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Anencephalic Infant Dilemma

December 21, 1987

Three thousand anencephalic births a year produce agony as many parents, who in an instant have their family hopes shattered only to be further disappointed when denied the consolation that the meaning of their child's "life" could assume new dimensions, but for the unresolved legal impediments to the use of the child's organs for transplant.

Our child never had the prospect of a quality life--at least that he was aware of. He certainly received quality care and unbounded love. His mere existence left a mark in the world, especially the lives around him. But had his grave marker been able to be inscribed " . . . And I gave life" would have made an immeasurable contribution toward humanity. Despite being an ideal donor, he had to be allowed to slip away.

The issue of anencephalic's organ donation cannot be allowed to similarly slip away. There is nothing dignified or humane about denying a transplant opportunity to an organ recipient. The issue here is narrow and should not be confused with other situations. A change in state law must be again introduced, debated and decided. There are many other parents as ourselves who want(ed) the opportunity to make the decision to make our child's organs available, as difficult as that decision in itself may be.

TOM GRANT

SUE GRANT

Sherman Oaks

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