Category: Ethics

Born at 23 weeks, smallest surviving premature baby discharged from hospital

She’s the smallest newborn to ever survive.

Born from an emergency c-section in December, the little girl, nicknamed Saybie, was born at just 23 weeks. This week, the baby was discharged from the hospital.

When she was born, Saybie weighed just 8.6 ounces.

Not 8 pounds, 6 ounces. That would have been a healthy, above average birth weight.

Saybie weighed 8.6 ounces! About the weight of a juice box. Doctors knew she was going to be small, but when Saybie was born, even they were surprised.

The Problem of Pain: C.S. Lewis and human suffering

painOriginally published November 14, 2012 as “The Problem of Pain and C.S. Lewis”

Early in the book “The Problem of Pain,” in an analogy which is the epitome of the brilliance and humor of C.S. Lewis, he compares the relationship of God and man to that of a dog owner and his dog. It is for the dog owner’s joy that he owns the dog. It is not inherently for the dog’s joy. It is also so that the owner has another being that it can love. The master values the dog loving him too, but to mature the dog, there are things which must be done that might not always be pleasant for the canine. Being washed, trained not to steal, and the dreaded process of house training are all part of the process. But in the end, those unpleasant activities are for the good of the dog.

With his rapier wit, Lewis writes, “To the puppy the whole proceeding would seem, if it were a theologian, to cast grave doubts on the ‘goodness’ of man: but the full-grown and full-trained dog, larger, healthier, and longer-loved than the wild dog…would have no such doubts.”

On abortion, red states are getting redder while blue states get bluer

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Separated by the Mississippi River, Illinois and Missouri are in two different worlds when it comes to abortion. It’s a microcosm of much of the nation. As several states have passed new, strict laws on abortion, including Missouri, other states have passed legislation to further diminish the rights of the unborn.

Last week, Missouri passed one of the strictest abortion laws in the nation, outlawing abortion after eight weeks. Perhaps of greater significance is that the final abortion clinic standing in Missouri is expected to lose its license at the end of this week. In a statement from Planned Parenthood, they say that the Missouri Department of Health and Human Services is refusing to renew the license of the Planned Parenthood clinic in St. Louis. If that clinic shuts down, it will be the first time since 1974 that a state was without an abortion clinic.

Planned Parenthood has taken the matter to court.

The most expensive medicine ever approved

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I heard a fascinating story from NPR last week. The Federal Drug Administration recently approved a new gene therapy that has a whopping $2.125 million dollar price tag. It’s the most expensive drug on the market.

The gene therapy is a treatment for a rare disease called Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA). According to the NPR story, SMA is “a rare disorder caused by a defective gene; the illness destroys the nerves that control muscles. Babies with the most severe form of the disorder typically don’t live past their second birthday.”