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abortion and the mentally handicapped

Abortion and the Mentally Handicapped Ms. Smith, We of the Ethics Committee have reviewed your case for an extended period of time. We took into consideration, for our decision, the yearn of any female to experience childbearing, child birth, and the joy of raising young. Being a mother is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and once you become a mother you are a mother for life. There is a tremendous amount of responsibility and work that goes along with having children. We understand your desire to continue the pregnancy, and to keep the child, but due to your legal status, mental health, and the baby's well being, the decision to terminate the pregnancy has been reached and voted for unanimously. Your mother has proper legal custody, and as you know, wants the abortion to take place. We agree with her concern for your well-being. Child birth is an extremely stressful situation. The trauma of the pregnancy could intensify your paranoid schizophrenia, or cause some other mental disorder. Mrs. Smith has informed us that she herself is not capable of caring for the child. We feel that you will suffer further if you are forced to give up the child. Your psychiatrist has come to the conclusion that you are not capable of being a responsible parent, but you are, at times, capable of making rational moral decisions. However, because you are not able to make important, rational, moral decisions most of the time your mother can claim that you are not mentally capable of raising a child. Also. We took in to account that the father of this unborn child is unknown. There is no one to help you make this decision, but more importantly, there is not another parental figure to aid in the raising and caring for this child. From testimonies from your mother and your psychiatrist, it is our understanding that you can do neither on your own. Ms. Smith, you have been diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia. As you know, the treatment for paranoid schizophrenia is a variety of different drugs. This gives you a slightly higher chance of having fetal defects such as cystic fibrosis, pulmonary emphysema, abruptioplacentae, miscarriage, or placenta previa to name a few. We also feel that there is an increased chance that the child will develop a mental disorder. It is not fair for the child or its' care takers to suffer from deformities that were caused from drug reactions. You must understand our position in caring for the physical health and safety of this child. You will not be able to provide for the child, because you have no annual income. We feel that the child will not have equal opportunities to have positive growth and development because of this. Living in Community Hospital's long term care unit does not provide a heathy environment for the baby to live in. The baby will have little opportunity to go outside, be with peers, and have friends. A baby needs a healthy environment to grow and be nurtured in. This is a basic right that should be granted to any new born. We feel that because of your living situation your baby will not get the essentials. Adoption is another issue to be dealt with. As we stated earlier, you might suffer more if you are you are forced to give the baby up for adoption. You could possibly develop serious depression, and worsen your paranoid schizophrenia. You may think you give the child up for adoption to benefit their well being, but once you actually give birth to this child, your feelings may change. The could cause serious emotional trauma on you, your mother, and in the long run will hurt your child. Orphanages aren't the best environment for a child to grow up in. If you did put your child up for adoption, the likelihood that someone will want to adopt a mental patient's child is low, and if the child is deformed in some way the chance is even smaller. You took the responsibility to have sex, now you must take the responsibility to do what is right for your child, no matter how much pain will be placed on you. Every child deserves to have loving, providing parents and we feel you can't give your child that, and an adoption may not be successful. We, as an Ethics Committee are not willing to take that chance with an unborn child's life. Children's development is influenced by several different mediums like environment, parents, friends, and personal characteristics. We feel that if this child were born under these circumstances, the influences presented would be negative, and the baby's well being, health, and security are top priority in this case. Being an ethics committee, we cannot permit you to give birth to this fetus. You are not mentally capable to bear, or properly raise the child. Your lifestyle is not suitable for properly raising a child. Living in a mental hospital does not provide an acceptable environment for a baby to grow in, and the negatives of this case out way the positives. We are truly sorry about this decision, but it is the best for you and the child. We will do our best to help you in any way. We are here to offer mental and physical support. Please understand that this is the best solution for everyone involved. If you have any problems or questions feel free to contact us any time. We did not impose this decision to hurt you in any way. We want you to get healthy and care for yourself. Until you can care for, and have responsibility for yourself, you can't care for and take responsibility for another. This decision is final and you must cooperate with us to make this painful situation as easy as possible. We have sent a copy of this letter to your mother and to your doctors and we would like to talk with you further. Thank You for your cooperation. Sincerely, The Ethics Committee
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