Thursday, March 29, 2012

20 years ago: The death of Theresa Ann Campo Pearson

On March 30, 1992, Theresa Ann Campo Pearson died at the age of nine days. She had been born in Fort Lauderdale, Florida without a complete brain or skull. Although her parents knew of her condition while she was a fetus, they had decided that she should be born so that her organs could be donated to other babies. The parents sought to have Theresa declared brain-dead, but on March 26, Florida Circuit Court Judge Estella Moriarty ruled that the baby had a functioning brain stem and could not be declared brain-dead. Two other courts also rejected the parents’ appeals. By the time Theresa died, her organs had deteriorated too much to still be viable for transplant.

It's not for me to pronounce judgement on Theresa's parents, but the thought of parents allowing their baby to be born just for the purpose of donating her organs--as opposed of allowing her to be born to experience what brief life she may have--nauseates me. As a way of illustrating how long or short life can be, March 30, 2012 marks the 10th anniversary of the death of Elizabeth the Queen Mother at the age of 101.

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