A professor in a world-acclaimed medical school once posed this medical situation—and ethical problem—to his students: “Here’s the family history: The father has syphilis. The mother has TB. They already have had four children. The first is blind. The second had died. The third is deaf. The fourth has TB. Now the mother is pregnant again, The parents come to you for advice. They are willing to have an abortion, if you decide they should. What do you say?”
The students gave various individual opinions, and then the professor asked them to break into small groups for “consultation.” All of the groups came back to report that they would recommend abortion.
“Congratulations,” the professor said, “You just took the life of Beethoven!”
(Source: Ann Landers column)