Because most philosophies that frown on reproduction don't survive.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

One of the Lucky Ones

I can't recall where I ran into this last night, so I apologize if I'm failing to hat tip someone... This Telegraph story from the UK tells the story of Harrison Green, a two-year-old with Down's Syndrom who survived against the odds.

Britain's National Health System now provides screening for Down's Syndrom for free to all 'at risk' women, and many doctors put a great deal of pressure on women with prositive diagnoses to abort. 62% of Down's Syndrom cases in the UK are now diagnosed pre-natally, and 92% of those diagnosed abort. Thus, the UK has now reached the point where the majority of infants conceived with Down's Syndrom are aborted.

Lisa Green believes that if she'd been diagnosed earlier, the extreme pressure from her doctor might have landed her in the 92%. But Harrison wasn't diagnosed with Down's Syndrom until he was 35 weeks along. The doctor pressured her to abort anyway, but given that she'd already named him, and knew that he would be fully viable (he was estimated at 7lbs at 35 weeks) she refused.

"We don't know what we'd do without him - he's so adored," says Mrs Green. "The frightening thing is that, had we been told by the same doctor about the Down's syndrome earlier in the pregnancy, there is a chance we might have decided to abort. That decision would have been based on incomplete and biased information."

But by the time of diagnosis, the Greens already knew that their feelings about their son were unconditional. In the end, the couple decided to act on biased information of their own: love.


Anonymous said...

I have a friend who found out at 36 weeks that her 6th child probably had Downs Syndrome. Her doctor (at a Catholic hospital here) suggested that she might consider an abortion. She was horrified!
She had her baby several days later..she had all kinds of physical problems associated with the syndrome, but they can't imagine life without her...
(she found a new doctor too..).
I also have had two friends that were told after ultrasounds that their babies probably had Down's...neither one of them did. It seems to me that alot of these doctors just want to protect themselves from lawsuits...a sad world we're living in..

Elisabet said...

I am happy Harrison survived!
I am the mother of Ylva, 30 years old, who has Down`s syndrome. I am so happy I was not offered prenatal diagnosis at the time I did expect her. She is the author of the blog "Ylvas minnen".( Mainpart is in Swedish, but please, look at her pictures! She is an artist. She is also in every way adorable, very kind, and though of course she has her difficulties- why should one abort her kind?