Friday, March 16, 2012

You catch more flies with honey

We have a saying in the South, "You catch more flies with honey than you do with vinegar." In dozens of column inches, this woman pours gallons of vinegar on the Seattle parents who sued a hospital for incorrectly reporting the results of a Down's test. In dozens of column inches, however, she never asks the essential Christian question: what can we do to help?

I have a number of friends with kids who have handicaps of some degree or another, ranging from the higher end of the autism spectrum through serious physical problems down to developmental delays so profound the child will never learn to speak or have any hope of living independently. My impression, entirely from the outside, is that all of them want reliable help. Some with medical expenses, all with someone who'll give them a day off, and a few with the expenses of institutionalization including the knowledge that their child will be safe and well-cared-for after the parents die. I wish more people acknowledged that the parents who filed this lawsuit need assistance and not scolding. Seriously, more than ninety percent of parents who learn that their much-wanted baby has Down's will terminate the pregnancy. When more than 90% of people do something, we need to find out why instead of call them ugly names or posting Love Is pictures of Down's sufferers. Provide assistance and information and persuasion. Develop cheap and effective treatments for the mental and physical problems. Make long-term care an option without financial or social penalties. All of these proposals require higher taxes and a reduction in outrage, but they are far more likely to be really successful than angry blog posts, outlawing prenatal testing, or banning abortion.