…that death is not the answer to anything. And that no one has a right to take life. No matter what the reason.
On the other hand, when will people find a middle ground between freedom to choose and right to life, as this lady says.
I’ve just finished reading this book called Handle with Care by Jodi Picoult and it’s about a child who suffers from OI or Osteogenesis Imperfecta – a brittle bone disease that means she will have a lifetime of suffering broken bones even through something as small as a sneeze.
I enjoy Jodi Picoult for the gamut of issues she brings up. Morality, ethics, life, lawsuits. And in this one, the mother decides, when her daughter is almost 6 years old to sue the gyne who took care of her during the pregnancy so that the money she wins can go towards the child’s medical costs. I understand. Except – that the doctor is her best friend and did suggest an abortion, which she clearly said her husband would not appreciate. The book leads you through a tangle of emotions and relationships with the elder daughter who is neglected in this situation, becoming bulimic and her husband who is against her suing the doctor and calling their daughter’s a wrongful birth – and the impact it has on their marriage. And of course the 6 year old who gets the idea that her mother wishes she wasn’t born. Which of course is what the case is about.
The mother does love her, and hopes that she will understand this is only about making money (although I again, couldn’t relate to her here because she is suing her best friend despite having clearly told her that she wouldn’t have the abortion) and walks the slippery slope between telling her daughter that she wants her and telling the court that she’d have aborted her had she been given a chance.
The court case is followed with much interest by the entire town and what really touched a chord was that people with special needs were talking to the media about it. And asking – how special is special? When do you draw the line and say that this person’s needs make him unworthy of living a life. They bring up the life of Helen Keller which is a common example but I am sure there are many more. This is not to get into the anti-abortion debate, but it makes you wonder what goes through the mind of a man in a wheelchair when he hears of a child being aborted because it might have a handicap. How does it make him feel about his own life?
I won’t tell you how it ends, but in all Jodi Picoult’s books, I notice the mother is made into this obsessive creature who forgets home, husband, career, other child in her bid to take care of the child with special needs. I wonder how true this is. The last one I read was My Sister’s Keeper and I remember writing a post about how I’ve tried hard not to let the Bean’s asthma and eczema make her different and ensure that the Brat is not neglected during her attacks or made to suffer because we’re so focussed on her.
What really bothered me though was the cop out. The end. Anyone read it?
In which case why don’t you tell me if you enjoyed it and who you sort of sided with in your own head.