Modern Medicine’s “Seek and Destroy” Mission27 July 2016
[Previous Publication: http://pemptousia.com/2016/07/orthodox-thought-on-life-threatening-situations-in-pregnancy/]
This change in basic ethical reasoning can be seen in the routine screening of older women by a procedure called amniocentisis. This is done in order to “identify” Down’s Syndrome and other afflicted children in utero so that they might be destroyed before birth (there is a popular misconception that older women are more likely to give birth to Down’s Syndrome children, however recent studies done have refuted that belief). Large numbers of tests are being developed to screen children in the womb, the sole object being a wholesale “search and destroy” mission against any unborn child who proves to be less than “perfect.” What parents are not told is that, most of these tests increase the danger of spontaneous abortion (miscarriage) and, further, that they are not anywhere near 100% accurate in their results. When a large national birth defects “charity”41 solicits money for “genetic screening and counseling,” it is with the deliberate but unexpressed intention of recommending abortion to women who find their unborn child is affected. They are “helping the handicapped” to death using the charitable contributions of well-intentioned people.
Sex Selection— the Consequences of Amoral Technology
The “new” use of such tests as CVS and amniocentesis is to screen for the sex of the child so that parents can abort an “unwanted” girl (most usual) or boy (less common). When abortion was first legalized, very few of the physicians interviewed said they would abort a healthy fetus for the sole reason of sex selection. Now, however, many polls show that over 60% of physicians polled stated that they would abort a healthy child solely on the basis of sex if that should be the parents desire. Once again, medical advances have created moral situations which remain largely unchallenged by the Christian community in general and by the Orthodox Church in particular.
Childbearing and the Will of God
In clarification, this is not necessarily a total condemnation of “genetic counselling” which helps at-risk couples determine whether or not to attempt to have children of their own or to pursue some other avenue, such as adoption. If there are grave genetic problems within a marriage (anencephaly, Tay-Sachs, Sickle Cell Anemia, hemophilia etc.), such advances can be a blessing and prevent tragedy. Yet even this must be done with the understanding that God is the ultimate arbiter of the future and we, as Christians must stand ready to accept His Divine Will with patience, humility and love. If a pregnancy should occur, despite plans to the contrary, that child is the beloved of God no matter how afflicted, and should be considered in that Light, whatever the eventual circumstances of his life. Speaking from experience, a handicapped child can bring greater blessings than any other single occurrence in the lives of all who surround that child, if the love of God and the acceptance of His Divine Will is present. Not one single life is without meaning before God, however difficult it may be for us as fallible human beings to see or appreciate that meaning.
Very much in the same understanding of the acceptance of God’s Will in the matter of child bearing, those who cannot have a child must not succumb to the culture’s “solutions” for this human tragedy which often include fetal experimentation and abortion, especially in the matter of “fertility drugs,” in vitro fertilization and fetal reduction.42 The means and methodology employed by science and medicine today in order to “help” those desirous of becoming parents requires a study of its own and is only mentioned here in connection with Christian willingness to accept God’s Will, no matter how difficult and painful that acceptance may be.
(To be continued)