Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: The Editor (05/27/10)
TITLE: The Life Revision Board
By Marlene Bonney
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Camden Dolittle, the appointed committee head, called the day’s assemblage to order, the large round mahogany table vibrating with each gavel-strike. There were thirty cases on the docket and he was impatient to proceed . . .
“Clarinda”, a 40-year-old single mother of two preschoolers, desperately wanted another child to complete the family unit. She had never been married, a crucial fact that was not admissible to this body. The six men and six women of equal mixed-race parts debated for an hour before reaching a decision:
“The jury finds in favor of the plaintiff,” Camden declared, sealing the decision with a single gavel-strike, “she is hereby granted funds to assist in the sperm-donor selection. We further order that she has access to personal background information of each donor-candidate from which to choose, including genetic profiling. Next case, please!”
“Phil”, a 95-year-old care-home resident, whose family had applied for aid, had multiple medical problems, including a recent leg amputation that rendered him helpless.
“Who in the world approved the last surgery?! He’s a long-term diabetic and his longevity prognosis is poor.”
“Yeah, what was the surgeon thinking—that he would send the guy into eternity, one piece at a time?” another quipped, this humorous thought producing a few nervous chuckles. . .
“Petition for further medical treatment denied. This patient is no longer any contribution to society. The state’s lethal injection program is recommended.”
The next request involved a young couple who was seeking the necessary approval to genetically alter their future embryos.
“It says here they are exercising their right to choose the eye and hair color, as well as the sex of each fetus. They further wish to apply for governmental assistance.” . . .
The panel labored the longest over this case settlement, Lena Fortress’s compelling argument against it chronicling her own personal experience through her daughter’s failure to produce the perfect blonde-haired, blue-eyed female through this new-age technique:
“She ended up with a boy who has white hair and one brown eye and one blue one . . .”
“We find in the client’s favor,” Camden announced, “the necessary success of this program being contingent on prospective candidates for further research.”
The committee adjourned for lunch while God’s tears flowed, “Why do my children insist on trying to edit my creations?! O, foolish generation--what devastating consequences will follow these decisions!”
“Okay, now, what’s on the afternoon docket?”
A gifted chemist and research scientist, “Amelia” was seeking governmental assistance for the controversial study of human cloning. Although it sounded far-fetched to some, others thought it a distinct future possibility. Advocates further pointed out that only cloning candidates without imperfections or genetic flaws would be accepted, creating a non-criminal, physically perfect society.
“This committee rules in favor of this venture. However, we urge extreme caution and the highest security measures taken so our technology is not stolen for evil intentions.”
By late afternoon, with two cases remaining, committee members were tiring. But Camden plowed ahead with self-mustered energy.
“Johnny”, a Christian advocate to the homeless, was protesting the practice of selective forced medical testing on them, arguing that this violated their constitutional rights and their premature deaths resulting from these medical procedures stopped just short of first-degree murder.
“We deem this pending lawsuit null and void. The ever-growing populations of these indigents must be controlled. They are of no other value to our society. Denied!”
The final case of the day involved a seven-month pregnant 14-year-old. Somehow she had fallen under the radar of the newly-conceived mandatory abortion law for teen pregnancies and her lawyer was demanding a huge monetary judgment to cover the cost of the baby’s birth and follow-up care . . .
“Ms. Mercy, we find that your charge is in contempt by breaking our abortion law and is thereby ineligible for governmental support. Further, it is ordered that her fetus be surgically removed and given to the research panel, the umbilical cord especially valuable.”
The thirteen people somberly exited the building for the day. Only one of them could see their blood-stained hands, questioning the moral and ethical gray lines that had once clearly been labeled as black or white now edited to suit the convenience of an increasingly conscienceless nation.
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