Does New ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ Storyline Raise Questions About When A Baby’s Life Starts?

Grey’s Anatomy has always featured stories about cutting edge surgical procedures and season 11 is no different. Along with a plot about advanced technology helping amputees to walk again, Grey’s is addressing a relatively new field of surgery, fetal surgery. However, by introducing this storyline, is the show contradicting some of its past storylines about freedom of choice?

As shown on the medical drama, fetal surgeons are able to operate on babies still in their mother’s womb to resolve life threatening or debilitating medical conditions. Spina bifida, which is often a crippling condition, and brain tumors can be treated before babies are born, giving them a better chance at having a pain free normal life. As Newsweek reported, the storyline gives the underlying message that human lives are valued at all stages, including those of tiny humans struggling to survive through pregnancy.

However, Grey’s Anatomy has also had its share of pro-choice episodes in which women chose to have abortions. One of the most beloved former characters on the show, Dr. Cristina Yang, had an abortion during her tenure, but she was going to have another due to an ectopic pregnancy. However, her Fallopian tube burst, threatening her life and the baby couldn’t be saved. The abortion she had was a personal choice because she never wanted to have children. Not only did that episode address the right to choose what happens to her own body, but it also addressed the right for a woman to choose despite her husband’s wishes. Yang’s husband, Dr. Owen Hunt, wanted her to carry the child to term because he wanted a baby.

The outcome of baby Kepner/Avery is in question. [Image by ABC.com] The outcome of baby Kepner/Avery is in question.
[Image by ABC.com]
A continuing storyline could highlight the ability of fetal surgery to save a child and right-to-life issues as well. As fans of the show know, the baby of married doctors April Kepner and Jackson Avery, affectionately known as Japril, has just been diagnosed with a rare disorder, osteogenesis imprefecta or OI. This condition can cause a baby to have extremely fragile bones. There are up to eight types of the disease and the Kepner/Avery baby was diagnosed with the most severe type, type 2. As the International Business Times reported, there is only a slight chance the baby could survive childbirth, if it is born at all.

This plot could possibly lead to a debate about pro-life versus pro-choice because Kepner is a devout Christian and Avery is skeptical about God at best. How they handle the news will be interesting to see because the type of OI the baby has is fatal. Unfortunately, this is one case that fetal surgeons Dr. Nicole Herman and Dr. Arizona Robbins will not be able to resolve with surgery, unless the diagnosis was wrong. However, fans will have to wait and see the outcome, as the TV show is currently on hiatus. As the Inquistir reported, the show will start airing new episodes again on January 29.

Give us your opinion Grey’s fans; will the Japril baby bring up a right-to-life argument between the parents or will fetal surgery be able to save the day due to a misdiagnosis?

[Image via ABC.com]