Seems many have forgotten uglier periods of history, such as the California Eugenics Project. Many Downs children, depending on the level of delay, are capable of contributing to family life, developing talents, and working some level job.
They won’t grow up to be engineers or physicians, but so what? How about those with more severe handicaps, such as autism on a higher end of the spectrum?
Should such individuals be sacrificed on the altar of “choice”, too? How about individuals with problems newer than Downs Syndrome, like microcephaly from zika?
Where does “choice” end? And why are handicapped individuals regarded as fungible?
Looks as if there is an attempt at development of such testing. Autism may be a bit more difficult as symptoms may vary from person to person.
It would be valuable if, as suggested by the article, results were used to prepare and look for some resources ahead of time—whether Downs Syndrome Support, from such resources as this amazing lady and her groups’ retreats for families with disabilities
or extra attempts at socialization, for autistic children. Sadly, as in Iceland, where a majority of Downs children are aborted, I suspect most of the time that’s not the idea behind such testing.
Having worked in mental health facilities with folks with Down Syndrome from toddler age to senior citizens and others with other forms of retardation, mild to severe, many coupled with massive physical deformity from birth; I have been left with some very conflicting emotions and thinking on the topic.
Having myself been born with crippled feet that my doctor recognized at birth it becomes equally emotionally conflicting.
I must admit I have thought, “better off dead” not a few times, especially after interacting with those parents that were still around and still in contact with their children and seeing how gut wrenching each visit was for them.
I think I would not choose to end the life of a child of mine, in the womb, even if I knew what sort of diminished life they were destined to have, I think I would choose life, but I am not certain, especially knowing how terrible at times my life has been with my disability? There has not been a day in my life going back as far as I can remember that I haven’t been in severe pain. There hasn’t been a day in my life when I haven’t been sidelined from some “normal” activity because of my disability.
Then I think about all the wonderful and good things that were a part of my life despite the pain, despite being on the sideline.
“I must admit I have thought “better off dead” not a few times”…
Me too as someone stuck with intermittently very painful migraines and, more recently, osteoarthritis. Would have had some expensive legal problems had I gone to work last night as the pain relief would have marked me an impaired driver.
However, the increase of prenatal genetics testing and idea of the handicapped being “choices” to be eliminated before they’ve had a chance at life and seeing what they CAN do I find disturbing.
The post right before yours show that they’re working on it.
And I saw Six’s post as a what-if to show where Iceland’s practices can lead. (Edit: I see subsequently that my take was not his intent though.)
You know… there are people already who elect abortion if the baby is the wrong sex. (Mostly aborting females. Yay feminism!) If the search for a gay gene were successful, do you doubt such an indicator would not be used in abortion decisions?
I doubt whether there will ever be discovered a “gay” or autism genetic marker because these conditions exist on a spectrum…it is not a binary issue like Down Syndrome, i.e., you either have it or you don’t.
No one is 100% gay or autistic, there is wide variability in the behaviors demonstrated.
Will they be able to assess for biological “risk” factors, perhaps. There are other more obvious epidemiological factors associated with autistic spectrum, such as family history. For example, if the father has ASD, there is a far increased chance for the child to have the disorder.
People choose to have abortions for a multitude of reasons, they always have. Some may be forgivable, some not, depending on your point of view.
I agree. But I have seen the other equally disturbing side, seeing what many could NOT do and would NEVER do. That is where my conflicted emotions and thinking came from. When there is existence, but no “life” and no chance ever at “life” would it not be kinder to not prolong that existence?
We put down our pets or work animals when they reach a point when they have no more “life” and we consider that a kindness?
Why do we treat our animals with greater kindness than our people?
There is also, which I had not mentioned earlier, my religious upbringing and my current beliefs and faiths in God and doubts, that all lead to even greater conflicted thinking.
In spite of the prevalence and encouraging of this test on all pregnant women, it is strictly a screening that may indicate a “need” for more, some of it, invasive testing. Yikes!
Some pregnant women have elevated levels of HCG (evaluated in more recent versions of the test) because they are pregnant with more than one. Babies who actually have a neural tube defect, such as spina bifida, or chromosomal defect like Downs, are in the minority of births.
It’s rather creepy the amount of encouragement that is going into testing for problems that only affect a small percentage of the population. And elimination of any group, no matter how small a percentage of the population, should be setting off bells and whistles.
From anti death penalty to abortion rights, sometimes I wonder if I’m wrong. I remember reading of a Texas woman who, I believe successfully sued stating she wasn’t given full information to make an informed decision regarding pregnancy.
The problem wasn’t Downs Syndrome, but the woman’s contracting rubella during pregnancy. Rubella testing became part of MMR around 1971. The baby, a girl, was born in 1969.
This woman must be able to provide while alive and post mortem for an adult daughter who is totally helpless. She wasn’t given information about the full effects of rubella on an unborn, where, at that time, she might have been able to choose a medical abortion, so, IMO, her grounds for suing her obstetrician were correct.
As someone who leans towards life, from the womb to the tomb, I also feel zero tolerance = zero brainpower. There have always been and should be room for exceptions.