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Imagine carrying a baby to term.  You’ve waited nine long months for this moment.  You’ve planned for her arrival, you’ve had the baby shower, and you’ve gone to all your prenatal appointments. All along you are told that you are progressing normally and your baby is healthy.Your delivery day comes and, at delivery, your doctor tells you your baby has a devastating abnormality.  A cardiac defect or a severe structural abnormality or chromosomal abnormality… something that was likely already detected early in your pregnancy.

You then discover that your doctor, acting under a state law, withheld this information from you… for fear you would seek an abortion.  

As physicians, when we enter our profession, we take an oath. Part of that oath is a promise to do no harm to our patients, to never lie or withhold information. We are not Gods and should not try to emulate them.

Which leads me to wonder why politicians think they are.

The idea that anyone could intentionally create such a law allowing physicians to ‘play god’ with another’s life … without being held accountable… simply for ‘religious’ reasons is anathema to me, and I hope, to you as well.

 But, as Dr. Megan Evans notes in her column for RH Reality Check:

Unfortunately, the Arizona legislation is working to make this nightmare a reality. On Tuesday, the Senate passed a bill that would prohibit any medical malpractice lawsuits against physicians who chose to withhold valuable information regarding their patient’s pregnancy that could lead her and her family to seek termination. Much to my chagrin, this type of legislation is already law in Minnesota, Missouri, North Carolina, Utah, Idaho, Pennsylvania, North Dakota, South Dakota, and is being discussed in Kansas.

Please! I urge you to read the entire article at the link, and I hope you are as horrified and ashamed as I am that this sort of abuse is being sanctioned under law. This needs to stop!

 

 

 

Meet Elena Griffing. She is eighty-five  years old, has worked at the Alta Bates Medical Center in Berkeley for the past sixty-five years.

And in all those years she’s missed only one day.

Doctors and nurses alike are in awe of this woman.

More at: SFGate

 

Margaret K. McElderry was a celebrated children’s book editor. At Simon & Schuster, her imprint, Margaret McElderry Books, was the first juvenile imprint to be named after an editor. She stayed with the imprint into her 90s serving as editor-at-large.

Margaret’s “first job in books” was in the New York Public Library’s children’s department. Her first job in publishing was at Atheneum Books. In 1952, she became the first editor whose books won both the Newbery (for writing) and Caldecott (for illustration) in the same year.

She was, as many of her authors would tell you, a dream editor. Intuitive, supportive, patient, but tough when necessary.

As an employer, she was challenging. Margaret was a perfectionist who did not believe in the achievement of perfection, but she did expect the very best of everyone with whom she worked. She inspired them to reach out and “do even better the next time”.

Margaret was fascinated with people. Those searching eyes of her would fix on you, making you feel as if she was looking inside your soul, and she would very unabashedly interrogate you until she was satisfied that she’d learned of you what she would or wanted. She was equally fascinating and entertaining.

People throughout publishing and all round the world  loved and respected her… even those who found her at times a singularly demanding employer.

Margaret McElderry passed away in February, 2011 at the age of 98. She will be missed.

As you may be aware by now, author Diana Wynne Jones passed away this last week. I won’t post her bibliography  here; you can read it for yourself. Diana was a remarkable, fascinating woman and an amazingly prolific author who could spin a story out of a gossamer thread of a memory or an idea at seemingly, the drop of a hat. She will be sorely missed, though her works will carry on (I hope) to delight and challenge many generations of young fans yet to come.

What follows is a reposting, in it’s entirety, of a remembrance of Diana, written by author Emma Bull and posted at TOR.COM. It explains, I think, in words that fail me just now, why we so loved and admired her.


Remembering Diana Wynne Jones

by Emma Bull

Three days ago I woke up thinking, “I wonder how Diana Wynne Jones is doing? I should crochet her a shawl.” What shape, I thought, and what color? It should be vivid and striking; otherwise it had no hope of living up to the woman it was meant to wrap around.

Then I thought, “Man, I hope this doesn’t mean I’ve picked up some bad news out of the ether and she’s not faring well.”

So much for that hope.

I remember Diana Wynne Jones as standing somewhere around six foot one. But that suggests she was a towering presence in person as well as in young adult literature. No, she was just one of those people who seemed to make the space around her expand and crackle with energy.

She made you aware of things. I can’t see the enormous June strawberries in a U.S. supermarket without remembering how awestruck she was by them, and how it led her to an analysis of the difference between British and American  produce aisles.

She told stories the way some people eat ice cream: eagerly, with delight and no self-consciousness. She told them about her family in a way that made them familiar characters in my imaginary world, and she talked about her characters as if they were family.

Some of her best stories were about the unexpected intersections of her life and her work. She was diagnosed with a severe dairy allergy, and out of her longing for all things milk, invented the butter pies in A Tale of Time City. She wrote a scene in The Homeward Bounders in which a character is hit in the head with a cricket bat, and not a month later, her son was hit in the head with a cricket bat. She felt responsible, rather.

She was passionate about what children want and deserve from their literature. Adults would approach her at signings, wanting to know why she wrote such difficult books. In one case, when a woman protested, the woman’s young son spoke up and assured Diana, “Don’t worry. I understood it.” She believed in the flexiblility of her readers’ minds, their willingness to puzzle things out, and to wait for clues to anything they couldn’t yet puzzle. She gave her readers books like Fire and Hemlock, Time of the Ghost,Archer’s Goon, Black Maria, and Dogsbody, and knew they’d chase the themes and meanings and resonances until they caught them.

And cried, and laughed—because in a Diana Wynne Jones story, there’s always some of each. In books like Witch Week and The Ogre Downstairs, she balanced hilarious mixups and secrets with very real threats, consequences, and life-changing discoveries. Wilkins’ Tooth, with its, er, “colorful language,” is hilarious; but it’s also got danger, nobility, and wisdom woven into its seemingly-light fabric.

The drawback of associating with Diana Wynne Jones is that she seemed to carry her story-generating equipment with her, hidden somewhere on her person. If you spent any time at all with her, you had Adventures, of the sort that made you wonder if you would appear someday, in disguise, in a book full of absurd and powerful people and events.

She visited us once when we lived in Minneapolis. Several of us sat comfortably in the living room of our elderly two-story house while another friend from out of town went upstairs to take a bath.

Suddenly, just in front and to the left of the arm of Diana’s chair, a drop of water fell from the ceiling. Then two more. Before we could quite believe it, the ceiling was running like a faucet, and the paper that covered it was sagging like a structurally unsound water balloon above Diana’s head. We all launched ourselves up the stairs shrieking, “TURN OFF THE WATER!” to which our bathing guest shrieked back, “IT’S OFF!”

In a Diana Wynne Jones book, of course, the first floor would have filled up with unstoppable water from who-knew-where. We were spared that. But when we finally fixed the leak (well after the departure of all our company), repaired the holes in the ceiling, and repainted it all, we sent before, during, and after photos to Diana to prove it was safe to sit in our living room again. At least, until the next Adventure…

Now she’s gone. After some consideration, I realize no shawl would have been magnificent enough. But I would have been happy to try.


Emma Bull is the author of War for the Oaks, Territory, and several other fantasy and science fiction novels. She lives in southern Arizona.

 

The Outer Alliance is a group of SF/F writers who have come together as allies for the advocacy of LGBT issues in literature. Made up of individuals of all walks of life, our goal is to educate, support, and celebrate LGBT contributions in the science-fiction and fantasy genres.

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