Welcome to Illinois

“Everybody’s got a bit of disability”

Posted in Attitudes to disability, Ethics by Matt at WelcometoIllinois on March 12, 2009

I was completely wound up by the title of this post by Patricia Bauer (“Eliminating Down syndrome population: A good thing?”) and some of the apparently patronizing comments made by bioethicist Art Caplan of the University of Pennsylvania: “Down syndrome children are normally pretty happy, loving, caring” … “they are great to have in the family”.

But then I watched the video and realised that the written word fails to convey what he was trying to say. Actually he has some interesting comments and the main theme is something I absolutely agree with: “I think what we’re going to have to insist upon is good counseling” … “what I’m worried about is that we don’t mandate counseling to go with testing, just to give the full picture.”

“There’s a lot of different humans out there… I think it’s important to keep in perspective, everybody’s got a bit of disability. It’s important to keep in perspective still that people have the right to choose to do what they want to do as parents, but I’m going to come back and say it’s counseling and giving people the full picture that’s key to getting this testing done in an ethical manner.”

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