I bet most of you have never heard of “perinatal hospice.” A dear friend of mine, Byron Calhoun, MD, is considered the founder of the perinatal hospice movement. I thought this story, written by another friend, Steve Jordahl, would be of interest to most of you.
For some women, what should be the happiest day of their life turns into a nightmare as the baby they are carrying is diagnosed with terminal illness or birth defect. There are people available to walk families through the difficult times. They work at perinatal hospice facilities.
There are about 70 such facilities around the country, equipped to counsel families and ease the pain for infants who don’t have long to live.
The movement was started by Dr. Byron Calhoun, a pro-life maternal-fetal medicine specialist. He recently told World Magazine some of the reasons he wanted to help.
“Grief lessens as time passes,” he said, “and the parents rest secure in the knowledge that they shared in their baby’s life and treated the child with the same dignity as a terminally-ill adult.”
A large majority of children who are diagnosed before birth with a terminal illness or defect are aborted. Calhoun hopes that with the advent of perinatal hospice care, parents can choose life, no matter how long that life may be.
As World Magazine reports, “Even those mystified by a patient choosing life have recognized the value of Calhoun’s idea, as perinatal hospice programs now dot the nation. But this mystery is no mystery to us. As Job 1:21 states, ‘Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return. The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.'”