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To the Fox News Host Who Called My Children’s Disorder a 'Lifetime Disaster'

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Dear Dr. Samadi,

I was watching your show, Sunday Housecall, on Fox News recently. The subject turned to the Zika virus. As you discussed the virus and how it can affect unborn children, you said that deciding what to do (with the pregnancy) is a “family discussion” and that microcephaly is a “lifetime disaster.” [Editor’s note: According to the World Health Organization, “Health authorities are currently investigating a potential link between Zika virus in pregnant women and microcephaly in their babies.]

As a mother with two children who have microcephaly, I take issue with this.

Where do you get this opinion that microcephaly is a “lifetime disaster”? And what is a “disaster,” anyway? Do people with microcephaly have a disastrous life because they are disabled? I am pretty sure that’s not what you meant. If you said it because you are a doctor, then you should know better. Your words carry weight, and certainly, as a medical doctor on television, you should choose your words carefully. Many people are listening and trusting you. It may be your opinion that life with microcephaly is a disaster, but is it a fact? If not, then you shouldn’t be misleading people in such a terrible way.

Let me tell you about my two children with microcephaly. They are wonderful young adults. They were born with an extremely rare genetic condition, and as a result, have microcephaly. What I would like you (and the world) to know is that their lives are far from a disaster. I stress this highly when I say this, sir: my children experience happiness.

You may think that microcephaly is a “lifetime disaster,” but that is your perspective. I don’t believe people who actually have or live with microcephaly would agree. Their lives are certainly worth living and far from being a disaster.

Dr. Samadi, I believe you misled your listeners. You might have left them with the idea in their heads that having a child with microcephaly is awful. I believe it would have been quite respectable to say that there are varying degrees of microcephaly, and if someone is concerned, they should speak with their private doctor.

As the mother of two children with disabilities, I always try to dispel the notion that my children’s lives are worth less than people without disabilities. Please don’t be a part of this problem, Dr. Samadi. You, as a medical professional, should know better.

Thank you,

A Loving Mom

Follow this journey on The Heartful Mom.

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Lead photo source: “Sunday Housecall” video screengrab

Originally published: February 9, 2016
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