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  1. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by essence_of_soy View Post
    it is not uncommon to see elderly parents still struggling to look after 50 - something children.
    This is the part that would give me pause. I wouldn't have issues with raising a kid with Down's based on my experiences working with them. But I'm not going to live forever so deciding not to abort would mean I was making a deliberate decision to bring a child into the world who would need someone to be responsible for him/her after I was dead.
    "Cupcakes are bullshit. And everyone knows it. A cupcake is just a muffin with clown puke topping." -Charlie Brooker

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    I'm not a doctor, but I would think that the tests of a fetus with a severe case of down syndrome would be easier to detect than one with a milder form. If this child is more severely affected (which seems to be the case), perhaps the jury found that the doctors didn't detect the obvious because of their mistakes--meaning they're negligent.

    And I will not judge these parents. People don't give birth simply for the sake of creating life. No one is looking to have children who will forever need care and be dependent on them.

  3. #43

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    An article with more details explains that the woman had two ultrasounds at the health system (the same one where the CVS was done) in the weeks following the CVS; both ultrasounds showed possible Down Syndrome characteristics, but she was reassured each time that she didn't need further testing and that her baby would not have Downs.

    I think that I'd have been pretty upset, too if it really happened this way.

  4. #44
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    There is a huge difference in my book between loving a disabled child with all of your heart and "signing up" for one. I can understand where the parents are coming from, and I can't judge them.

    Even when you have healthy children, it's no guarantee. Both Sweets' grandmother and my grandmother are taking care of severely ill adult children who had serious mental and/or physical breakdowns as adults -- one in her 20s/30s and one in her 40s/50s. Sweets' grandmother is 89 and still a full-time caretaker.... It's just the luck of the draw sometimes.

  5. #45

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    Quote Originally Posted by MacMadame View Post
    This is the part that would give me pause. I wouldn't have issues with raising a kid with Down's based on my experiences working with them. But I'm not going to live forever so deciding not to abort would mean I was making a deliberate decision to bring a child into the world who would need someone to be responsible for him/her after I was dead.
    That would be a major concern for me too. It's not just after I'm dead but after I lose the physical and mental ability to do it. Not many senior citizens have the physical and mental ability to care for an adult special needs child. A few years ago, there was a case of a couple who wanted to give their severely retarded and physically impaired daughter a procedure to not make her grow any bigger because of the physical difficulty of caring for a full-height adult. Don't remember how that turned out.

    The child in this current case has siblings who hopefully will be willing and able to take care of their sister after their parents can no longer do it.

  6. #46

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    Quote Originally Posted by essence_of_soy View Post
    I am not suggesting what either party should do here, but raising children with disabilities is a stressful, demanding, full time job, and in Australia especially, it is not uncommon to see elderly parents still struggling to look after 50 - something children.
    Actually, from my experience, this is not true. My mother works for the office of the public advocate, and the majority of Down's adults (actually, for my mum's cases, all), the adults live in group housing with mild to moderate supervision depending on their needs. Most Down's adults require support with finances, but all of my mum's cases and many, many others I know or know of, have employment of some kind and have a high degree of independence. None that I know of live at home.

    This is not true of all, and of course children with special needs require specialised services, but many can grow to be self sufficient and live outside of their parents' home. Being a parent is a stressful, demanding, full time job, regardless of whether the child is special needs or not. I know of several Down's adults who earn money gardening at local government schools. One works at a state library. I know several NGOs who find positions for adults with special needs, so they can be independent. One local MP has a Down's man working in her office. It's not done as charity, either, they can do they job required. My mother is blind and has a full time job, people still say "wow" when they hear that. My sister is blind, and she works too, and is married with three kids. That gets an extra "wow" - I've never really got it. Having a special need, regardless of its nature, does not equal helpless, and it doesn't equal dependent. The kids I work with are *kids* and still the people who need the most work are the adults, because even them, as parents, think that their child needs more looking after than they really do. Independence can be taught, but you have to teach it, the same as with non-special needs kids. The teachers who first taught my sister thought she should learn a skill like basket weaving - I kid you not. They didn't see her ever being able to be at a mainstream school, but in fourth grade, my mum fought hard for it. She plays the piano, flute and cello, and sings. She's independently earning and, along with her husband, provides for her family, and doesn't take the disability allowance the government offer her.

    The biggest problem in Australia (and I would say it's world wide) is that people automatically equate having a special need with not being able to be independent, whereas many of those with special needs can actually have a higher degree of independence than most people think.
    Last edited by Angelskates; 03-10-2012 at 07:21 AM.

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    Where's the mitigation? Why didn't they give the baby up for adoption?

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    Quote Originally Posted by agalisgv View Post
    I do think there's a larger issue with society's aversion to people with disabilities, and trying to weed them out at the fetal level. And while I have no idea how this may or may not apply to the couple in question, there is a growing sense of wanting one's children to be born without defect, and feeling entitled to compensation if one doesn't get what one wants. Life isn't ordering a Happy Meal at McDonald's, though.
    Oh, for sure.

    But I think this case comes down to the fine print of the agreement. If a couple would have aborted a child based on the results of test, and test was faulty, then perhaps they have a case.

    Quote Originally Posted by manhn
    Where's the mitigation? Why didn't they give the baby up for adoption?
    Perhaps giving the child up is an option that will weigh into the legal proceedings.

    But I doubt that babies with Downs are high are any potential adoptive
    parents lists.

    Quote Originally Posted by Angelstates
    This is not true of all, and of course children with special needs require specialised services, but many can grow to be self sufficient and live outside of their parents' home. Being a parent is a stressful, demanding, full time job, regardless of whether the child is special needs or not.
    Mr. Japanfan works with special needs adults and I've had occasion to observe the parents of his clients. It is a whole lot more demanding that dealing with an average child. And it never stops - unlike an average child who grows out of the terrible twos.

    Those parents are saints IMO. I don't think I could do it myself.

  9. #49

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    Quote Originally Posted by Japanfan View Post
    Mr. Japanfan works with special needs adults and I've had occasion to observe the parents of his clients. It is a whole lot more demanding that dealing with an average child. And it never stops - unlike an average child who grows out of the terrible twos.
    But that depends on the special need, children with Down's can grow up to be highly independent; they most certainly can live independently. Many special needs children can grow up to become independent contributors to their community, they can hold jobs, live away from home etc. Some can't, of course, but many can. With technological advances, more and more special needs adults are entering the workforce in some capacity. Educating the community, IMHO, is the key to this - and this includes parents. Special needs children are also abused by their guardians at times because the guardian/parent doesn't have the education/information/patience etc. to deal with their child's behaviour. In Australia, at least, there are several organisations in addition to the government, offering respite services for parents in these circumstances, which is really important.

  10. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by Angelskates View Post
    But that depends on the special need, children with Down's can grow up to be highly independent; they most certainly can live independently.
    But you won't know until your kid is born how impacted they will be and where they are on the spectrum.

    I think you are looking at the high functioning kids and assuming that's most of them but I worked in a program specifically designed for the kids who were severely handicapped and you get a completely different picture when you see those kids every day. Now, I loved those kids, but there was no way they weren't going to need a babysitter 24/7 for the rest of their lives. They couldn't even be left alone for a few minutes let alone live in a group home and hold down a part-time job.

    Anyway, I think what it comes down to in this case is that there was negligence on the part of the medical people and legally that makes them responsible, no matter what you think about how we should deal with people with disabilities.
    "Cupcakes are bullshit. And everyone knows it. A cupcake is just a muffin with clown puke topping." -Charlie Brooker

  11. #51
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    Just a note about the wrongful birth laws--there has been a slew of legislation passed in OK trying to make abortion more difficult to obtain. The Center for Reproductive Rights regularly challenges those laws in OK (and elsewhere, though with the number we pass, they should just set-up shop here permanently), and recently one was overturned by the courts.

    Anyhow, I mention that because the law that was overturned was passed alongside the bill mentioned earlier about doctors being able to withhold information from pregnant women if it might lead to an abortion. The Center for Reproductive Rights chose not to challenge that bill and instead focused on the other one related to ultrasounds. The rationale as I understand it for not challenging the withholding of information is because it's basically a tort reform law designed to overturn wrongful birth lawsuits. The pledge doctors make to care for patients was apparently seen as sufficient (along with already present malpractice law) to ensure women would get the necessary information they needed, and the only real impact for withholding information would be to prevent wrongful birth lawsuits by parents in the future.

    So I guess the question would be would this fall under gross negligence? I suspect it wouldn't legally, but hard to say.

  12. #52
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    Tests during pregnancy, including for Down's: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/dow...-and-diagnosis
    Last edited by IceAlisa; 03-10-2012 at 07:22 PM.
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    Since DNA analysis is cheap and quick these days, I wonder why they don't routinely also type the mom, since then it would be clear whether or not they had cells from the infant in the CVS or amnio testing. If the two results are a match, you got the mom, and need to go back for fetal cells. (Note you're not trying to analyze the mom -- just id whether or not the captured cells from the CVS/amnio are fetal.)

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    The reality is that special needs children, whether Downs, autistic, physical disabilities, etc. and are on all levels of the spectrum from highly functioning to low functioning. Parents are worried about what will happen when they are dead or at least no longer able to care for the child themselves. Group homes do help with person with disabilities to be cared for, however there are parents who are unwilling to use them.
    We do live in a society where people are looking to blame someone for anything that is imperfect or not what you want it to be. When my daughter was stillborn, several of my nurse friends wanted me to sue the doctors. AFAIK, it was not the fault of the OBs or their practice, it was something that happened. I've spent lots of time wondering if I could have done something different, but never questioned that my physicians didn't do the right things given the circumstances.

  15. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by Japanfan View Post
    Oh, for sure.


    But I doubt that babies with Downs are high are any potential adoptive
    parents lists.

    Those parents are saints IMO. I don't think I could do it myself.
    Not true- I have read several articles over the years stating that there are waiting lists for parents wanting to adopt Down's kids.

    Here is one article from a few years back- I'm sure that there are others.

    http://www.rainbowkids.com/ArticleDetails.aspx?id=618
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    Quote Originally Posted by genevieve View Post
    I don't see the difference at all. As agalisgv said, the parents probably HAVE to say this as part of the lawsuit. I'm sure they aren't thrilled about saying it publicly, even if it's true. But I don't see how it could be ok to choose abortion before the fact, but not ok to express after the fact that a different choice would have been made if they had known what was in store. They're not saying they don't love their daughter, or that they're trying to get out of caring for her.
    I agree with you, Gen. Admitting that you would have made a different choice if you'd had all the information does NOT mean you don't love the child you have. Sometimes it just means that you aren't sure you have what it takes to raise your child. A friend of mine got pregnant when she was fairly young and was planning to give her child up for adoption. The father of her child only told her when it was too late to abort that he would neither sign adoption papers nor take on full time care of his child. My friend says she loves her son and couldn't imagine walking out of his life and leaving him with his father, anyways, but she knows that she's not really in the best place in her life to care for her son. She admitted to me when her son was about 4 months old that, if she'd have known that she was not going to be allowed to give her son up for adoption, she probably wouldn't have had him. And I absolutely do NOT think that means that she doesn't love her son or that she won't continue to love her son for the rest of her life. But I actually admired her for being honest about the fact that she wasn't prepared for this and she wouldn't have made the choice that she did if she'd had all the information.

    It is POSSIBLE to love your child while still acknowledging that you didn't really want them to begin with.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gazpacho View Post
    I believe some states wanted to pass, or perhaps did pass, a law allowing medical providers to lie about the result of pre-natal testing if they thought the actual results would lead parents to abort. This doesn't seem to be the case here, but I thought to mention it.
    That is absolutely vile and unethical.

  17. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gazpacho View Post
    I believe some states wanted to pass, or perhaps did pass, a law allowing medical providers to lie about the result of pre-natal testing if they thought the actual results would lead parents to abort. This doesn't seem to be the case here, but I thought to mention it.
    You know... I wonder now if it was. The fact that the ultrasounds showed evidence of Downs but the doctors pooh poohed that makes me wonder if they had some kind of agenda.

    If so, I'm glad they got stuck with a multi-million dollar judgement and numerous legal bills.
    "Cupcakes are bullshit. And everyone knows it. A cupcake is just a muffin with clown puke topping." -Charlie Brooker

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    ETA: I thought this was in PI.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gazpacho View Post
    That would be a major concern for me too. It's not just after I'm dead but after I lose the physical and mental ability to do it. Not many senior citizens have the physical and mental ability to care for an adult special needs child. A few years ago, there was a case of a couple who wanted to give their severely retarded and physically impaired daughter a procedure to not make her grow any bigger because of the physical difficulty of caring for a full-height adult. Don't remember how that turned out.

    The child in this current case has siblings who hopefully will be willing and able to take care of their sister after their parents can no longer do it.
    Hopefully, the financial settlement will mean that when the time comes for the girl's siblings to oversee her care, at least the money will be there to help pay for things. Otherwise, the financial demands of her care could lead them to walk away and let her become a ward of the state.
    Last edited by Civic; 03-11-2012 at 01:46 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Theatregirl1122 View Post
    ...A friend of mine got pregnant when she was fairly young and was planning to give her child up for adoption. The father of her child only told her when it was too late to abort that he would neither sign adoption papers nor take on full time care of his child...
    I don't think fathers should be allowed to do this. If they refuse to relinquish their parental rights, fine they'd better be ready to take custody of the child and raise him/her by themselves. Otherwise they're just manipulating the mother.

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