Saturday, March 17, 2012

My Thoughts on The Oregon Couple...

A week ago I read an article in a newspaper about a family that sued the hospital for an inaccurate test result.  When this couple found out they were expecting a child, they had tests performed to determine if this child has Down syndrome.  The tests came back negative.  The couple went on with the pregnancy.  After their child was born, the doctors determined the child had Down syndrome.  The couple sued the hospital for botching the test results.  They stated they would have terminated the pregnancy had they known their child had Down syndrome.  The courts ruled in their favor and they were awarded $3,000,000.  You can read about it here:

I've gone back and forth on whether to even post about this.  Initially when I read this article, I was angry with the couple.  After pondering the situation for a few days, I'm over the anger part, but more than anything have a desire to help people better understand the value a child with Down syndrome brings to a home and a family. 

Nash was our second child.  When we were expecting our 3rd child, the doctor asked us if we wanted to test to see if this child had Down syndrome.  Andrea and I looked at each other and kind of smiled.  We were both thinking the same thing.  We both would love to have another child with Down syndrome. 

This seems like a foreign concept to many and I have to admit, it would have been a foreign concept to me as well prior to Nash being born.  However, since getting the opportunity to be a parent of a child with Down syndrome, I can truly say that it has been amazing! 

My hope is that this couple will have their hearts touched the same way that thousands of parents have throughout history.  There are many emotions that are experienced when you find out your child has Down syndrome.  Not all of them are positive.  I have to imagine that this couple experienced very similar emotions. 

I do not agree with many of their decisions.  I do not agree with the decision they would have made to abort their child had they known it had Down syndrome.  I do not agree with their decision to sue the hospital for messing up the test results.  However, we never know what their life's experiences have been prior to having their child.  We do not know their current circumstances either.  We do know they have been blessed with a special child and ultimately we can hope that everything will work out for the best. 

Use this situation as a positive.  Use it to fuel your desire to help those with Down syndrome and those who are just being introduced into the Down syndrome community.


T. Johnson said...

Though I do not have a child with DS, I do have a child with disabilities. Though there are days that can be a little more of a challenge than others, my family & I face them with appreciation. We would rather be dealing with the crazy circumstances that may arise, than NOT have the opportunity at all. We are thankful for what we have learned & greatful for each second that we ALL have together! I don't believe in abortion/termination of a pregnancy for any reason. There is truly no challenge that you can be confronted with, that you can't make it through. Thank you for your Positive!!'

Brady said...

Thank you for your comment!

Anonymous said...

I appreciate that you acknowledged we don't know their situation, their life history, their motivations, etc. I've seen too many blogs just attacking them without any ability to consider that maybe we don't know the full story. I haven't read their story myself - just seen the blogs about it. Maybe they sued in part to try to force the health care provider to enact stricter quality standards, to get funds for the unforseen medical and childcare expenses they weren't expecting, etc. These are legitimate concerns. Things aren't always black and white. I appreciate your balanced response and suggesting that we find a way to use the publicity for good.

Sue H.