Genetic problems and having children
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|Wed, 02-04-2004 - 9:54am|
To make a long story short, after checking with my mother, I found out that the dr. *did* say I had NF, but as I had never developed any problems, it was never mentioned again. Now that my son apparently has it, however, I've had to learn a lot about it, and I've found it can be a terribly devastating disease. While some people have cases as mild as mine, with no more problems than brown spots, severe problems can range from disfiguring tumors on the skin to learning and language disabilities (I had none of those problems). There seeems to be no correlation in severity among family members, so just because I have an incredibly mild case doesn't mean my son will be as fortunate.
DH and I very much want another child, but we're heartbroken with thoughts of what our son may face and with the knowledge that any other children have a 50/50 chance of having the disease. Some drs. we've seen seem to think that we should avoid having other children. Our heart and our faith tell us that life is sacred no matter what, and that the thought that only perfect lives are worth living is part of what's wrong with our culture. (And what degree of impairment makes a life *not* worth living?) However, then guilt kicks in, and we wonder if we'd be selfish to have another child knowing that he or she could face a life filled with disability and/or disfigurement.
I know no one can answer this question for us, but I'm in need of some moral guidance. Is it more moral to welcome life and trust in God even knowing there could be problems? Or is it more moral to put our own selfish desires for more children aside rather than taking a risk of having a child who will suffer? Thank you for any thoughts on this matter.