A couple from Oklahoma has rejected aborting their baby with anencephaly in favor of their plan to give birth to their disabled daughter so her organs could eventually be used to save the lives of others.
When parents receive a diagnosis of anencephaly for their unborn child, the news is truly heartbreaking. Such children have malformed heads and brains and do not develop properly. But as LifeNews has repeatedly chronicled, such infants have an intrinsic value and they often defy doctors predictions by living for months and even years surrounded by love and affection from their parents and friends and family.
Keri and Royce Young were devastated to learn that their baby named Eva has the condition. Although many parents abort in similar circumstances, the Youngs decided to give birth daughter so that she can donate the newborn’s organs eventually. Keri is scheduled to give birth to little Eva May 7.
Here is what’s going on with the couple from Oklahoma:
Her husband, Royce, was in awe of his wife’s heartbreaking choice to carry their baby — all to potentially save another child’s life, though he says he’s not surprised.
“Donating was on Keri’s mind from darn near the second we found out and while the experience of holding and kissing our daughter will be something we cherish forever, the gift(s) she’s got inside that little body of hers is what really matters. Keri saw that almost instantly,” Royce wrote in a Facebook post last week that has since been shared thousands of times.
His wife was also very public about the difficult decision about the birth, something she’s grappled with even though she is pro-life.
She wrote of dreading the thought of attending a funeral for her own child, but after making an appointment with a doctor and her pastor to talk about organ donation, she decided it would be the best decision for her and her family.
“We learned her whole heart would not be eligible for transplant and that was disappointing. But then we learned her heart valves would be eligible along with her kidneys and liver and maybe pancreas. We could also donate her lungs to research. We’d get the opportunity to meet her recipients if they wanted to meet us,” Keri wrote in a Facebook post two months ago.
One pro-life advocate tells LifeNews.com she is concerned about the donations, saying it is not appropriate to donate organs from babies diagnosed with anencephaly. She wants to ensure Eva is not killed specifically for her organs.
Marie Tasy, Executive Director of New Jersey Right to Life, tells LifeNews, “Donating this baby’s organs would appear to violate ethics and the dead donor rule which protects the integrity of human organ donation by providing (a) that organ donors must be dead before procurement of organs begins, and (b) that organ procurement itself must not cause the death of the donor.”
Tasy continued: “Even the AMA has rejected the use of anencephalic infants as organ donors, due to concerns about “accurate diagnosis of anencephaly and incomplete understanding of the possible level of consciousness in these newborns. This little infant girl has intrinsic value and worth just as every living human being, and it is our hope and prayer that her parents will not take any action to hasten her natural death.”