Treating Terminally Ill Infants with Dignity

While serving as a pastor in Wichita, Kansas I had the honor of being connected with Choices Medical Clinic (a pro-life) medical clinic. They have had an awesome ministry. One of the creatively compassionate things that Choices provided for parents who discovered that their yet unborn child had a fatal anomaly was perinatal hospice. I was able to participate directly with several families who went through the perinatal hospice program and was deeply moved by seeing how blessed these hurting families were by the opportunity afforded them by Choices. Was it less convenient than an abortion? I would suppose so. But these parents were able to look at themselves in the mirror knowing they had treated their little one with dignity. That is infinitely more valuable than convenience.

Writing for World Magazine, Matt Anderson reports on the alternative of perinatal hospice.
When a pregnant woman clearly understands the primary purpose of genetic testing—abortion of a handicapped baby—a majority decline testing in my experience and almost all pro-life women decline testing. Nearly every problem now identified by prenatal diagnosis has no treatment. David Grimes, a well-known OB/GYN, professor at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine, and a strong abortion advocate, spoke truth in a rare moment of public clarity when he said prenatal diagnosis would disappear if abortion were not available.

But what happens when a routine 20-week ultrasound shows a baby with a profound abnormality, possibly an abnormality that will certainly result in the death of the baby prior to or shortly after birth? Or when a genetic test is done and shows similar results and the patient then decides against abortion? What then?

Enter perinatal hospice, the brain child of Byron Calhoun, a pro-life maternal-fetal medicine specialist.

Perinatal hospice honors life. The woman carrying the disabled child receives extensive counseling and birth preparation involving the combined efforts of MFM specialists, OB/GYN doctors, neonatologists, anesthesia services, chaplains, pastors, social workers, labor and delivery nurses, and neonatal nurses. She carries the pregnancy to its natural conclusion. She and her husband are allowed to grieve and prepare for the short time God may grant them with their child while their baby lives inside or outside the womb. Such a process obviates the grief caused by elective abortion, killing the child before it could be born.

Read the entire article HERE.