pray they reach out and find Christ's mercy and healing.  It is there for them, and redemption waits to be fulfilled.  I grieve for them as I grieve for our nation because we are sick with the sins of selfishness, greed, fear, and hardness of heart and our children are paying the price with their very lives.

May Jesus have mercy on us and open the eyes of our hearts.


MBrandon said...

Well written dear Mother of 3. With a mother's heart.

I am saddened to see mothers abandoning the fruit of their womb, as though of no consequence.

Where are the fathers, men of conviction saying this is my child too, and he/she has a right to live?

Anne said...

Unbelievable. I am sick to my stomach.

Brian said...

So very sad. My cousin Tommy was a down syndrome child. He was awesome - what joy he brought to our family - to the world - to God.

We must keep on praying - God hears us....just keep on praying...

Angela said...

That story is gut-wrenching. I am so saddened and sick to my stomach at the same time. I agree with Brian that we just have to keep on praying for an end to abortion and an awakening in people's hearts that they will see the truth!

Kelly said...

Jennifer -
I love your blog...it's like my daily piece of chocolate! This story is tragic and makes me sick!

For the residents of California as you have or are going to hear at mass...California Bishops want you to join http://www.cacatholic.org/ today...let our voice be heard!!!

Anonymous said...

we need to pray hard to Jesus and Mary and beg that they change the hearts of all people who have the power that makes these evil actions possible. we need to beg the mercy of God on us all.we also need to beg St. Michael to help us destroy the actions of the devil ,because who else could be infuencing this evil? Mary said the rosary would be our only weapon. we must all pray daily and offer works and sacrifices so that the evil will defeated

Anonymous said...

This is more the parent's fault than the doctor's fault.

If the parents had just stepped up to the plate and accepted the twin with Down's Syndrome, they would now have two kids to love. The twins were conceived via IVF. They were creating life, not consumer goods that you can discard if you are not a completely satisfied customer.


Blog Widget by LinkWithin