This is a beautiful story about a mother and a father’s love for a baby. Wesley J. Smith of Secondhand Smoke found it in the LA Times. I was just going to put it up on the CMR Reader but I wanted to make sure everyone saw it:
This is a sad but glorious story of selfless maternal/paternal love, but I think that at one time, it would have been the expected course: A doctor recounts the decision of a woman diagnosed with brain cancer to delay surgery in order to bring her baby to birth. From the story:
For the neurosurgeon, the verdict was clear: An immediate operation was needed to remove the growing tumor. The invasive and complicated surgery — under many hours of general anesthesia — was likely to greatly increase the risk of fetal injury or death…
The oncologist said that if the surgery were delayed until the child was ready for life outside the womb, the cancer would probably be untreatable. The obstetrician said that if the mother-to-be agreed to the recommended surgery and subsequent chemotherapy, the fetus was unlikely to survive. The woman was faced with a heartbreaking choice — her own survival or her child’s.
The young couple spoke quietly to each other in their native language for a few minutes as the specialists waited. Even I, who had chosen to study pediatrics because I loved children, reluctantly acknowledged that the woman’s care was the medical priority. Wouldn’t I — wouldn’t everyone? — opt for life-saving intervention for myself? Wouldn’t we all yield to the natural instinct to survive?
Go to Secondhand Smoke and then read the entire thing at the LA Times.