Handle with Care
8 journalers for this copy...
What an awesome story!!!
Cathietay < it's here now!
I've been keenly awaiting its arrival. The topics, medical ethics and personal morality certainly make for a potentially explosive mixture. Jodi P usually does her homework thoroughly and I expect this to be as gripping but hopefully not as chilling as Gideon.
What an unbelievable situation. I'd never heard of or come anywhere near someone with OI - osteogenesis imperfecta - before this book and how immensely grateful I am that this is so.
Jodi Picoult has, as always done such a lot of research on the technical elements of her main subject and the intricate aspects of the court room, to produce a book that stacks up on all counts.
What a roller coaster ride one takes trying to see things through the various perspectives and pondering one's own reactions.
The characters are mainly very strong and their actions understandable.
I loved the book while I hated the dilemmas.
Things break all the time. Day breaks, waves break, voices break. Promises break. Hearts break.
Every expectant parent will tell you that they don't want a perfect baby, just a healthy one. Charlotte and Sean O'Keefe would have asked for a heathy baby too, if they'd been given the choice. Instead, their lives are made up of sleepless nights, mounting bills, the pitying stares of "luckier" parents, and maybe worst of all, the what-ifs. What if their child had been born healthy? But it's all worth it because Willow is, well, funny as it seems, perfect. She's smart as a whip, on her way to being as pretty as her mother, kind, brave, and for a five-year-old an unexpectedly deep source of wisdom. Willow is Willow, in sickness and in health.
Everything changes, though, after a series of events forces Charlotte and her husband to confront the most serious what-ifs of all. What if Charlotte should have known earlier of Willow's illness? What if things could have been different? What if their beloved Willow had never been born? To do Willow justice, Charlotte must ask herself these questions and one more. What constitues a valuable life?
Emotionally riveting and profoundly moving, Handle With Care brings us into the heart of family bound by an incredible burden, a desperate will to keep their ties from breaking, and ultimately, a powerful capacity for love. With the grace and wisdom she's become famous for, this novel by beloved #1 New York Times bestselling author Jodi Picoult offers us an unforgettable story about the fragility of life and the lengths we will go to protect it.
CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:
I'll be posting this off to FutureCat tomorrow.
I wondered when I started this book if I'd actually enjoy it. It seemed a bit too close to My Sister's Keeper in its themes, so that I wondered if perhaps Picoult was beginning to slip into too much of a formula, so that it might be boring, rehashing old ground. But I shouldn't have worried; if Picoult has found a formula, then it's a good one (maybe more of a recipe than a formula?), and it's one that seems to have a lot of potential left in it.
(Hmm, that reminds me - I must make a copy of some of the recipes in this book before I send it on...)
CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:
I'm a bit confused. There are two different lists of bookring participants on Yahoo, in different orders. I thought I knew which one we were following, but then I realised if it was that one, then I should have been much further down the list than I am.
Anyway, I knew I'd be seeing Rarsberry at lunch today, and that she was somewhere on the list, so I just handed the book to her. Hopefully she'll do better than me at figuring out who it's supposed to go to next.
She then took it back to photograph all the recipes!!
I started reading it on the bus home, read more at home before having a nap and I just know its the sort I book I won't want to put down til its finished.
Thankfully its a long weekend and there is nothing worth watching on tv. :o)
I loved this book, so easy to read. I felt sorry for the whole family, each going through their own problems.
So sad to want a child so badly and to have it born borken, and to break over her lifetime. Loving her so much as she is but wishing she could be different.
I admit, like FC, that I cried at the end of the book. I didn't see it coming til I read her chapter, knowing what would happen but hoping it wouldn't, after all that time and heartbreak.
And now I will pass the book along to another person on the list. And go back to the book I was reading before this came along last Sunday!!
I'm looking forward to reading it. Thanks for the bookring, Annenz.
We went up to Lake Evelyn last weekend where people (including my husband) were ice skating. The book was still too fresh in my head to want to iceskate myself. Also I don't want to break another ankle just yet.
I think Undura is next on the list so I'll PM her now.
CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:
Passed on to Undura last night.
WILD RELEASE NOTES:
will bring 2 dinner tonight :-)
I really really enjoyed this book, here in NZ we are going down the path of Down screening and as a result many abortions are going to occur. The Ministy of Health is deliberately keeping this under the radar I think and the message it send about the value we place on people with disabilities is interesting. Will return to Annenz as soon as I locate her address.
Parents of disabled child seek damages
By REBECCA TODD - The Press
Last updated 05:00 07/11/2009
A couple are fighting for compensation after having a disabled child who they would have aborted had they known of her condition.
Similar "wrongful birth" cases have resulted in millions of dollars in compensation being awarded overseas.
Twenty-eight-year-old Linda (not her real name) and her husband are appealing an ACC decision not to provide cover after doctors missed signs of spina bifida in their daughter during a 20-week scan.
They say that continuing with the pregnancy was a personal injury, and treatment for that (an abortion) was denied to them.
A district court found Linda's continued pregnancy was not an injury, but the couple have appealed to the High Court and the landmark case will be heard next year.
The Auckland couple say that if they are unsuccessful they will pursue a civil case against the doctors for negligence.
The family's lawyer, Philip Schmidt, said a civil suit would be a legal first for New Zealand.
In the United States, a growing number of obstetricians are being sued by patients who say they would have had abortions if prenatal tests had detected foetal abnormalities.
Some states have disallowed the cases on moral grounds, while others, such as Florida, have awarded millions of dollars in compensation to claimants.
In Britain, a mother is claiming NZ$3.5 million in compensation after a hospital failed to pick up her son's "severe, profound and multiple disabilities".
Linda said she was not ashamed of saying she would have aborted her daughter.
"In no way are we saying we don't want her now," she said.
"It would have been a very difficult decision – not something taken lightly – but with the information we would have had at the time, had they given it to us, that's the decision we would have made."
She said they were first-time parents and would not have wished a painful life on their daughter.
"We didn't have time to prepare before she was born, and we didn't have a choice with whether she was born or not."
Linda said she wanted to be able to tell her daughter that she did everything she could to guarantee a stable life for her.
Depending on her development, she would tell her about the court case, and hoped she would understand.
When Linda's daughter was born early in 2007, the neural tube connecting her spine and brain was not properly formed. She needed three operations within her first few weeks of life.
She is not yet walking and will need a catheter and possibly a wheelchair later in life.
An internal shunt removes excess spinal fluid, preventing pressure on her brain.
Linda said the extra costs and stress of having a disabled child ranged from finding suitable shoes to fit over her leg splints to buying a hand-drive car when she got older.
Linda receives 28 carer days a year, but cannot return to work, as she had planned before the birth.
Schmidt said the simple solution was to have Linda's situation covered by the ACC.
If not, the costs should fall on the health professionals involved.
"An apology does not help with the practical problems parents in this situation face.
"Compensation, however, is of great practical assistance," he said.
Linda said she was aware of the wide-ranging implications of her case.
"There are probably lots of people out there who haven't been able to or thought about doing it [applying for compensation]," she said.
"Even if it doesn't go through, it's important for people to know that this has happened."
By Martin Johnston NZ Herald
4:00 AM Tuesday Nov 10, 2009
Linda and Jeff love their 2-year-old girl dearly. But had they been told of her debilitating spinal deformity before her birth, they would have chosen abortion, they say.
The Auckland couple are fighting for accident compensation because the health workers who read Linda's 20-week pregnancy scan failed to detect spina bifida in the fetus.
The clinic has apologised to the couple but they say the mistake denied them information that would have led to them choosing a termination. A reviewer found in their favour, saying the pregnancy was a "personal injury" in terms of ACC's legislation and Linda was entitled to cover.
On appeal by ACC, the Auckland District Court overturned the reviewer's decision and the case is now headed for the High Court next year.
Linda, aged 28, said last night her daughter Bonnie, the couple's first child, was moderately disabled.
"She's not walking. She has a little walker she uses sometimes. She gets frustrated and wants to be carried.
"She seems to so far be developing really well cognitively. She's had speech therapy. She's mostly come up to where she should be."
Bonnie, whose spine was found to be exposed when she was born in May 2007, had surgery soon afterwards.
She may need a wheelchair and a catheter in future and has a surgical shunt device that removes excess fluid to prevent pressure on her brain.
"She's a lovely, lovely little girl," her mother said. "She's really placid and is just starting to develop her 2-year-old stubborn streak."
Linda recognises what some may see as a contradiction between the love she and Jeff feel for their daughter and their belief that they would have opted for an abortion, but said they must be seen as two separate times, with two different sets of information.
"She's doing a lot better than they thought she would when she was born. We were told all the awful things that would happen to her: 'She won't walk', and the surgeons told us she will never do this and this and this. As your child, who you love and would never give up for anything in the world, is growing up, it's definitely harder to say you would have terminated.
"Once she is born, it's a separate issue from if the scan had been picked up."
But Linda says she and Jeff would have opted for an abortion had the scan been correctly reported to them.
"It would have been a hard decision but, I think, a decision that we would have made."
If they had been told of the spina bifida and proceeded with the pregnancy, they would have always thought, "Is it fair to bring a child into the world who has a possibility of having a really difficult life".
* The names in this article have been changed at the request of the family.
WILD RELEASE NOTES:
Thanks so much Annenz, posting back today
Alls well that ends well as the saying goes.