Saturday, July 18, 2015

"Are You Serious?" Awards - Volume LVIII: The Life or Death Edition

"I’m calling on the heavens and the earth to be the witnesses against you. I gave you the choice today between life and death, between being blessed or being cursed. Choose life, so that you and your descendants may live! If you love the Eternal your God and listen to His voice and always remain loyal to Him, for He is your life, then you’ll be able to live a long time in the land the Eternal promised to give to your ancestors Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob."

If you are anything like me, this has been a rough, dark week.  I cannot name a "winner" this week because, frankly, no one comes out of this story a winner.  An individual's character is forever destroyed in depravity and humiliation, and untold thousands of lives are lost as well as desecrated on the altar of medical research. (See Jeremiah 19:5)

I was in shock on Tuesday as I saw a title from amidst the flood of other mail occupying my inbox, "The Story Facebook Blocked: Planned Parenthood and the Atrocity of Corpse-Selling."  Throughout the remainder of the day, story after story came before me, mentioning the hidden video exposing the cavalier discussion Planned Parenthood's medical director had over wine and lunch with some supposed "tissue" dealers.  This sting operation revealed that not only are babies losing their lives, but women's lives are being put at greater risk as abortion doctors turn second and third trimester babies around in the womb, so they can be delivered breech to harvest their already-developed organs for research.


I count it as no coincidence that later on Tuesday, as I was driving down one of Milwaukee's main thoroughfares, I saw both a firetruck and an ambulance parked right in front of the Planned Parenthood location across from Marquette University's urban campus.  My heart sank like a rock.  God wanted my attention -- YOUR attention -- on this matter.

Whether we want to give it attention or not, BIOETHICS is a huge issue in the chronic illness, disability, and special needs communities.  You see, there are those in the scientific, academic, and political world that would seek to tell all of us which lives are worth living and preserving.  For example, there are powerful forces in our culture that would say that a child like my son, with sever hemophilia, is not worth the money and resources required to provide him with a full life.  One only needs to look as far as the twisted Princeton philosopher, Peter Singer, to see the army of individuals giving full sway to their depravity.  The critical reason that we, as parents of these precious kids, need to pay attention and speak up is that people like Singer and his ilk literally view infanticide and euthanasia as morally ethical when it comes to those considered to be the weakest in our world.

It may be hard to believe, but this sort of attitude creates even more of a scientific drive for cures.  Our children are viewed in much more of a cold, clinical sense than as beautiful, unique persons created in the image of God.  They are problems to be solved rather than people to be known and loved.  Suffering is to be eliminated, not endured as a means of personal or spiritual growth.

Let's be honest here.  Every one of us parents would love to be able to alleviate the pain, sorrow, and suffering of our children.  The question is...

As a lover and follower of Jesus, I have learned that my hope belongs in God alone, not in government programs, and certainly not in cures.  My husband and I had the gift of confronting some of these issues prior to becoming parents, as we worked our way through infertility treatment.  We were not willing that a child should die (ie embryos being destroyed or adopted out) just so we could have the family that we so deeply desired.  We set our boundary lines around that belief as we proceeded with treatment.  We did not pursue therapies that we knew might put us in this tenuous position.  When our son was born with a serious genetic disorder, our feelings were much the same.  While we desperately wanted to alleviate his pain, we never felt that it should come at the cost of another life being destroyed.

As you can see, these are deep, deep philosophical and theological issues.  We parents MUST personally address them or they will take us places that we do not necessarily want to go.  For instance, many disease-specific secular organizations applaud and support embryonic stem cell research, despite the fact that today's greatest advances have come via adult stem cell research.  These same organizations claim to stand for a "woman's right to choose," while also trying to claim that they are true advocates of those affected with the disorder these women are "choosing" to eliminate.  I personally find those 2 positions mutually exclusive.  We parents need to come to a place where we have a solid position on these types of issues or we will be considered to be among the voices these organizations claim to represent.  I, for one, can tell you that the National Hemophilia Foundation does NOT speak for me, my son, or our family on MANY things.  When they go down roads that oppose our worldview, we make it well known and stand against it.

Parents, we NEED to educate ourselves on these things!  You already know how often we are asked to be the VOICE for the VOICELESS.  This aspect of special needs is no different.  I HIGHLY recommend you take the 17 minutes to listen to my wise colleague, Jennifer Lahl of The Center for Bioethics and Culture as she is interviewed by The Gospel Coalition on this week's tragic story.  

I would also like to make you aware of our ministry's Core Values Statement, sharing our general outline for confronting public policy positions in our culture:

Our Board of Directors thoughtfully put this in writing October, 2013, after we found parents concerned about stories where children with special needs were denied access to treatment because of the devaluing of their lives.  Parents were aghast and looked for a spiritual anchor in such awful tumult.

We stand united with our parents in proclaiming the infinite worth of their children.  And we encourage our parents to become informed voices for the voiceless in all of these bioethical issues.
Be a light in this present darkness.

~ Barb Dittrich

* For further reading, visit our Pinterest Board: Bioethics & Special Needs


  1. Barb, thanks for your insight--so devastating!

  2. My honor, Deb. It has haunted me all week. Oh, how we must hurt God's heart!

  3. God help us! Another video surfaced this morning: