The Pros And Cons Of Down Syndrome

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Register to read the introduction… A person with Down's syndrome has forty-seven chromosomes instead of the usual forty-six. A …show more content…
These defects include such problems as anencephaly, holoprosencephaly, or einencephaly, as well as many levels of spina bifida. Down syndrome is certainly not the same as the wide range of anomalies termed "neural tube defects," but the Triple Screen makes it seem an equal to many lethal defects. The triple screen actually detects many more fetal anomalies than Down syndrome, including the AFP-related anomalies mentioned above and several lethal trisomies, such as Trisomy 18. The Triple Screen is called a screen "for Down syndrome" for marketing reasons, as much as for scientific accuracy. The Triple Screen is, in fact, a very poor screen, identifying only about 65% of fetuses with Down syndrome in utero. No other screen with such low validity has been universally recommended for all pregnant women. Such a recommendation means billions of dollars for the genetics industry and the researchers involved. (www #3)

The screening tests establish the probability of pregnant women having children with Down Syndrome or Spina Bifida and other neural tube defects. It is possible the widespread use of genetic screening for the purpose
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(www #4)

It is evident that the debate over screening for Down syndrome is far from settled. It is also evident that people with Down syndrome can make an important contribution to our society. I think if parents are not prepared to take on the challenges of a child with Down syndrome they should have options, should one of these options be abortion?

I would have a hard time supporting someone's decision to abort, especially having spent some time with a young boy who has Down syndrome.

There are many support groups for families who have children with Down syndrome, there are also many families willing to adopt. The programs at school for these children are very adaptable to the needs of the individual. Most children with Down syndrome can go to school and get along well, they make a valuable contribution to the classroom and their fellow students. The decision is a difficult one and I think that there are many options that need to be explored before anyone can make an informed decision.


Cooley, W. and Graham, J. (1991). Down syndrome - an update and review for the primary paediatrician. Clin Paed 30 (4):

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