After my recent post on the Groningen Protocol, I sent out an e-mail to practically everyone in my address list. I received a response from a friend of mine from church who is a physician. I asked him for permission to post his message. I think he puts the issue in the proper framework.
As I sit here holding my wonderfully "normal" 3 month old child, I ponder the serious question that the events in Holland brings to light. As a physician, there is an ever-increasing line of what can be accomplished and what should be accomplished in respect to the use of technology for the betterment of mankind. It becomes a difficult dilemma with the children in question. I won't get into the issues of who has the ultimate say for the child (parents vs. hospital, et al) as this is more of a political issue than a medical one. In the U.S. I know that the parents will always have the final say. As Christians I think it is important that we consider this issue when we are faced with an obviously abnormal and critically ill child or infant. How can we possibly understand God's purpose for this "apparently" awful situation? If we assume in a selfish way that "we" could in no way be expected to take care of such an infant, then we are essentially assuming that we know what God wants for us, and we are OK with taking matters in our own hands. What if God has a bigger plan for this apparent tragedy?? Such as strengthening the resolve of the parents so they can grow closer together and use their insight to help others in more difficult situations?? Or maybe one or more of these children do live and become examples of how a determined spirit and resolve can lead to enormous results? Basically my belief is that we should NOT be deciding which of these children live or die based on what we as men determine are the chances of a fruitful life (and furthermore, how do we as men even define a "fruitful" life??). If the condition is one that God has allowed to occur for a reason, then the infant will die naturally and we can't do anything to interfere even if we wanted. On the other hand, I don't want to stand before my creator and try to explain how I could look at these children with my imperfect eyes and judge which ones were not fit to be allowed the plan that he had intended for them in the first place, and which ones I decided should not be given that chance.
In His Love, Todd