Manic: affected with, relating to, characterized by, or resulting from mania
There is no other word that better defines man’s desire to perfect man than the mania that drives so many to eliminate human imperfection by killing human beings. This craving has gripped the very core of those we have come to identify as the architects of the culture of death.
With ever-increasing frequency we read of experimental practices being developed to assess the quality of an individual before he is born. In some cases such tests are being administered even before the individual implants himself in his mother’s womb. Those passing judgment are self-styled demigods whose decisions wreak havoc and horror. Their preferred tools include pre-implantation genetic diagnosis (PGD), ultrasound screening, and fetal DNA testing to name a few. The situation is dire. The world is fast approaching an eclipse of human reason—and the results will be ugly.
One example of this trend toward manic disdain embodied by a desire to eliminate the vulnerable is the new blood test, MaterniT21, available from Sequenom. This test can be used to check fetal DNA as early as 10 weeks gestational age and is reported to be 99 percent accurate in detecting Down syndrome. It is said that the test will make it easier for couples to make “appropriate decisions for their family.”
One physician, who specializes in fetal care, was interviewed about this new test and opined that just because a couple is aware of the fact that their preborn child is a Down syndrome child “does not mean you’re going to terminate.” However, the counseling that accompanies such testing is said to be non-judgmental. What that means in terms of actual numbers of abortions resulting from such tests is anyone’s guess. Or is it?
Kurt Kondrich, a prolific writer who is the father of a child with Down syndrome, tells us that more than 90 percent of those diagnosed with Down syndrome prior to birth are aborted.
Add to that the growing evidence that doctors who attempt to purge the earth of anyone who is not deemed perfect frequently err and kill babies who are normal in every way. Recently in Australia, for example, an expectant mother who was carrying 32-week-old twins was advised by her doctor that she should abort one of them because he had a congenital heart condition. The parents agreed to this dreadful act, but the attending ultrasound clinician accidentally injected the perfectly healthy baby boy with the deadly serum and killed him. According to the article, “The mother then had an emergency caesarean section and the sick child was terminated in a three-hour operation.”
Apparently the ailing preborn child, like so many other children prior to birth, was deemed to be living a life unworthy of continuation. In the process his healthy brother died as well. Peter Saunders, CEO of the British Christian Medical Fellowship, writes of this case, “Children with special needs can be a great challenge to care for but a tragic story from Australia this week demonstrates that the search for the perfect child can have devastating consequences.”
Our society’s increasing obsession with celebrity status, physical perfection and high intelligence fuels the view that the lives of people with disabilities or genetic diseases are somehow less worth living.
By contrast the Christian view is that the life of every human individual, regardless of its intelligence, beauty, state of health or degree of disability is infinitely precious. A just and caring society is one where the strong make sacrifices for the weak, or in the words of the Apostle Paul, “bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ” (Galatians 6:2).
The world is often a gloomy place devoid, in so many instances, of man’s reflection of Christ’s merciful love for each and every person. And yet through the darkness we see lights shining brightly like that of the “1 heart, 2 souls” ministry. This organization exists specifically to help parents who have been told that their baby may not live. Instead of counseling for killing, ministries like this affirm the dignity of the human person regardless of the prognosis. Chuck Colson, who fully supports the work of 1 heart, 2 souls, reminds us, “It’s easy to be pro-life when we’re not the ones affected. But when members of the Body of Christ face a difficult prenatal diagnosis, are we pro-life enough to share the burden with them? Important question.”
As Colson suggests, the antidote to manic disdain for the vulnerable resides within each of us. Our Lord awaits our surrender to His will.