Monday 18 May 2009

Callous attitude towards the disabled displayed

Saturday's Guardian newspaper published a story entitled "NHS failure on Down's screening kills healthy babies". The story reported complaints by doctors that most NHS hospitals are not using what they describe as the "best" test to screen for unborn children with Down's Syndrome. Once again we see a callous attitude displayed towards the disabled. Alison Davis of No Less Human, a group within SPUC, gave me her reaction to the story:
"Yet again we are having all sorts of so-called experts and professionals mourning the deaths, by mistake, of what they call 'normal, healthy babies' as a result of antenatal tests for disability. However, no mention is ever made of the equal tragedy of the deaths of disabled babies, which is the whole purpose of these antenatal tests. For instance Kypros Nicholaides, the well-known professor of foetal medicine at King's College, London, has said that it is 'shameful ... scandalous and disgraceful....' that healthy babies were lost in error as a direct result of these tests.

"It is well known that some degree of so-called foetal loss among 'healthy' babies is an accepted part of antenatal tests. So-called experts quibble over whether 3% or 5% loss of non-disabled babies is acceptable, and meanwhile the intended carnage among disabled babies continues apace. As a disabled person myself, I find the intended loss of disabled babies just as 'shameful, scandalous and disgraceful' as the unintended loss of those who are apparently 'healthy'."