Jump to content

"Born Without A Face"


Bretagne

Recommended Posts

Did anyone see that programme last night on C5? I did and I thought, before it started, that the programme makers may be exaggerating a wee bit. They weren't. The poor little mite literally had no face, due to a genetic condition known as "Treacher Collins Syndrome" - most of her facial bones were missing. There was a huge gap where the lower part of her face should have been, while her eyes were distended, not where they should have been and one was covered by skin. Her ears were malformed, too.

 

It must have been awful for the parents, but it was the poor little baby who I felt sorry for - a lifetime of staring and possible ridicule, not to mention all the painful surgery and feeding and breathing through tubes. Nature is so cruel sometimes.

 

It was very uncomfortable viewing.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Re: "Born Without A Face"

 

I'm going to be a "little" controversial now and say maybe it would have been better if she hadn't lived at berth?

 

And I would tend to agree. You wouldn't put an animal through all that, why a person?

Link to post
Share on other sites

Re: "Born Without A Face"

 

I agree completely a little the woman in the States who's parents wanted to keep her alive and her husband wanted the tubes etc removed...

Link to post
Share on other sites

Re: "Born Without A Face"

 

I'm going to be more than a little controversial here:

 

In these circumstances (and I'm as guilty as anybody) I fear we give in too much to our personal feelings of discomfort and recognise too little the fact that a fellow human has joined us.

 

The fact is we all arrive here with what's handed to us, and while I'd have preferred a more stylish frame ( No I'm not disabled or anything like that but I do resent the fact that I look like somebody assembled in the dark out of a few spare parts that happend to be lying around. Which I suppose is actually what probably happened!), I'm very glad to be seeing the spring arrive again this year.

 

Sorry John but that's why I hate the phrase 'better that they hadn't been born'

 

Perhaps my generation and older were lucky - I mean this - that Thalidomide was prescribed before abortion was legalised. That means some of us grew up with grossly malformed friends - who these days might have been screened for and...I suppose some would say saved from their misery? By and large they accepted their lot and found as much delight in life as any of us.

 

See www.treachercollins.org

Link to post
Share on other sites

Re: "Born Without A Face"

 

Did you actually see the programme Millsy? I am not joking or exaggerating when I say that baby was like something from a nightmare - I have never seen such a grossly deformed person in my life.

 

This kid was a lot worse than the people on those websites - I looked Treacher Collins up on Google - the ones on those sites are the "lucky" ones. She literally did not have a face. Where her mouth and upper jaw should have been there was nothing. Her bottom jaw was malformed, she could not hear. One eye was open, the other, lower down, was skinned shut. She didn't have any ears to speak of. Added to that she has to breathe via a tracheotomy (sp) and is fed via tubes directly into her stomach. When you consider the reconstructive surgery that she has undergone in the 2 years of life and many more painful operations to come (they showed one operation, when ribs were being removed to patch holes in her skull to stop nasal fluids, etc, from leaking into her brain cavity), that kid's life seems pretty bleak, loving relatives or not. The surgery won't give her a "normal" face and she will have to endure ridicule and probably be shunned when she gets older.

 

The only reason she didn't die at birth was due to doctors inserting a breathing tube, so I am not advocating euthanasia, far from it. I certainly don't wish the kid dead, certainly not, but maybe she would have been better off. I am not a parent and I never want to be, but if I had a child and it was that badly deformed I would doubt the morality of keeping it alive. I wonder if the child was kept alive for the parents' sake, rather than her own... I could never put any human or animal through that.

 

There but for the grace of *whatever*, go I...

Link to post
Share on other sites

Re: "Born Without A Face"

 

No I do not possess a television set.

 

I was making a general point about reactions to birth defects - in which I fear many movers and shakers in society are now getting very close to Eugenics.

 

I would never strive 'officiously to keep alive' but the fact remains that the ethical qestions and debate have to go beyond subjective judgements about quality of life.

 

If life can only be maintained 'artificially' - as you say it was here - then I am with you on this one.

 

If however the baby does not require life support then I am afraid a utilitarian approach, on its own, will not do for me. Deontologism must be the guide - for better or worse. (And it may lead to a messy difficult outcome I don't deny this.)This why such cases shouldn't go anywhere near the courts.

 

Equally I also think it is ethically and morally very dubious indeed to make televison programmes about such cases as the central person by dint of age cannot give consent - irrespective of whether they are anoymous or not. The fact that TV producers feel they can go anywhere and show anything - without getting proper consent - is one of the reasons we do not have a TV! They are utilitarians to the core.

 

Incidentally debating this issue with medical personnnel - which I have done- is very interesting.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Re: "Born Without A Face"

 

If life can only be maintained 'artificially' - as you say it was here - then I am with you on this one.

 

If however the baby does not require life support then I am afraid a utilitarian approach, on its own, will not do for me. Deontologism must be the guide - for better or worse. (And it may lead to a messy difficult outcome I don't deny this.)This why such cases shouldn't go anywhere near the courts.

 

Incidentally debating this issue with medical personnnel - which I have done- is very interesting.

 

If the person in question did not require life support and could function independently, then I would be opposed to any form of euthanasia. However, she couldn't. Left to her own devices, she would have just faded away.

 

I utterly agree with you about eugenics and "weeding out" of birth defects.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

×
×
  • Create New...