Dear Dr. Samadi,
I was watching your show, Sunday Housecall, on Fox News today. 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 decision but “life with microcephaly is a disaster.”
As a mother with two children who have microcephaly, I take issue with this. First, it is far from a disaster. Second, from what I can tell, you do not have microcephaly and from your comments, I am pretty sure you don’t have children with it.
Where then, do you get this opinion that life with microcephaly is a 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, Sir, 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 are happy.
You may think that their life is a ‘disaster’ but that is your perspective. My children certainly don’t feel this way and I am sure that people who actually have or live with microcephaly would agree. Their lives are certainly worth living and far from being a disaster.
Did you know, Dr. Samadi, that many children that have microcephaly are only mildly affected? Did you say that on the show today? Instead, you misled your listeners. You left them with the idea in their heads that having a child with microcephaly is awful. 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. It’s not easy when people call their lives a disaster, Dr. Samadi. Please, don’t be a part of this problem. You, as a medical professional, should know better.
A Loving Mom