Sunday, August 21, 2005

Honoring Susan Torres

Just about everybody who blogs about parenting has talked about Susan Torres, the 26-year-old Virginia woman who suffered a stroke while pregnant, and was kept alive on life support so that her baby would have a chance to survive.

Naturally, I've been rooting for this baby. As terrible as the family's loss is, they have Susan's last great gift to the world to remember her by. My own Susan, as well as many other preemies, are testaments to the quality of life that is possible for kids born early. So it's surprised me to see a lot of people whose opinions I respect criticize Jason Torres, Susan's husband, for keeping her alive. He's been accused of using his dead wife as an incubator, of taxing the medical system's resources for a child with poor prospects, and of neglecting his older child's needs while attending to his dying wife and nascent baby.

On the other hand, he's also being held up as a hero to the pro-life movement, and Susan it's martyr. I'm totally appalled that people are using this family's tragedy to highlight their political beliefs, which Susan may or may not have even shared. Jason Torres chose to do what he believed his wife would have wanted. I've told Mr. Nola that I'd want the same thing if I were pregnant, although we both feel strongly about not remaining on life support if there is no hope. Susan did indeed have hope, maybe not for her own life, but for that of her baby.

That baby has appropriately been named Susan. She made it to 26 weeks gestation and has a pretty good chance of being just fine. I had a box of our Susan's preemie size clothes that I'd been looking for someone to give to, so I shipped it up to the Torres family. May this new little Susan wear them in good health.

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