I happened to catch on NPR the other day an interesting program about measuring the impact of prenatal genetic testing.
They discussed whether there could be too much information for a mother and father. Apparently, the knowledge dump given to parents can create an information overload. This in turn provokes fear-based decisions, which seeks to eliminate risk at all cost. This fear is particularly intense for parents who are dealing with the issue of having a baby with Down syndrome.
During the program, the couple being interviewed talked about being distraught when they learned they were to give birth to child with Downs …so they sought counsel with their priest. Toward the end of an emotional meeting, the priest asked them to rethink what happiness meant to them. Could they be happy if their baby Philip were happy? That was a game changer and now their child is 5 years old and they don’t know how they could live without him.
Information is useful, but it must be subordinate to love. It is critical not to look at another person as a means to fulfill oneself because people are not a means, but an end. Therefore I must serve others because they are made in God’s image and likeness, especially the most vulnerable. How relationships and marriages would be energized when both are seeking to serve and love the other.
Jesus summarizes it perfectly: “The Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve and to give my life as a ransom for many.” (Mk 10:45)