This story was above the fold in the National Post this morning:
The Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada will recommend next month that all expectant mothers undergo screening for fetal abnormalities such as Down’s syndrome — not just those over the age of 35, as is the practice.
The recommendation, to be released in the society’s journal on Feb. 1, echoes a bulletin issued by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists this month and comes on the heels of a study that suggests amniocentesis –an invasive procedure done during pregnancy to screen for Down’s syndrome and other congenital defects — carries less risk of miscarriage than was previously believed.
But while these pronouncements may provide guidance for expectant parents and some degree of comfort for women facing such tests, they could also present ethical concerns about where the information provided by these procedures will lead.
Dr. Andre Lalonde, a clinical professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Ottawa and the executive vice president of the SOGC, said the society decided to issue the recommendation so that a greater number of women would have the option to terminate their pregnancies should fetal abnormalities be detected.
“Yes, it’s going to lead to more termination, but it’s going to be fair to these women who are 24 who say, ‘How come I have to raise an infant with Down’s syndrome, whereas my cousin who was 35 didn’t have to?’ ” Dr. Lalonde said. “We have to be fair to give women a choice.”
Sounds like a clear case of Compassion Deficit Syndrome.
Instead of seeing children with Down syndrome as beautiful little people
with almond-shaped eyes and winning smiles, [people with CDS] see “things” who “suffer from mental retardation” and are “deformed.” Instead of seeing children, they see “choices”; instead of recognizing the humanity of people with disabilities, they tend to see them as “burdens” to be thrown off at all costs.
… [An] almost universal feature of those afflicted with CDS is that they
see themselves as compassionate, sensible and practical in their approach to
unborn babies with disabilities. They speak of their “concern” for the child
and parents, should the child be born “disabled.” They speak of “options”
and may say, “We only want what is best for you and your baby.” They see
themselves as compassionate when they are glad that new methods of detecting
“deformities” in utero are found–not so that they can cure the baby–but
for the single purpose of giving mothers the “choice” of getting a “safe”