Wednesday, May 9, 2007

The "Search and Destroy" Mission of 21st Century Medicine

Several years ago, my ob/gyn told me that 90% of all babies with Down syndrome are aborted. Evidently the media didn't get the memo, as it's been just in the past few months that they've taken this statistic and run with it.

It's hard for me to write about this. My dsds14 is a such a great guy; he was wanted long before we learned he had Ds, and every bit as much wanted once we got the news. When I read articles like this, I understand why parents have a hard time getting others to see what they see in their children with Down syndrome. I'm not sure you can understand it if you haven't lived it.

The only thing I am sure of is that God doesn't make mistakes, and if someone chooses to terminate a pregnancy based on test results that show the presence of Down syndrome, they are saying God made a mistake.

By the way, calling this new effort to identify Down syndrome a "search and destroy mission" was not my idea, but George Will's. He has an adult son with Down syndrome, so he has a right to call this effort what it really is. People who don't believe that those with Down syndrome can have a "good life" should read this. Many so-called "normal" people don't have the kind of fulfilling life this man had.

1 comment:

melissamarkham said...

Barbara,

I don't believe that God makes mistakes, but there is also some thought that there is sin and bad in the world that is not God's doing, so for Devil's Advocate sake, isn't it possible that birth defects and things like Down Syndrome are due to what we have brought into this world, not what God gave us?

I don't know your son. I do have a nephew with Down Syndrome. He was very involved as a child and when he was 6 years old, his parents could no longer cope with his needs. They were both of limited resources and ability themselves. So they made what was the best decision for them and for Matthew. They gave him up for adoption. The family still keeps touch with Matthew who is now 22. He can do some things and is a joy to his adopted family.

If Matthew was born with Down Syndrome as part of God's will, and not as a result to man's fallacies, then here are things I believe he was sent here to do. My husband and I met because of Matthew. I was working with Matthew through an early intervention program and I met his uncle, my husband during that time. And he is now a joy to the family he lives with and gave his birth parents a greater appreciation for the other two children they have. One who has mild autism and hypothyroidism that was diagnoses days after birth.

There are people out there who want to adopt special needs children, some out of the extra money they can get out of the system, some out of love.

After 6 years in early intervention, I worked with several children with Down Syndrome. In fact, DS and Autism were two types of disabilities that I specialized in. There are varying levels of involvement with both of these disorders. Not every parent is capable of dealing with the rigors of what these special children require.

I guess the point of my rambling is that we should always be careful about making judgements about anyone else. That is a matter best left to God.