I support Future of Down’s, a group respectful of the rights of parents choosing how to proceed with a pregnancy upon receipt of a prenatal diagnosis of Down’s syndrome.
I join them in the call for the provision of more balanced, unbiased information for parents who opt for prenatal screening for Down’s syndrome; and better support for parents who opt to continue a pregnancy with a prenatal diagnosis of the condition.
As my MP, I ask that you contact the Department of Health to politely request that:-
- All parents who receive a prenatal diagnosis of Down’s syndrome get information that reflects up to date life chances of individuals with Down’s syndrome, developed in association with parents who have everyday real life experience of living with a child with Down’s syndrome
- All healthcare providers are trained to use unbiased language so that parents who receive a prenatal test result that indicates a high chance of the condition, do not have to hear the words ‘I’m sorry’
- Parents are routinely able to access appropriate counselling when deciding about subsequent prenatal testing, including support by scientifically or medically qualified counsellors (eg. genetic counsellors); and that parents should be routinely offered the opportunity to discuss the condition with paediatricians, who are experts in caring for children and young adults with the condition
- Parents who opt to continue a pregnancy with a high chance or diagnosis of Down’s syndrome, do not have their decision questioned by healthcare providers; and receive appropriate support as determined by National adopted maternity guidelines developed to provide optimal care for mother and baby
Before rolling out Non-Invasive Prenatal Testing (NIPT) into the NHS, even as part of an evaluative programme , we urge the government to await the findings of the Nuffield Bioethics Committee review, exploring the ethics around NIPT.
Future of Down’s, a group of parents and self-advocates, is committed to delivering a more balanced view of life with Down’s syndrome in the 21st century. To find out more about the Future of Down’s, visit www.futureofdowns.com
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