Friday, October 07, 2011

Choosing life or death

A recently published study of the parents of Down's syndrome children revealed that:

* 99 per cent said they loved their Down's syndrome son or daughter

* 97 per cent said they were proud of their Down's child

* 79 per cent felt their outlook on life was more positive because of him or her

* 95 per cent felt their other children had a good relationship with him or her

* 84 per cent felt their other children were more caring and sensitive to others because of him or her

* Five per cent were embarrassed by their Down's child and four per cent regretted having a child with Down's.

One parent said: "I've learned the good lessons of patience and that its rewards are a smile - and that is always enough." Another said: "Our son is the greatest joy and motivation of our lives." Said a third: "What at first appears to be the worst possible thing that could be happening can turn into the best possible thing."

Of brothers and sisters (12 years old or older) of Down's syndrome children, 96 per cent said they liked their Down's sibling; 94 per cent said they were proud of him or her; and 88 per cent said they were a better person because of him or her.

But now note the following facts:

More than 90 per cent of unborn babies with Down's syndrome are aborted. To put it another way, three babies are aborted every day in England and Wales because of Down's syndrome. Tests now being perfected which will enable Down's to be identified in the early weeks of pregnancy simply by examining a blood sample from the mother are expected to increase the number of abortions of Down's babies still further.

There were 2,044 responses in the survey mentioned above. The study's authors, Dr Brian Skotko of the Children's Hospital in Boston, USA, and colleagues, concluded that the parents' decision to abort the Down's syndrome baby or to continue with the pregnancy can depend on the information provided by their health care providers. And mothers reported that the information they received was oftentimes inaccurate, inadequate, and in the worst cases, offensive.

Will somebody please take some notice?