Wednesday, 3 December 2008
Last week there was an excellent article in The Independent by Dominic Lawson provoked by a programme on BBC4 'Born with Down's' which revealed that there were more children born with Down's Syndrome last year than there were before widespread screening was introduced twenty years. Lawson has a daughter with Down's, called Domenica, who gives him immense joy. On the Today programme they were attributing the rise to the increased public acceptance of Down's. The headline of the article is 'Shame on the doctors prejudiced against Down Syndrome' (see the link), and he points out that there is still a presumption for termination in some parts of the medical profession not least on the spurious ground of cost to the NHS. When I heard the news item, it seemed to me one sign of resistance to the prevailing culture of eliminating any form of 'disability' from society, and as such immensely encouraging. If you've read my book, I quote from Angela Beise reflecting on the poverty of a world without compassion and the dangers of removing 'imperfections'. If it's true that we are welcoming those we used to hide away, that is very good news, in my book.