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Author Topic: Flamebait: Girl without a face.  (Read 1659 times)
Parn
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« on: August 05, 2006, 05:20:10 PM »

This is not for the faint of heart.  If you have a weak stomach, don't click.

Something Awful published an article regarding a girl named Juliana Wetmore, a girl who was born without a face.  With that article rekindles the never-ending debate of pro-life versus pro-choice.

I'll be honest here... I've always held pretty firmly to the pro-life deal, with very rare exceptions (is the mother's life at risk?  etc.), but how do you respond to a situation such as this?  As it stands, I'm completely indecisive in this scenario.  Thoughts?
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everluck
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« Reply #1 on: August 05, 2006, 07:41:17 PM »

Logic says killing her would be an act of mercy. Still, personally, I don't think I could live with that.

It's a matter of opinion, but in this case every option seems wrong.

edit:
By killing I meant aborting. That sounded kinda bad.
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Eusis
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« Reply #2 on: August 05, 2006, 08:47:19 PM »

If she wants to die, better to give her the choice later. She may've been fortunate if she was aborted, but she seems to be enjoying her life regardless. And it's hard to tell how things like this will turn out during pregnancy, since at first it looked like it was just going to be a cleft palate, something some people here were born with as I recall.

I want to say more, but I swear I can't formulate my thoughts any further.
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Leo
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« Reply #3 on: August 05, 2006, 10:35:50 PM »

Ah, man...this is an immense, difficult decision. The compassion in me would dictate, never to kill one that was born in this world. In this specific case, the circumstances are brutal, and depressing. So I dunno. This little girl seems to be enjoying her life, regardless. That's all that matters in the end. She got the opportunity to witness what we call life.
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Cauton
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« Reply #4 on: August 06, 2006, 12:49:41 AM »

Me, I'm entirely pro-choice in all scenarios. The choice of abortion should always be up to the parents and not decided by the government or anyone else.

In this particular case.. Well, from the article it seems like the severity of the disfiguration couldn't be detected before the girls was born, so not aborting was probably the right thing to do.

People can certainly live happy and fulfilling lives even with horrible disfigurations, so I don't think we should assume that letting her die after she had been born (I'm assuming she spent some time in an incubator after her birth. Shutting it down would've led to her death) would've been an act of mercy. It's one thing to abort an embryo (which arguably can't be called a human being), and quite another one to let a newborn infant die.
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Losfer
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« Reply #5 on: August 07, 2006, 10:41:55 AM »

That is a pretty heart breaking story...  And truthfully, abortion or maybe even euthanasia would be the answer, I realized that that is what /I/ would choose and that my choice is selfish.  Maybe the little girl would be strong enou7gh to live with such a disease, but I couldn't.  I couldn't live with my offspring being so stigmaed...  Because it would make my life harded.

So in the end, I have no idea what to even think.  Mankind is selfish and are so stubborn in their ways that no one can disagree with them, despite the mere fact that opinions vary incredibly.

The mother's love for the child is touching and if she honestly loves her child, then that is beautiful.  I was actually born with a cleft palette myself and thusly had no roof in the top of my mouth.  After a few surgeries, all is fine.  And I look like a "normal" person (Albeit, of the fat and sloven Death Metalhead variety.)  My mother didn't even need to think about keeping me around to be born, and yes, born with a cleft pallete, and very close to having a cleft lip.  IE - A slit in the upper lip.

Even this to some people could be ugly enough to mock, after all, humanity is cruel.  Humanity beats up the boys smaller than it, because it wants to feel strong.  Humanity pushes little girls into the mud, because they have long hair and wear dresses, something little boys don't do.  Humanity kills unborn children, because it realizes it doesn't want the worry of looking after another kid.  Humanity killed six million Jews.  Humanity fears that it does not understand.

To be honest, the girl's visage absolutely terrifies me.  And that is truth.  If I saw her in real life, I would probably make a verbal exclamation and turn my head in terror.  And it makes me feel like shit to say that, because I wouldn't purposely ever try to harm a little girl just because she "looks" different.  But the truth of the matter, is that she is something different from what is "normal" and it scares me.

Giving her the chance to make her own decisions would have her to need a whole life time to find out how she feels about this.  I remember wanting myself to die when I was younger, just cause I am teh uber chunk.  A child can make very quick and rash choices, lacking all thought on the matter.

But who says we can kill a child because "her life will be hard."  Well...  Everyone's lives are hard here and there, maybe she can cope.  Having a grotesque visage of a child may be too much for the parents, the siblings, the people who have to live with seeing her constantly.  ...But what if she is okay with the icon she becomes?  What if the jeers only make her stronger?  What if she has aboslutely no problem living with her "deformations?"

To himself, Hitler was fine and justified in killing legions of Jewish.  To himself, Judas was fine and justified with betraying Jesus.  To herself, the child's mother may be fine and justified with keeping her precious daughter alive.

Counless millions disagree with Hitler.  His still loyal followers still adhere to his ways.  History defines Judas as both a detestible backstabber of Christ and an incredibly good frined of the man.  Some people will want this little girl dead so she can live on without suffering, which truly means, "because our opinion is right."  Others will want the child to live because she is entitled to life.  Hitler didn't think Jews had right to life.  Most of us will look at Hitler as one of the most terrible monsters to live, while others have, still, and will forever walk in his footsteps.

Life is complex.  Maybe too complex for any of us to have the answer in the end.
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Parn
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« Reply #6 on: August 07, 2006, 09:35:41 PM »

I mentioned this to my friend JWL over AIM regarding this, but after thinking things over, I realized that she'll probably grow up just fine and overcome in the same fashion that Hellen Keller and Stephen Hawking did.

So yeah, still in the pro-life boat, here.  Kudos to her parents for not being shallow and looking past the outside.
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Eusis
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« Reply #7 on: August 07, 2006, 09:43:23 PM »

She's probably not even as poorly off as those two - as science advances it may one day be possible to essentially create for her an entire prosthetic skull to make her infinitely closer to appearing normal than now, though it'll probably take so long to figure out how to do it safely in this lifetime.
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Losfer
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« Reply #8 on: August 08, 2006, 03:15:16 AM »

Quote from: "Parn"
I mentioned this to my friend JWL over AIM regarding this, but after thinking things over, I realized that she'll probably grow up just fine and overcome in the same fashion that Hellen Keller and Stephen Hawking did.


Yeah, that's what I was thinking.  I mean, she might go on to become a world renowned scientist or something.  It would be terrible if someone who could one day find the cure for cancer was put to death just because of abnormalities in her appearance.
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Ryos
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« Reply #9 on: August 08, 2006, 04:35:37 AM »

Every once in a while when I see a major disfiguration or impairment, I think how I'd feel if I had to live with a similar problem.  While I'm personally pro-life, there are situations where death may be preferable to life.  One example off the top of my head is the Schiavo death.  While it was a cruel way to go, on the other hand I personally would not want to live in perpetuity as a vegetable.

In this case while I applaud the parents for maintaining the life of their child, I also pity the girl because she will clearly have to overcome a lot of hurdles that normal people will not have to.  Appearance leaves a powerful imprint on a person, and lacking one of the most readily observed features will surely not bode well in first encounters and will be a major factor in self-esteem.  I do hope that the parents choose to go with home schooling - knowing how cruel high schoolers can be, I can only imagine the sheer number of hateful comments heard and unheard that would be directed at her if she went to a public school in particular.

Having said all that, science has progressed to the point where it's entirely possible that she could get an artificial face as Eusis suggested (if memory serves, hasn't there already been a skin transplant for at least one victim of a horrible accident?  I didn't have the stomach to read the article though, so maybe the situation is a bit more extreme than that solution would suggest).
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Eusis
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« Reply #10 on: August 08, 2006, 07:52:28 AM »

Looking at JWL's blog, and reading some of the responses, I have to wonder how many our of opinions of her predicament, conciously or subconciously, are affected more by her appearance than the fact she's incapable of eating like a normal person, speaking or hearing (though the latter will be fixed later), breathing without machinary, and likely being in great pain constantly.

And that makes me think of another thing: Could we truly understand what it's like to be in such a situation? We try to imagine what it'd be like to have her problems, and find the concept of it unbareable... But what if we were born that way? If we've never eaten before, we can't exactly miss it. We might be curious as to what it'd be like, but it'd be akin to wondering what it'd be like to be a superhero or something. Likewise for hearing and to a lesser degree speaking - which actually makes me curious as to what it'd be like experincing /sound/ for the first time when you grow up.
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