Would you terminate a severely handicapped child?

would you terminate the pregnancy?

  • Yes

    Votes: 59 86.8%
  • No

    Votes: 9 13.2%

  • Total voters
    68

7ofnine

Well-known Member
Suppose your wife/girlfriend was pregnant, and you discovered that the foetus had severe physical or mental abnormalities such as Downes syndrome.
Tests like this are usually done around 14 weeks. Would you choose to terminate that pregnancy, or continue?

I personally would terminate, as I don't feel it's fair to knowingly bring a child with severe disabilities into the world.
 

Solomon Grundy

Distinguished Member
It's a very difficult one to answer unless you have actually been in the position where you had to make the decision. An example would be the one you highlighted as children with Downs Syndrome are not severely handicapped in my opinion. Sure you'll have your work cut out if your child has Downs Syndrome but to my knowledge they do not suffer from any pain or debilitating condition.
 
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IronGiant

Moderator
It's a very difficult one to answer unless you have actually been in the position where you had to make the decision.

What he said.

It's not a simple enough question to be answered with a simple yes or no.
 

7ofnine

Well-known Member
What other information would you need to make a decision?

This is just a hypothetical question BTW
 

Solomon Grundy

Distinguished Member
What other information would you need to make a decision?

This is just a hypothetical question BTW

It's not about the information, it's is an indescribable, something which is difficult to put into words.

Say the foetus was severely deformed or had a brain which was not developed properly and which would lead to hardly any standard of living, it might be easier to make the decision to terminate. But if you had the financial means and the time to provide everything your disabled child could possibly need in it's life your decision is complicated further because the baby would not be aware that they are disabled and still able to be happy, sad, entertained etc. etc.

But Downs Syndrome...that is completely different, I am thankful that I never had to make that decision.
 
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Hillskill

Moderator/Games Reviewer
Our baby is due in 11days so this is something I have considered over the last 9months. Originally we weren't even going to have a Downs Syndrome test but they told us it was standard procedure. At this point we really started considering how we might feel about things if we knew our child might be disabled. Personally I would never consider terminating a pregnancy unless my Girlfriends health was at risk. What will be will be. Even if my life was turned upside down by having to care full time for a disabled child then so be it.
 

Hillskill

Moderator/Games Reviewer
Despite being badly disabled myself and yet still enjoying life I would still say very much yes.

Really !? Is this based on the level of care you could provide or because of the impact it would have on your childs life ?
 

phairplay

Distinguished Member
I'm with Decadence and Hillskill

Without being in the situation it is hard to say for sure. But if like hillskill said it would put my partner's life at risk then I would.
 

IronGiant

Moderator
There are too many caveats that could be applied to make the question answerable. Not least the question asks whether one would terminate a severely handicapped child and then as an example whether you terminate a Downes pregnancy at 14 weeks.

A 14 week fetus is not a child (although that's a whole debate in itself) and Downes is not a severe handicap. Or are we discussing late stage abortion of a handicapped child?

People need to know from the outset exactly what they are voting on, otherwise they vote on what they think you meant and then discuss it endlessly for 23 pages :D.
 

Singh400

Distinguished Member
I'm not sure a simple yes or no would cover it. And I'm not sure anyone of us can answer that honestly and fully as I doubt we couldn't make our true decision until faced with this horrible decision.
 

Noggin1980

Distinguished Member
Really !? Is this based on the level of care you could provide or because of the impact it would have on your childs life ?

I don't plan to have a child at all due to the level of care I can provide, it wouldn't be fair on the child and would be way to much work for my wife.

I was looking at it from another persons perspective if I was an able bodied person I would still terminate a badly disabled baby (early on) for many reasons, both for the child and the family.
 
D

Deleted member 30535

Guest
Two cousins of mine were severly handicapped requiring 24/7 care. The children died when just 25 (girl) and 12 (boy).

Neither their nor my uncle and aunt's quality of life was something which I would not wish upon others. I voted yes.
 

7ofnine

Well-known Member
There are too many caveats that could be applied to make the question answerable. Not least the question asks whether one would terminate a severely handicapped child and then as an example whether you terminate a Downes pregnancy at 14 weeks.

A 14 week fetus is not a child (although that's a whole debate in itself) and Downes is not a severe handicap. Or are we discussing late stage abortion of a handicapped child?

People need to know from the outset exactly what they are voting on, otherwise they vote on what they think you meant and then discuss it endlessly for 23 pages :D.

Well, call it an open discussion, and see where it goes :)
Downes may not be a severe handicap, but those affected do require a lot of care, and do not have truly independant lives. It also raises the question of who cares for these people after the parents are no longer there, and whether they can provide the same quality of care.
 

Jenn

Distinguished Member
I asked myself the question when I was pregnant with my son and to be totally honest my answer would have been yes.

The way I saw it was that it wouldn't be fair of me to bring a child into the world knowing that he would have difficulties at best or pain, endless trips to the doctor and early death at worst.
I saw it as if I went ahead with having the child it would be selfish on my part for wanting my baby regardless of what he would have to go through.

It certainly wouldn't be an easy decision and I totally respect the decision of people who still have their baby knowing the problems the child will have because it all depends on how you see it (say if you're against abortion for example, or you believe the child will have some joy in life which would be worth it all).
And don't get me wrong, if my child was born with any kind of disability I would have loved him all the same because he would have been my baby and perfect in being him!
 

kav

Distinguished Member
My wife recently had to make the decision to have the Down's test done - it's our third child and the fact that she's now in her thirties means the risk has increased tenfold since she had our first. She chose not to have the test done. We have often discussed it because I do worry that I would not be able to cope with it if it happened. I would want to be able to, but I think the anger and frustration that they would never be able to experience a life like you and I could push me to the edge sometimes.

I actually think that this is a decision that can only be made by the mother when it comes down to it, as it would be she who has to bear the bulk of the responsibility for carrying, birthing and (more than likely) raising the child. I would have my views, but I think I would always end up deferring to her feelings on it. Only exception would be, as Steve said, if her life were at risk - in such a situation I would always put the life of my wife first.
 

Hillskill

Moderator/Games Reviewer
I think the only people qualified to make a truly considered vote are parents of disabled children. That said, I'm not sure (understandably so) they would ever let their thoughts known.
 

Hillskill

Moderator/Games Reviewer
This is probably a question best directed at those that are disabled but the tone of the thread is that disabled people cannot lead happy and fulfilling lives. Is that the case !? Surely not. Especially since many only ever know of life living with their disability.
 

Kebabhead

Distinguished Member
Having the discussion about this with the wife when we were having ours the anser would have been yes beacuse who is going to care for them once we are gone and it sounds selfish but we didn't want to spend all outr lives continually caring for our kids

It also begs the question of who cares for the carers
 

eric pisch

Distinguished Member
Having the discussion about this with the wife when we were having ours the anser would have been yes beacuse who is going to care for them once we are gone and it sounds selfish but we didn't want to spend all outr lives continually caring for our kids

It also begs the question of who cares for the carers

my friends have this problem they have a child with downes syndrome and they are both just about to hit retirement age and have no idea what will happen to the child when they are gone
 
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Noggin1980

Distinguished Member
This is probably a question best directed at those that are disabled but the tone of the thread is that disabled people cannot lead happy and fulfilling lives. Is that the case !? Surely not. Especially since many only ever know of life living with their disability.

It obviously depends on the disability but I live a happy life however I'm also a burden and thats hard. I guess it also depends on the person I'm lucky in that I'm a happy person who doesn't worry about things, takes life as it comes and I'm also happily entertained sitting at a computer all day.

I'm also lucky in that somehow I found a women who loves me and that's kinda rare for badly disabled people.

It's the burden thing thats hard though If I hadn't found my wife I'd have killed myself years ago, not because I was sad but because I wouldn't want to spoil the life of my family.
 

Stevieboy_uk

Well-known Member
Well, call it an open discussion, and see where it goes :)
Downes may not be a severe handicap, but those affected do require a lot of care, and do not have truly independant lives. It also raises the question of who cares for these people after the parents are no longer there, and whether they can provide the same quality of care.

I do agree with this very much.

My uncle who had Downes lived until he was 56. His parents (my grandparents) died several years before and the responsibilty passed onto a sibling who, although never complained, found themselves with the responsibilty of looking after her brother as well as her own family.

I think having to choose to terminate or not would be one of the most (if not the most) difficult decision that anyone would have to make.
 

Solomon Grundy

Distinguished Member
It obviously depends on the disability but I live a happy life however I'm also a burden and thats hard. I guess it also depends on the person I'm lucky in that I'm a happy person who doesn't worry about things, takes life as it comes and I'm also happily entertained sitting at a computer all day.

I'm also lucky in that somehow I found a women who loves me and that's kinda rare for badly disabled people.

It's the burden thing thats hard though If I hadn't found my wife I'd have killed myself years ago, not because I was sad but because I wouldn't want to spoil the life of my family.

:rotfl: Bet you didn't expect to be going "there" today when you booted up the PC eh?
 

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