Many churches have a Respect Life Sunday. As do most of us, I try to respect life every day. But what does that mean in concrete detail?
Today I listened to a Radio Lab program from www.radiolab.org that walked us through the situation of a couple who very much wanted a baby and whose daughter was born at 23 weeks and 6 days — roughly halfway to full term. A whole universe of moral and medical questions unfolded for this couple. I won’t tell you the outcome, but will say it was a gripping drama and a nuanced discussion of the hard decisions to make around very premature births. There was a bit too much of a dichotomy between the baby being okay or not okay (has significant disabilities) for me. I was a premie 64 years ago and am blind because of it but still would say I should be counted in the “okay” outcomes. Yes there were and are hard parts. But a thirty year career as a clinical psychologist, and three books published in retirement plus a busy life full of community service and good friends make me think you never know who’s “okay” worth saving until you get way down the line. Thanks to Radio Lab for a great program.
I think I’ll respect life by harnessing up my guide dog, going to Mass and then out to supper with good friends. I will lift a dark beer in honor of respecting life and the humans, doctors, nurses, parents, etc. who make it possible.