Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Law of Unintended Consequences

Prenatal Test Puts Down Syndrome in Hard Focus

...About 90 percent of pregnant women who are given a Down syndrome diagnosis have chosen to have an abortion.

Convinced that more couples would choose to continue their pregnancies if they better appreciated what it meant to raise a child with Down syndrome, a growing group of parents is seeking to insert their own positive perspectives into a decision often dominated by daunting medical statistics and doctors who feel obligated to describe the difficulties of life with a disabled child.

They are pressing obstetricians to send them couples who have been given a prenatal diagnosis and inviting prospective parents into their homes to meet their children. In Massachusetts, for example, volunteers in a “first call” network linking veteran parents to new ones are now offering support to couples deciding whether to continue a pregnancy.

The parent evangelists are driven by a deep-seated fear for their children’s well-being in a world where there are fewer people like them. But as prenatal tests become available for a range of other perceived genetic imperfections, they may also be heralding a broader cultural skirmish over where to draw the line between preventing disability and accepting human diversity.

It's surprising how cold hearted doctors are when it comes to stuff like this.


David Veksler said...

Choosing to have a child with severe mental and physical problems is a moral atrocity. There's no way to get around the fact that Down syndrome causes suffering in everyone involved, especially the child. The parents who support bringing more people burdened with this illness into the world only want to extend their and their children's suffering to everyone else. They should be named for what they are - evil.

Every child should be loved and valued - but a fetus is not a child until he or she is born - and what kind of perverted monster do you have to be to want children to suffer their entire life? Only the religious dogma behind the hypocritical "culture of life" is capable of sinking people to this level.

Alexa said...

Hmm, someone clearly didn't read the article . . .