A Wrongful birth

*Disclaimer: Before you read this post, please note that I am not debating abortion and whether or not that is right or wrong. I am discussing the article published in a newspaper which is in regards to children who have disabilities. I don't wish to debate termination of foetus' who have a diagnosed disability, and this blog post will not reflect my thoughts on that subject in any way.

On the front page of one of our major newspapers was THIS ARTICLE. Go on. Have a read.
Somewhere in amongst the comments, they have published mine.

Basically the article is about two seperate families who have children with Down Syndrome. They have decided to sue their doctors for failing to tell them that they were carrying children with T21. They would have like the opportunity to terminate. Both families would have terminated.
They believe that the birth of their children was 'wrongful' and they are therefore suing for various reasons, one of which is 'psychiatric injury'.

Now.
As I have written in my disclaimer at the top. I am not here to debate the termination of a foetus who has been diagnosed via CVS or amniocentrisis.
I am going to share my thoughts, however, on the fact that these parents are saying that their child's life is something that they wish they didn't have.
I find it incredibly patronising that one of the families has commented "Don't get us wrong, we love our daughter. She's part of our family. We treat her like gold".
Uh huh. Yeah.
Well good for you.
Let's hope she doesn't watch the news or read the papers then shall we?

Most people would agree, that there are always risks with any pregnancy. There are a wide range of testing options and the information in regards to these are readily available. Pleading ignorance is probably not going to work unless you are illiterate and haven't sought any medical assistance, or if you have lived in a bubble your whole life.
Down Syndrome, like many other syndromes (such as WHS) are not readily picked up via a routine ultrasound. The only definite way to diagnose something that has a chromosomal origin is via a CVS or amnio because these are tests that give the baby's full chromosome arrangement. Unless you are carrying twins. Then the test isn't accurate at all.

My biggest issue is that for many parents who have children with a disability, it is the notion that our kids are worthless and using that awful word 'wrongful', is just a kick in the guts.
Children with disabilities are people. They have feelings. They understand.
Yes, there are more challenges. Sometimes, it feels like the weeks are just filled with nothing but battles.
BUT.
How can anyone possibly say that they would have definitely terminated their child. Especially now that they are a living breathing human being.
Have these parents not bonded with their children AT ALL?
Personally, I think these parents need some serious counselling.

While we are on the subject of idjits in the media (sometimes I wonder why I even pay attention to the media), there was some comments made on a morning program a week and a half ago about children with disabilities and how they shouldn't be allowed in mainstream school. This apparent 'social commentator' made kids with disabilities sound like animals who should be locked up...she felt they were on a par with boys who apparently are all 'retards'.
WHAT THE FUCK?
There has been a Facebook campaign which has finally reached the newspapers, so now this woman has attempted to apologise by saying she once had a Down Syndrome boy work for her...so apparently she knows all about disability.
Er....lady...oh-great-understander...PEOPLE FIRST.

Sigh.

I feel like I am in a battle zone at the moment. What is it about disability that makes people think they are owed something? Why do people continue to disrespect people with disabilities?

Comments

  1. I haven't read the full article - I knew it would piss me off too much.

    When are people going to realise that you can't control everything in life??? Bad things happen - and sometimes (most times) it isn't anyones fault. My girls have perfectly "normal" chromosomes, yet Ashlea's disabilities would probably be classed as more severe than their children's, and not once do I think her survival was 'wrongful'.

    Its almost as bad as the people who sued their fertility specialist because they ended up with - OMG - a healthy set of twins.

    Eejits indeed.

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  2. Well said Anna. I read the article and I also watched that horrid woman talk about kids with 'special needs'. Two cases where people with disabilities are basically being labeled and named as not having the same worth and rights as anyone else. GRRRRRRR.
    Personally in regards to Ms McSween, I don't think anyone should call for an apology. As if she is sorry or even understands. Her comments about her employee with down syndrome just confirm this. I just wish programs would stop paying her for her revolting opinion. I'm feeling mad too at the moment.

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  3. Agree Anna. That article is beyond belief, I can't imagine calling any childs life wrongful. I can't imagine any parent saying they would prefer that their child wasn't here (if given the opportunity) to get money.

    As for Pru, her comment that she knows it's 'important to integrate people with disabilities in a controlled environment' is mind bogling. I'd like to see these shows do more awareness segments on disabilities and schooling. They need to get rid of people who make such uneducated and antiquated opinions from the airwaves.

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  4. This makes my blood boil too! I would have given anything for my baby to be born alive! I would have taken/accepted/loved/been grateful for her in any way she came to me, if only her heart was beating!

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  5. They have the right to their own thoughts and feelings the same way you do.

    I don't think you read the article properly - if you had you would have seen that they had had previous testing which pointed strongly to DS & that the second round of testing was performed inadequately. WHAT THE HELL IS IT TO YOU that they didn't want a disabled child?? You have and love your child with SN, as do I. But it's still none of my business what they do with THEIR BODY, THEIR FETUS, and THEIR LIFE.

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  6. Well 'Anonymous' they made it EVERYONE's business when they put their story on the front page of the Herald Sun.

    I appreciate you disagree with me, but I will not enter into a debate with someone who refuses to identify themself. I have made that pretty clear in previous posts.

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