Tuesday, June 12, 2007

A One Act Play

(scene: four characters walk onto stage: a young married couple, a tall, robust, white-bearded figure wearing a white robe, and a man in glasses and a lab coat. The bearded character walks to the center of the stage and stands upon a dais. The couple kneel before him.)

COUPLE: Dear God, please send us a child. We wish to have babies!
GOD: (makes no reply.)
COUPLE: God, we implore you, help us to conceive!
GOD: (remains silent. The woman's womb remains barren.)

(fade to black. The lighting changes, the couple gets up and walks to the man in the lab coat.)

COUPLE: Scientist, we have been praying for a year. Please help us to have a baby.
SCIENTIST: I have good news. By giving you fertility drugs, I can chemically increase certain hormones in your body. This will increase the probability of conception.
COUPLE: Thank you!
SCIENTIST: You're welcome. But you should know that there are risks, and this process could take some time. You will need to follow my instructions.
COUPLE: We are willing to follow your instructions.
SCIENTIST: Good, let us begin.
GOD: (stands mutely.)

(fade to black. When the lights come up, the woman is obviously pregnant.)

SCIENTIST: Congratulations. The fertility treatment has been successful. There are now six embryos in your uterus. We should extract some of these embryos to increase the chances that the others remain viable and grow to full-term, healthy babies.
COUPLE: NO! They are all gifts from God.
GOD: (raises eyebrows, but says nothing.)
SCIENTIST: The high-doses of chemicals that we administered to your body resulted in many ova being released into your uterus. It is not natural for a human being to gestate six fetuses.
COUPLE: It's life and God gives life and it's not up to us to decide to take it away.
GOD: (remains silent.)
SCIENTIST: There are many risks to you and your offspring if you elect to follow this course. I beg you to reconsider.
COUPLE: For us, there's no difference between a fetus that's undeveloped and a baby. These children are miracles.
GOD: (makes no comment.)
SCIENTIST: OK, well, here's what we need to do to insure your well-being and maximize the chances that your embryos survive.

(fade to black. When the lights come up again, six one-pound babies are being tended by teams of experts. They are surrounded by millions of dollars in equipment and the experts are striving to keep these premature babies alive.)

SCIENTIST: Alas, this is exactly what I feared! We will try our best to save them, but their chances are low, and if they survive, they are likely to have severe physical and mental handicaps.
COUPLE: God has answered our prayers.
GOD: (still silent.)

(curtain falls)

The End

6 comments:

GeistX said...

Good play. Very apt.

Knight of Nothing said...

Thanks man. The irrationality of "religious" people on fertility treatments is astonishing and maddening.

Patricia said...

For centuries religion has been twisted to meet needs/immediate beliefs and, uh, questionable actions.
Amen, Brother.

J G-W said...

Interesting, provocative play... I like the idea of God as both silent and present here. It leaves one wondering, If God were to speak here, what would he say?

Knight of Nothing said...

Thanks John! I put God in the play to underline my basic point: I don't think we have any idea what God might say to this couple in this situation, and that we as people need to find our own wisdom to cope with this dilemma. I wanted to show in this little drama that science has no inherent disdain for God, but is working on a human level.

Half of those babies are now dead. Is it really God's will that we as a people should expend so many resources on a couple who ignores the advice of physicians who helped them through chemical means achieve a pregnancy?

Vida said...

You write very well.