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Doctors Could Soon Cure Down's Syndrome -- But Should They?

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Doctors Could Soon Cure Down's Syndrome -- But Should They?

by Adriana Velez

babies downs syndromeWhat if doctors could "cure" Down's syndrome? It's a possibility that's just on the horizon. Imagine that you go in for a prenatal test and find out that your unborn baby will have Down's syndrome. Your OBGYN performs a procedure, maybe before birth, or maybe after, and presto -- no Down's syndrome after all. Your doctor could actually turn off Down's syndrome. What do you think?

Down's syndrome is caused by an extra copy of Chromosome 21. Researchers are working on manipulating genes to silence that extra chromosome and thus prevent the symptoms of Down's syndrome from appearing. This is something researchers are doing now and that doctors may be able to do in the future ... but should we?

This reminds me of that controversial bus ad suggesting we "wipe out autism." Are conditions like autism and Down's syndrome really something we want to wipe out -- or are they differences we should embrace? If we can stop people from having the symptoms of Down's syndrome, what other conditions will we start trying to erase?

Talk to any parent of a child with Down's syndrome and they will tell you about their struggles. I'm not saying it's a picnic for anyone. But they will also tell you about the joy that comes from sharing your life with a child with Down's syndrome. It's not a curse. It's much more complicated than that. There are particular things we learn and experience for having people who are different among us. They bring value to our world. 

I understand why researchers would want to prevent medical conditions and illnesses that make our lives difficult. But sometimes I have to wonder -- do we really need to change people with Down's syndrome, autism, etc., or do we need to change how we see them?

Do you think it's a good idea to try to "cure" Down's syndrome?

by on Jul. 19, 2013 at 9:12 AM
Replies (11-20):
amy1will
by Amethyst on Jul. 19, 2013 at 2:21 PM
1 mom liked this
No!!! This is playing God and shouldn't be done. I have a son with Down Syndrome and wouldn't change him for anything. Also doing this could cause a miscarriage or could make the baby have even more issues then just Down Syndrome. I understand some people wouldn't want a child with disability but some people actually don't see this as a problem ans will love that child no matter what.
MrsMadBrit
by on Jul. 19, 2013 at 6:08 PM

If it could be cured I think that would be a good thing. I might feel differently if this were just a question of low IQ. The thing is, Down's Syndrome is associated with many other health problems that can shorten one's life expectancy.

johnny4ever
by Member on Jul. 19, 2013 at 6:25 PM

On the fence!

pittymama
by on Jul. 19, 2013 at 8:12 PM

i agree. 

Quoting Bmat:

Considering the complicated living situations when they reach adulthood, I'd say cure it.


amy1will
by Amethyst on Jul. 19, 2013 at 8:31 PM
He is handsome!

Quoting johnny4ever:

On the fence!

Anonymous
by Anonymous 3 on Jul. 19, 2013 at 8:56 PM
1 mom liked this

 

Quoting GwenMB:

No, I don't think we should be messing with our genes or chromosomes like that. For one, we don't know the unintended consequences that may arise. I think we need to change how we see Down syndrome etc people. I also think we are "playing God" when we try to do this.

 But aren't we playing God when we do a heart transplant, keep someone on life support with machines until they heal, or even take a pill? It isn't so much how WE see them, it is a matter of improving the quality of their lives. I am the earthy crunchy type. I don't like medication, GMOs, and many other scientific things that are supposedly good for us but really aren't. I do have to admit though that science has done equally wonderful things. We don't know the effects down the line, however, they don't know the effects of most things passed quickly through the FDA today.

catrig
by Member on Jul. 19, 2013 at 9:04 PM

If they could they should.

GwenMB
by Member on Jul. 19, 2013 at 9:08 PM


Quoting Anonymous:

 

Quoting GwenMB:

No, I don't think we should be messing with our genes or chromosomes like that. For one, we don't know the unintended consequences that may arise. I think we need to change how we see Down syndrome etc people. I also think we are "playing God" when we try to do this.

 But aren't we playing God when we do a heart transplant, keep someone on life support with machines until they heal, or even take a pill? It isn't so much how WE see them, it is a matter of improving the quality of their lives. I am the earthy crunchy type. I don't like medication, GMOs, and many other scientific things that are supposedly good for us but really aren't. I do have to admit though that science has done equally wonderful things. We don't know the effects down the line, however, they don't know the effects of most things passed quickly through the FDA today.

Doing a heart transplant isn't changing the basic nature of a person, its using knowledge given to us from God to save lives.  Changing the chromosone on someone is changing the basic nature of their personality, changing the core of their being.  It's changing how God made them.

If things are being passed through the FDA too quickly (and I often read the opposite complaint as well), adding one more item to the list of things we do without knowing the long term effects isn't the answer.

I won't pretend I wouldn't be scared/worried/upset if I knew I was having a baby with Downs Syndrome (or autism or anything else that's a challenge), but I also know that God has made that baby/child that way for a reason.  I would do my best to rise to the challenge of raising that child & pray that they just experience acceptance for who they are.

GwenMB
by Member on Jul. 19, 2013 at 9:11 PM


Quoting amy1will:

No!!! This is playing God and shouldn't be done. I have a son with Down Syndrome and wouldn't change him for anything. Also doing this could cause a miscarriage or could make the baby have even more issues then just Down Syndrome. I understand some people wouldn't want a child with disability but some people actually don't see this as a problem ans will love that child no matter what.

It amazes me how many people want to change something just because its not easy to have a child with Downs Syndrome.  But then, it also amazes me how many women will abort a baby for having Downs Syndrome.  They are also joys to be around and we'd all be better off if we all had their outlook on life.

Anonymous
by Anonymous 3 on Jul. 19, 2013 at 9:15 PM

 

Quoting GwenMB:


Quoting amy1will:

No!!! This is playing God and shouldn't be done. I have a son with Down Syndrome and wouldn't change him for anything. Also doing this could cause a miscarriage or could make the baby have even more issues then just Down Syndrome. I understand some people wouldn't want a child with disability but some people actually don't see this as a problem ans will love that child no matter what.

It amazes me how many people want to change something just because its not easy to have a child with Downs Syndrome.  But then, it also amazes me how many women will abort a baby for having Downs Syndrome.  They are also joys to be around and we'd all be better off if we all had their outlook on life.

 Do you have a child with Down Syndrome? You seem to have a stereotypical idea of what people with Down's syndrome are like.

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