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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 (31-40):
by Anonymous 3 on Jul. 19, 2013 at 9:36 PM

 Yeah, I don't get it either. Down Syndrome isn't just "personality". It is just as much a physical disability as a heart defect. So one deserves a better quality of life, and one just needs to deal with it and hope that they fit the  Down's Syndrome stereotype, happy go lucky, sweet, and high functioning.

Quoting ShannyLouisiany:

bizarre that personality is the crux of your stance. quality of life is more than a cheery personality. good grief.

Quoting GwenMB:

Quoting Anonymous:


Quoting GwenMB:

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.

 So if a child is born with a faulty heart, God didn't actually mean for it to be that way, so we can fix it, but if a child hasDown's syndrome, he did, and we are not allowed to improve their life too? Sorry, I don't understand that mentality.  

Fixing a faulty heart doesn't change a person's personality.  Changing whether or not they have Downs Syndrome does.

Why hide behind the Anonymous tag?


by Member on Jul. 20, 2013 at 3:32 AM

I'm on the fence. That is a hard question in my opinion to answer. There are just so many factors to consider. 

by Bronze Member on Jul. 20, 2013 at 11:09 AM

My DS has Autism if there were an absolute cure with no side effects I would literally do anything to get it for my son.  I think a lot of Down's parents would feel the same

by on Jul. 20, 2013 at 1:03 PM

I think any parent who is able to cure Down Syndrome should. 

by on Jul. 20, 2013 at 1:15 PM

I say yes lets cure it. If God gives us the knowledge to fix something. Let's take his gift and use it wisely.

by on Jul. 20, 2013 at 7:24 PM

 Yes and no. I'm torn on this subject but leaning towards yes

by on Jul. 20, 2013 at 9:27 PM

I think a cure would be great. Then again whats the downside.

by Silver Member on Jul. 20, 2013 at 9:55 PM


by Member on Jul. 21, 2013 at 12:12 AM

Autism does not increase health risks my cousin with ds died due to heart failure that plagued him for over 20 years.

by Bronze Member on Jul. 21, 2013 at 1:46 AM
Why wouldn't you as a parent want your kid to have the best advantage? I understand the parents that have kids with problems loving their kids and seeing them as perfect but is that the life they would have chosen for theirself??
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