Your child is brain damaged because you refused vitamin K; how are you going to explain that to him?


From The Tennesean:

A bleeding disorder in babies so rare that it typically affects fewer than one in 100,000 is becoming more common in Tennessee because parents are refusing vitamin K injections at birth, according to pediatric specialists.

Since February, four babies with no signs of injury or abuse have been sent to Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt with either brain hemorrhages or bleeding in the gastrointestinal tract. Dr. Robert Sidonio Jr., a hematologist, diagnosed them with vitamin K deficiency bleeding.

After discovering that all four had not received the preventive treatment, which doctors have been giving to newborns since the 1960s, he started making inquiries. Pediatricians told him parents are increasingly refusing consent because of concerns based on misinformation or the goal of having natural childbirths.

What happened to the children?

All four children survived, but the three who suffered brain bleeds face challenges.

“These are kids that end up having surgery to remove the large amount of blood out of their head or they would have died,” he said. “It’s early. It’s only since February, but some of the kids have issues with seizure disorders and will have long-term neurological symptoms related to seizures and developmental delays.”

That is about as spectacular a parenting fail as letting your child go through a windshield head first in a car accident because you thought refusing to buckle your child in a car seat made you look “educated.”

Even animals fight tooth and claw to keep their young from harm. Human parents should do no less. Instead, Western, white women thrill to the thought that immature transgressive behavior marks them as independent thinkers. It doesn’t; it marks them as ignorant, gullible and willing to take terrible risks with the lives of their children for no better reason that to preen to themselves and others.

I can only begin to imagine the life of agony that awaits these children and their parents. I’d like to see how the mothers explain to their brain injured children that they didn’t have to bleed into their heads; they didn’t have to sustain permanent neurologic damage; they were born without handicap and the only reason they are disabled now is because their mothers thought their friends on the internet were more knowledgeable about hemorrhagic disease of the newborn (HDN) than actual pediatricians with actual medical training.

What could these women possibly say:

1. Sorry you’re brain damaged but shots scare me and the tradeoff between brain damage and the mild discomfort of an injection seemed perfectly reasonable to me?

2. Sorry you face a life of disability, but the women on assured me that refusing the vitamin K shot was safe, and who wouldn’t believe them?

3. I wish you could walk and talk like all the other kids, but HDN is rare and I figured that pretending it couldn’t happen to you would prevent it from happening to you?

4. I believed that doctors were engaged in a giant conspiracy to inject babies with vitamin K for their own enjoyment and HDN was made up to scare mothers?

5. Hey, don’t blame me. I educated myself on the internet?

6. Shit happens and I’m sorry it happened to you, but you were probably meant to be brain damaged?

Or how about:

7. I am desperately sorry and will be for the rest of my life. In my ignorance and hubris, I thought I was educated when actually I was nothing but a fool?

Yes, that sounds about right.