Stages of Life

Potential Resources for Special Needs


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Rochester Area Right To Life

Life can be difficult at all stages.  For those wrestling with problems related to pregnancy,  newborns with health problems,  and serious and terminal illnesses at any age, sometimes we feel all alone.  With the burgeoning of information, however, there is company, information, and help to be had, much of it via the Web.

AbortionLocal Rochester, NY, pregnancy counseling centers and phone numbers for finding help in other geographical locations.

Aftereffects of abortion for both the mother and other family members such as father and grandparents:  Local Rochester pregnancy counseling centers and Project Rachel.

Infanticide:  Infanticide is normally defined in the dictionary as killing of a baby.  In other countries this can mean leaving a newborn out in the elements.  In our society it seems to take the form of denying food and water to a newborn because he has a health problem and also has Down's syndrome or some other definable handicap.  Decisions have to be made quickly, and there is a tendency to refuse surgery to a handicapped baby where the same surgery would be recommended for a baby without the handicap ("Death in the Nursery" by James Manney and John C. Blattner, pub. Servant Books, Ann Arbor Michigan). 

Rather than simply agreeing with the first proposal, which could be, "It would be more merciful to let him die," parents might first want to gather information on Down's syndrome, spina bifida, or whatever the diagnosed handicap is. (For example, a library, a specialist, the Spina Bifida Association, or parent matching and support groups for Down's Syndrome.  Search engines on the Web can be very helpful, as are medical sites such as WebMD (, Med Help International    ( and the Mayo Health Clinic site .)

Then, consultation with other people with similarly handicapped children, their church,  or a member of the ethics committee of the hospital may help to clarify the issues.  The risk is that, in the absence of solid information, the solution defaults to convenience for parents, family, or doctor. There are other resources.

Euthanasia:  Terminal illnesses do not require euthanasia.  There are many hospice-type support services in Rochester for terminally ill people.  There are residential places of comfort and TLC, where people are encouraged to really live each day.  (What's a hospice? Start your search on the Internet.)    There are also services available for people who continue to stay in their own homes. For hospice services at home, check the yellow pages of the telephone directory.

Elder care:  A topic that is of critical importance in many families, elder care is available in all sorts of flavors, from drop-in centers to nursing homes.  A research starting point could be the Careguide (, which offers child and elder care listings in over 5,200 cities. (Also look at the Family Caregiver Alliance

Resource List for Life Stage Help

Pregnancy Help Rochester Pregnancy Help Outside Rochester Infanticide Euthanasia Elder Care Issues

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