On Wednesday my professor presented an interesting class activity. We were to break into groups and discuss several issues regarding medical ethics. We never made it past the first question.
Question 1) You and your spouse are expecting a child. A genetic test after the first trimester detects problems in the growth of the fetus. The results suggest that the child will most likely develop cystic fibrosis, a painful incurable condition, which usually results in death by the time a child is in her early teens. Do you terminate the pregnancy? Why or why not?
There were five students in my group. Two women and three men. We were a diverse group made up of people from different races and backrounds. I was the oldest in the group, by at least eight years.
The responses of my classmates shocked me. I imagined there would be differing viewpoints, but I didn't expect to be the only person on the side of life. When we were debating the first question, one 18 year old girl's comment particularly shocked me when she said that it was ok for the mother to abort the fetus "because the kid is going to die anyway". I responded by saying that "we are all going to die. Does that make our lives less valuable." Then I thought I had the clincher. "If you were pregnant and you knew your child was going to be hit by a car and die at 5 years old what would you do?" The resonse, "I would get an abortion". Everyone in my group agreed with her.
I wanted to cry right then and there. This is the future of the world and they cannot see the value of life. Some of them even said they would prefer to be aborted rather than die young. My son is almost three years old and if something horrible were to happen to him, I would never regret the past three years. NEVER!
So, how long does a person have to live for their life to be "worth it". 20 years, 40 years, 70 years and when is a person's life no longer worth it. Although these kids don't see it yet, life is ALWAYS worth it. To paraphrase Archbishop Sheen, There is no human life which isn't worth living. He knew it then, and some of us now it now, but will anyone know it in the future.
After our group debates we opened it up to the entire class. On the pro-life side there were me, another woman about my age, and two students from the Rabbinical college. It's a class of 25 students (mostly freshmen) at a Catholic college. I pray the good Dominicans will be able to get through to these kids.