Abortion and the Mentally Handicapped
We of the Ethics Committee have reviewed your case for an extended
period of time. We took into consideration, for our decision, the yearn of any
female to experience childbearing, child birth, and the joy of raising young.
Being a mother is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and once you become a mother
you are a mother for life. There is a tremendous amount of responsibility and
work that goes along with having children. We understand your desire to
continue the pregnancy, and to keep the child, but due to your legal status,
mental health, and the baby’s well being, the decision to terminate the
pregnancy has been reached and voted for unanimously.
Your mother has proper legal custody, and as you know, wants the
abortion to take place. We agree with her concern for your well-being. Child
birth is an extremely stressful situation. The trauma of the pregnancy could
intensify your paranoid schizophrenia, or cause some other mental disorder. Mrs.
Smith has informed us that she herself is not capable of caring for the child.
We feel that you will suffer further if you are forced to give up the child.
Your psychiatrist has come to the conclusion that you are not capable of being a
responsible parent, but you are, at times, capable of making rational moral
decisions. However, because you are not able to make important, rational, moral
decisions most of the time your mother can claim that you are not mentally
capable of raising a child. Also. We took in to account that the father of this
unborn child is unknown. There is no one to help you make this decision, but
more importantly, there is not another parental figure to aid in the raising and
caring for this child. From testimonies from your mother and your psychiatrist,
it is our understanding that you can do neither on your own.
Ms. Smith, you have been diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia. As you
know, the treatment for paranoid schizophrenia is a variety of different drugs.
This gives you a slightly higher chance of having fetal defects such as cystic
fibrosis, pulmonary emphysema, abruptioplacentae, miscarriage, or placenta
previa to name a few. We also feel that there is an increased chance that the
child will develop a mental disorder. It is not fair for the child or its’ care
takers to suffer from deformities that were caused from drug reactions. You
must understand our position in caring for the physical health and safety of
You will not be able to provide for the child, because you have no
annual income. We feel that the child will not have equal opportunities to have
positive growth and development because of this. Living in Community Hospital’s
long term care unit does not provide a heathy environment for the baby to live
in. The baby will have little opportunity to go outside, be with peers, and
have friends. A baby needs a healthy environment to grow and be nurtured in.
This is a basic right that should be granted to any new born. We feel that
because of your living situation your baby will not get the essentials.
Adoption is another issue to be dealt with. As we stated earlier, you
might suffer more if you are you are forced to give the baby up for adoption.
You could possibly develop serious depression, and worsen your paranoid
schizophrenia. You may think you give the child up for adoption to benefit their
well being, but once you actually give birth to this child, your feelings may
change. The could cause serious emotional trauma on you, your mother, and in the
long run will hurt your child. Orphanages aren’t the best environment for a
child to grow up in. If you did put your child up for adoption, the likelihood
that someone will want to adopt a mental patient’s child is low, and if the
child is deformed in some way the chance is even smaller. You took the
responsibility to have sex, now you must take the responsibility to do what is
right for your child, no matter how much pain will be placed on you. Every
child deserves to have loving, providing parents and we feel you can’t give your
child that, and an adoption may not be successful. We, as an Ethics Committee
are not willing to take that chance with an unborn child’s life.
Children’s development is influenced by several different mediums like
environment, parents, friends, and personal characteristics. We feel that if
this child were born under these circumstances, the influences presented would
be negative, and the baby’s well being, health, and security are top priority in
this case. Being an ethics committee, we cannot permit you to give birth to
this fetus. You are not mentally capable to bear, or properly raise the child.
Your lifestyle is not suitable for properly raising a child. Living in a mental
hospital does not provide an acceptable environment for a baby to grow in, and
the negatives of this case out way the positives.
We are truly sorry about this decision, but it is the best for you and
the child. We will do our best to help you in any way. We are here to offer
mental and physical support. Please understand that this is the best solution
for everyone involved. If you have any problems or questions feel free to
contact us any time. We did not impose this decision to hurt you in any way. We
want you to get healthy and care for yourself. Until you can care for, and have
responsibility for yourself, you can’t care for and take responsibility for
another. This decision is final and you must cooperate with us to make this
painful situation as easy as possible. We have sent a copy of this letter to
your mother and to your doctors and we would like to talk with you further.
Thank You for your cooperation.