Friday, October 12, 2007

Thank goodness for Holland!

This is interesting. The Down Syndrome Society in the Nederlands has launched a new poster campaign. The caption reads "I can.... May I? - Down Syndrome is a chronic illness and we are looking for suitable treatment".

This strategy is to renew interest into research into Down syndrome and counteract the prevention of Down syndrome via termination of pregnancy.

The Nederlands Down Syndrome Society is very successful. In Holland a pregnant woman will be given counselling when she recieves a positive diagnosis for Ds and will have to take three weeks of counselling before she makes a decision about the continuation/termination of her pregnancy. The country's termination rate, (I believe - don't quote me) is around 50% rather than in the high 90%'s (for UK, Canada and USA).
Down Syndrome Awareness Day is a big deal in Holland too, with the Queen attending a special ceremony and loads of press coverage.

Hopefully our Down Syndrome Society will follow suit.


Anonymous said...

Hi Alice,
Great post...just a few notes: the rate of declining prenatal testing is around 50% (that means of course the same: that many babies with Down syndrome and other -screened for- conditions are given a fair chance) and the 3 weeks counselling is a proposal. Did not pass yet, as far as I know.
Cause for optimism though.

Nephesh said...

I firmly believe in the counselling when a positive diagnosis for Ds is given. We found out about Gabe having Ds when I was 20 weeks along, via amnio. We had steadfast support by family and surprisingly, my wonderful OBGYN. I still went through an internal struggle -- but once Gabe was born, and we got through a hard first year of medical stuff, I am so grateful for the people that supported us. Gabe is Gabe. Plain and simple. And my husband and I are so lucky for this.