Some People Don’t Realize How Lucky They Have It

Some people don’t realize how lucky they have it when they have a baby that’s healthy. They just don’t have a sense of the reality of what the alternatives could be. They are too naive or isolated from the realities of childhood disorders, and the loss of a child to a disease which could’ve been corrected if identified at birth.

From the Columbustelegram.com
http://www.columbustelegram.com/articles/
2007/01/25/news/news5screening.txt

By Anna Jo Bratton/The Associated Press
To the Spierings, Nebraska’s requirement that newborn babies undergo blood screening within 48 hours of birth is an infringement on their religious beliefs and their right to decide what’s best for their four children.

The Spierings, who attend a fundamental Christian church and also follow some teachings of the Church of Scientology, wanted “that balance of our beliefs included into the births of our children,” Louise Spiering said.

The mandatory newborn screening test, in which a few drops of blood are drawn from a baby’s heel, screens for dozens of rare, congenital diseases, some of which can cause severe mental retardation or death if left undetected.

Nebraska is one of just four states – South Dakota, Michigan and Montana are the others – that doesn’t let parents reject the testing.

The Spierings, who are supporting legislation that would let parents decline the tests for religious reasons, wanted to observe a period of silence after their daughter Melynda’s pending birth. They wanted to avoid loud noises and reduce the pain she experienced in order to protect her mental health.

There’s even a 2nd family quoted with similar views:

The Spierings are not alone in opposing Nebraska’s law.

Mary Anaya and her husband, Josue, believe the Bible instructs against deliberately drawing blood.

And because, according to the book of Leviticus, “the life of the flesh is in the blood,” ignoring that directive may shorten a person’s life.

The children’s blood is “something precious in my sight and in the sight of God and not to be tampered with lightly,” Mary Anaya said.

“I’m not asking for anyone to not screen their child,” she said. “I’m asking for the right to decide not to screen mine.”

Obviously these families have never had to deal with a child who’s been permanently damaged by a metabolic disorder or life threatening infection, all because no one was able to recognize a genetic disease in a perfectly healthy looking baby. If these parents had lost a child to such a disease you can bet they wouldn’t be so cavalier about this. Do they really believe that they are immune to such complications? If even one child’s life can be saved by taking a few drops of blood from every infant, then it’s worth it. I just hope none of these families ever have to walk in our footsteps! Or perhaps they don’t want to know if their child has a life threatening disease. Perhaps they’d rather only have a perfect child. So what if that child does have a genetic disease or disorder, well then perhaps they feel that it would be better for the child to die than for them to go through the effort of raising a less than perfect child.

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