Is it just me or is the tone of this piece basically a “how-to” on how to test–and then “choose”–about the life of your baby with Downs Syndrome?
I remain shocked (and I hope to always be by pieces like this).
Brigitte objects: There are a few things in that article (beyond the obvious) that bug me a great deal. Talking about women who are “at risk” or “at high risk” of having a child with Down’s syndrome takes for granted that having a child born with the condition is an unmitigated bad thing. And it is not. True, having a Down’s syndrome child is different, and perhaps more challenging, than having a “normal” child (although I’ve met plenty of “normal” children who were very challenging and generally quite the handful). But it’s not a disaster. Also, parents are not “choosing to terminate a Down’s pregnancy”. They are “choosing” to terminate an unborn baby they believe has Down’s syndrome. (How come those articles don’t mention the false positives, huh?) I don’t care how much disdain you may have for the condition and for people who are born with it; but these are human beings just like you so don’t talk about them as though they were undesirable things.
And another thing. “National guidelines say that all women should be routinely offered screening for Down’s by the NHS. Screening is voluntary, and some women choose not to have it.” They’re trying to make the women who would prefer not to test every single aspect of their unborn babies appear to be the bizarre weirdos, and that really bothers me. There is nothing wrong with not taking every test authorities recommend. Life isn’t testable. It is, or it isn’t. And to repeat myself, testing for conditions that can only be “fixed” by killing the person carrying them is not medicine.by