I received the following as a comment to the following post:
I am a Catholic and a pro-lifer but from my point of view, as someone who is also living with Cystic Fibrosis, I found this article to be downright offensive. Although I’m sure it was not your intention, you belittled the severity of CF and the struggles that we CFers go through every day. Just because some author said that a happy childhood isn’t worthwhile, neither makes his opinion true, nor gives anyone with CF any consolation whatsoever. It’s true that one must take bad experiences with the good; but, childhood is a time of innocence. It should be mostly carefree, happy, and fun.
In this article, you focused exclusively on children afflicted with CF and made no mention of the adults afflicted with the disease. I think that was a gross oversight on your part. You asserted that children are more resilient to sickness and death than adults, so don’t you think you should focus on the less resilient people?
In your article you spoke of “a person who I have known who has cystic fibrosis and to see the beautiful effect that she has had upon her friends, her occupation and her children and family…” You made no mention of her quality of life. Instead, you spoke of her as if she’s merely the means to some end of making the world a more beautiful place.
I hope one day to have children. But I refuse to allow any children of mine to suffer the way I have. I believe it’s a parent’s first responsibility to ensure their children have the highest possible quality of life. Having battled the disease for years, I firmly believe that knowingly taking the risk of having children with CF is negligent and irresponsible. You don’t know what it’s like to walk a mile in the shoes of someone with CF.
If you had done proper research for this article, you would know that it is possible to perform a type of genetic pre-screening without aborting any fetuses. The method to which I am referring is called pre-implantation genetic diagnosis (PIGD). It can be performed on either a fertilized or an unfertilized egg.
For the pro-lifers out there, the option of choice is going to be using PIGD on an unfertilized egg. In this way, you can ascertain the traits that would be passed down by the mother. This is sufficient in preventing CF since CF is a recessive trait. If the egg passes the test, it can then be fertilized. No embryos are discarded. No fetuses are aborted.
I did not belittle the life a person with cystic fibrosis lives or the severity of their symptoms. My point was that a childhood alive is preferable to a childhood that is destroyed with abortion. Death is never preferable to life. I can't offer consolation to a person with cystic fibrosis, but I can tell them their lives are greatly valued and are of far more value than you place on your own life and others who suffer with cystic fibrosis. Childhood is a time of innocence and having a childhood illness, terminal or not, is not an indication of some lack of innocence or, as abortion proponents would have you believe, an indication of guilt, worthy of a death sentence in an abortion clinic. I by no means see a person with cystic fibrosis as a means to an end. Life is a fundamental good. Destroying life is an objective evil. When I say that a person I know has a beautiful effect on the people they know and in her occupation and family and children, a quality of life is implied that is supremely good as compared with the alternative, death. Four healthy happy beautiful children later, my friend would disagree with you that she was either negligent or irresponsible in bringing those children into the world. Her children are the fruit of love and a life that is loved, receives love and gives love. As an informed pro-life Catholic myself, I would be remiss to inform you that forms of artificial conception are expressly forbidden by Catholic teaching and contrary to moral norms as is the kind of eugenics that you are proposing. Whether or not unborn children (these embryos as you call them), are destroyed or not, artificially conceiving any unborn children in a medical laboratory, outside of the marital act, is an abomination before the Lord and an affront to the sacramental bond of marriage. Children are meant to be conceived in love, and and not created with a sense of entitlement without regard to our humanity. A parent's first responsibility is their sacramental bond of love with their spouse before God which finds its greatest expression in the love of children who are created through the natural gifts of human procreation.
Brian F Hudon