Viability for Me, but Not for Thee

You may not have heard the story of Amelia Rivera, a beautiful three-year-old Philadelphia girl in need of a kidney transplant.  According to her mother, Amelia was denied a life-saving transplant because she was "considered mentally retarded."  The statements attributable to her denying doctor are explicit and, if true, leave no doubt that the girl's life was discounted because she has a neurological syndrome.

The hospital is wisely reconsidering, but this sort of decision is surprisingly common.  Initial reporting cited a Stanford-based report on organ transplant programs:

Thirty-nine percent of programs stated that they "rarely" or "never" consider NDD [neurodevelopmental delays] in their decisions, whereas 43 percent of programs "always" or "usually" do.

These 43% of programs are in low company.  Adolf Hitler's Charitable Foundation for Curative and Institutional Care, or Action T4, also deemed the handicapped undeserving of life.

Whereas most things Hitler are thankfully rare, this time the Führer is joined by today's leading lights of the left.  The New York Times has said that "delayed growth and motor development, lower I.Q.'s [sic], behavioral problems and decreased attention, deficient learning and lower educational achievement" are sufficient reasons to terminate a life.

Peter Singer, another luminary of the left, has argued that "the notion that human life is sacred just because it's human is medieval."  He elaborates further:

[W]e should not see all human lives as of equal worth but recognise that some are more valuable than others. Such judgments should be made on the basis of the individual's capacity to think, relate and experience. ... In cases of brain damage making it impossible for the patient to express a preference, this principle obviously opens the door to non-voluntary euthanasia.

Singer lovingly adds,

Some humans are non-persons, while some non-human animals are persons. ... We put a horse that has broken its leg out of its misery as quickly as possible. This merciful act spares the animal an untold amount of needless suffering. If we look upon human animals in the same fashion, our opposition to killing those who are suffering will begin to dissolve.

Not to ruin the party for the fortunate and ungrateful, but the full extension of this logic does not bode well for liberal hero Gabby Giffords.  Gabby, it is well-known, was a U.S. congresswoman who was almost killed in a gun attack.  She has gone through a grueling rehabilitation for a devastating head wound, and she recently retired from Congress to continue her recovery.

Now that Ms. Giffords's own viability has been compromised, the loveless logic of her own people may catch up with her.  Mr. Singer's cruel ranking system and itchy trigger finger, as well as the autonomy demanded by the New York Times and 43% of organ transplant programs, place Gabby at risk.

Gabby is at risk not just because, like Amelia, she is vulnerable from a health problem for which Pistol Peter Singer has a ready answer.  As if that weren't enough, her death-happy friends have raised the bar, insisting that the welfare and convenience of others must also be considered in calculating a life's worth. 

Guttmacher reports that the top reason why people decide to abort is the "dramatic change in my life" a new dependent represents.  Gabby's husband Mark has had such a change, and the supposedly fairness-fixated President Obama is deeply sympathetic.  Obama is, after all, on record as being opposed to anyone's being "punished" by the new arrival of a dependent, even if that dependent is already born.

In fact, Gabby herself has the same preoccupation with others when considering the worthiness of a life, having said the following in support of abortion on demand (emphasis added):

I believe abortion should be safe, legal and rare. Studies have demonstrated that the health of a woman directly impacts the health of her relatives.

As an argument for abortion, Ms. Giffords's logic makes no sense -- particularly given that an abortion most directly negatively impacts the health of the mother's closest relative (kills her baby).  Nonetheless, the statement is prophetic, as Mark's health is now at risk due to the new burdens presented by Gabby's condition.  In acknowledging her impact on relatives and promoting the abortion of "health-endangering" dependents, Gabby should be sensitive to Mark's physical and mental health in light of her own new-found dependency.  Through this lens, Gabby's recent decision to retire cruelly "punishes" Mark.

So the question is obvious.  What do we tell Gabby if she one day needs an organ transplant?  Are we not just to place her fate at the feet of the slippery moral schemes of the 43%, the New York Times, Peter Singer, and Ms. Giffords herself?

Fortunately for Gabby, the world is not full of Gabbies and Baracks.  We know that God bequeaths human dignity, therefore Amelia, Gabby, and Barack are equally valuable (although Amelia is certainly the least dangerous).  Gabby is just as valuable now as she was three years ago and as she was in the womb.  But by Gabby's and Barack's loveless, autonomous, and relativistic standards, Amelia and Gabby should probably die -- if not now, then certainly as part of some future cost-benefit calculation.

These are ghoulish people.  Their presumptuous autonomy is a selfish and relativistic muck.  It is an ideology without consistency and rife with contradiction -- a brutal ideology of force lacking any sense of gratefulness or loving responsibility, whose victims will always include the weak and defenseless. 

The culture of death does not discriminate.  It is impossible to be the party purportedly concerned with the little guy and in full support of aborting little guys on demand, to be the party purportedly in favor of religious freedom but rabidly determined to force the Catholic Church to buy contraception for its employees, and to be the party purportedly supportive of Gabby but coldly utilitarian about Amelia.

Ms. Giffords once argued that abortions should be available under all circumstances and always legal.  "Always" is a strong word, and it would certainly cover the 26 abortions recently performed because the aborted children had cleft palates.  Gabby's current health problems are more serious than a cleft palate.

There is a reason why most of the country doesn't understand or support the culture and party of death: both violate the love that is written on our hearts, and neither makes any sense.  We know that life has a regular way of making apparently viable people not so viable, and vice-versa.  Where you are on that viable-not so viable continuum has nothing to do with your worth, your dignity, or the respect you are owed.

Right about now, Gabby's husband Mark probably feels pretty strongly about her worth and dignity.  It is likely that Gabby feels the same.  What a shame it is that Amelia had to fight so hard for that same respect from her doctor and his hospital.  But at least she had a strong advocate in her mother, whose pleas were finally heard.

If only more mothers and fathers would advocate so strongly for their babies.  It is not helpful that Gabby's friends continue to heavily promote the loveless agenda of lethal selfishness.