There are few things more difficult than to see your loved ones suffer. When a parent, especially a mother, discovers that her unborn child is genetically deficient or severely handicapped, it is often said that she can feel the anguish as it is her own. If it is within her power, she would rather she suffers ten times over than her child.
Today, in view of that, in the name of “mercy”, often medical doctors would recommend to the parents the option of terminating the child’s life in order to remove the pain of life-long suffering.
But underneath this line of thought, is the unspoken belief that it is better to terminate someone else’s life than to help them to live it meaningfully.
But unborn people are persons like you and me. They can’t speak for themselves, but they have the same rights to life as we do.
And by the same logic, it would be saying that it is better to kill all the blind, the lame, the senile, etc., than for them to suffer or to complete their life naturally. This may sound offensive, but it is the same thing.
And while handicap brings suffering, the amazing thing about life is that it always has the potential to overcome suffering; it always has the potential to bring joy and meaning even in the most painful and hopeless of situations.
I myself am legally blind. If my mother terminated me, the world would have one fewer happy priest.
And I know many severely handicapped people: people with Down syndrome, with missing limbs, without eyes, without hearing etc. If they were loved, some of these were the most joyful people I have ever met.
The truth is, no one can overestimate the potential and surprises life possesses. Whether one is a Christian or not, life has a power that we have no claim to control. As long as one has life, it has the power of shattering every darkness and despair. So let us not take life away from others, even when it means certain suffering. Let us give life a chance to triumph over suffering. And let us instead dignify those suffering (with) protection, compassion, love and support.