Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Quite a Dilemma

Last week I had the foreign news going on TV in the background and a story came up about a little baby who was born with 6 fingers on each hand and 6 toes on each foot. It seems nobody had noticed for several moments until his parents, who had been giving him a good cuddle, looked down with a great shock. But he was gorgeous and the six fingers and toes were all straight and absolutely perfect. I saw a 6-fingered little girl in "The Guinness Book of World Records" but her 6th digits were bent and crooked. Not so with this little boy.

Now, of course, they are wondering if they ought to do anything or nothing at all. They are aware that as he grows, he may be teased by his peer group if they leave him with all 24 fingers and toes. On the other hand, as they are perfect, there is no medical reason to amputate any of them. I said, "I wouldn't touch them. I'd leave them just as they are and tell him he's special." But my son Logan said, "If it was me, I'd want you to cut them off. I wouldn't want them and when I got old enough, I'd be mad if you left them." So that makes the situation trickier. You're dealing with the future of somebody who is not yet old enough to make his own decisions.

But one of the doctors who was interviewed has been urging the parents to consider leaving them. "Think what an advantage a six-fingered pianist would have!" That swayed me again. If God and nature have given this boy a remarkable gift, who are we to tamper with it simply because of what people (including the boy himself, I suppose) might think? I can quite understand the mother, who actually said, "I just haven't got my head around it yet." I really felt for her and her husband, having that decision to make.

What would YOU do? Personally, I still think I might have left them, and Logan can count himself fortunate that he was born with just five digits on each hand and foot if that's his point of view.


  1. That is a huge decision and I am curious to see what my boys think about it. I think I would remove them. Although they look normal it may be harder to function with them than we think. Cutting, writing and other skills may be very challenging. And, although it is sort of shallow, there is the social aspect. No one wants their child to be teased. Although it seems that most kids are at one time or another in their lives...

    What a decision! I will pray that God would give them wisdom and peace.

    I'll let you know what the family consensus (sp?) is.

  2. I was thinking about the same thing when I heard the story too. I believe that I'd leave the fingers and toes alone. Perhaps if the child has two noses or three eyes, then I'd do something!!

  3. This seems to follow along the lines of your last post. God put those extra fingers and toes there for a reason!

    I feel as you do. If I can avoid putting my child through a traumatic experience like amputation, I would. Especially if it is medically unnecessary. But I understand how Logan feels, because being different in school is no fun. (Heh. Funny that it always ends up a school issue, isn't it?)

    When you are born with the difference, you learn to adjust. I adjusted to left handedness and asthma. I've known hearing-impaired individuals who do not consider themselves to be handicapped in any way. The question seems to be, do we do something medically unnecessary simply to bring a child through one period of their life that will be awkward anyway?

    Peace and Laughter,

  4. Oh, no question about it ... we would DEFINITELY leave things as God made them. Now, after writing this, I realize that we chose to have our son, Alec, operated on at 3 months old to repair his partial cleft lip. Whas it the right thing to do? After all, God made Alec just as much as God made that 6-fingered little boy. Well, I feel that repairing Alec's lip and nose helped him look and eat normal. To us, it was a defect that could help our son live normally. It was a functional/cosmetic repair. As Todd just pointed out, if the extra fingers and toes are functional, he sees no reason to remove them. If they were non-functional, then perhaps a different decision should be made. Gosh ... I'll pray for them. It sounds like they love their baby, which is good.

    Todd also said that the baby could someday be in a remake of "The Princess Bride", playing the 6-fingered man (Have you seen that movie?) Very funny, Todd!

    We are so glad that Logan got Chad's package. Chad was hoping Logan would like the car he chose for him.

    Have a terrific week!

  5. I mean they're perfect fingers? That is sooo cool. I'd probably have left them, too...

    My first thought was they're going to have to homeschool him. When it comes time to learn how to count to ten -- what do they use as an example?? Fingers and toes!!!!


  6. Being a female who was well endowed (extremely large breasted) and heavily freckled, I would have done anything to have gotten rid of both my problems.

    I now have embraced my freckles, but in the summer of 2005 I had a breast reduction and am now the happiest woman in the world.

    I was ogled by every man who walked the street, and trust me in the fact that I am not a pretty woman, so it was definitely not my eyes they were looking at.

    I now know that I had to wait to get the breast reduction, for after my second child I got even bigger. And so much so that I could not longer buy bras in 'ANY' store, anywhere. I had to go to a specialty store and was blessed to find a woman who knew her business.

    The first time I went to her, the first thing she said was, "Have you ever considered a breast reduction?" For I am a small framed woman and ideal weight, so my breasts were grossly out of proportion.

    So yes, I would take care of it as soon as possible so this child would not go the ridicule I did as a child. I cried many a day and night over what kids say. And that old adage that, "Sticks and stones may break my bones but words can never harm me." Is a load of crap. Words hurt...lots!