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Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Miracle Baby?

Perhaps you are aware of the tragic story of  Susan Rollin Torres, who was declared brain-dead while pregnant.  She was kept on life-support for three months in order to allow the baby to be delivered.

The baby, Susan Anne Catherine Torres, was delivered by c-section about two months prematurely.  Yesterday, she died at just under 6 weeks old from an illness associated with premature birth.

This story is very very sad, and in no way should a discussion of the issues it raises overshadow the tragedy this presents to many people, none more so than the father.

But it does raise interesting questions.  I, for one, was very happy when the baby was born.  For perhaps this baby would bring solace to the remaining family and live a long and healthy life.  And yet when the story ends in this tragedy, with the baby no doubt in pain for her entire young life, I wonder whether the decision to undertake extraordinary measures to deliver the baby was worthwhile.  Not for me to decide, of course; but it implicates issues that do concern me, like abortion, medical technology, theodicy, and the meaning and value of life.

It is not easy to have these conversations respectfully given the deep rift in our society; but I don't see how we can avoid it.

But mostly, right now, I am sad.

Posted by Hillel Levin on September 14, 2005 at 12:21 PM in Hillel Levin | Permalink


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I had not heard of the story of this young baby, but now that I have it makes me wonder about all of the little quirks and jolts that life likes to throw at us from time to time. I am deeply saddened for this family that has not only lost a loving daughter and wife, but also now lost their only chance at reaching out to her through her child. I do not believe that I could say right now what decision I would make if put in their shoes, but I do think that choosing to continue to keep the mother on life support so that she could deliver the baby and give it a chance at living is probably one of the hardest choices that this family will ever have to make.

Posted by: Baby Gifts | May 31, 2007 11:59:52 PM

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