Sunday, 7 December 2008

Down Syndrome Screening

Stories like this one make me really angry: http://www.smh.com.au/news/national/test-all-for-down-urge-doctors/2008/12/06/1228257383143.html

I reckon the idea that babies with down syndrome are better off being terminated before birth is based on the following assumptions:

1. It's up to the parents to decide if a baby gets to be born (the rights of the baby don't seem to come into it); and
2. A person with down syndrome would be better off never having been born.

I sometimes wonder if people who advocate the termination of downs babies have ever met someone with the syndrome. Yes, it's a disability and it brings many challenges to both the person affected and their family, but it's not the end of the world! I've met plenty of people with down syndrome and on the whole they're no different to others in their enjoyment and experience of life.

It is a tragedy for someone to be conceived with downs syndrome - but terminating a pregnancy because of the condition is merely creating one tragedy in the hope of avoiding another.

3 comments:

Mary said...

I wonder two things:

a) If the people who are for screening have anyone close in their lives who is disabled

b) If they've asked anyone who has downs what they think about it.

Mary said...

Also, I saw this great piece of art (? may have been an ad) with a girl about my age sitting on a chair and she was all decked out to look super tough with dark colours and spiky hair etc. And the slogan was:

'Don't Dis My Ability'

And then you noticed she didn't actually have legs. I really liked it because it showed such attitude and also gave a better way to look at 'disabilities' and made it a positive thing instead just by saying 'ability' which is just as true.

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