The Problem With Down Syndrome: Part 2

I just want a healthy baby.  I think every single prospective parent must utter these words at some point, but it is worth questioning.

One “common sense”, yet false, assumption is that Down syndrome itself is a state of poor health.  Then, it goes without saying that the ideal state of affairs would be to get rid of Down syndrome.  This is the logic I hear time and time again in news articles, comments, off hand remarks from strangers.

It makes sense, right?  Down syndrome comes from the presence of an extra chromosome.  That extra chromosome causes the body to malfunction, right?  Therefore, Down syndrome IS poor health.  So therefore, our goal should be to make sure no one is born with Down syndrome.  Wait.  Can we slow down? Read the rest of this entry »

The Problem With Down Syndrome: Part 1

Is there a problem with Down syndrome?  Is having 46 chromosomes fundamentally better than having 47?  If one can designate a certain genetic condition as less than ideal, what are ideal genetics?  More importantly, where does this contemplation lead us?

Researchers have discovered a new way to turn off the chromosome that causes Down syndrome, and I am troubled, let me tell you.  It feels like the beginning of a brave new world, and my child may be the canary in the coal mine. Read the rest of this entry »