Elizabeth

Write about a problem of local, national or international concern, and what you would do to solve it.


A petite young woman sits in the obstetrician's office, her four-year-old daughter in her lap. The little girl is restless yet unable to extricate herself from her mother's arms due to cerebral palsy. Both mother and daughter wear worried expressions, anxiously waiting for the doctor to return with the results of last week's tests. The young woman, Sandra, is four months pregnant with her second child. Because her daughter, Michaela, was born with physical and developmental problems, Sandra wants to treat her unborn baby with the utmost care and make sure that he or she is not also affected. She is lost in thought when the doctor's presence suddenly snaps her back to reality. "Sandra," he begins.

"Yes, doctor?" The worry in Sandra's voice is palpable, her brown eyes as large as saucers.

"I'm afraid the prognosis for your second child is very grim. It appears that the fetus does not have an esophagus. When the baby is born, it will not be able to feed and will die very quickly. I would strongly advise terminating this pregnancy."

Sandra is numb. She leaves the office, Michaela in tow, unable to discern anything or anyone around her. She knows that her baby is going to die, but...

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