Edi­tor’s Let­ter; Things We Love; Megan Ni­col Reed

Weekend Herald - Canvas - - CONTENTS - MICHELLE HUR­LEY

Last year, it was re­ported that Ice­land was very close to “erad­i­cat­ing” Down syn­drome. Since pre­na­tal test­ing was in­tro­duced there in the early 2000s, al­most 100 per cent of women who re­ceived a pos­i­tive test for the syn­drome ter­mi­nated their preg­nancy.

In New Zea­land, ex­act fig­ures are a lit­tle harder to come by, be­cause fig­ures aren’t kept specif­i­cally for ter­mi­na­tion upon di­ag­no­sis of Down syn­drome, but the New Zea­land rate is thought to be sim­i­lar to the United States’ es­ti­mated ter­mi­na­tion rate of 67 per cent.

In­ter­est­ingly, re­cent re­search has found that peo­ple with Down syn­drome are gen­er­ally very happy, with high life sat­is­fac­tion and their fam­ily mem­bers rank highly in lev­els of per­sonal ful­fil­ment.

Women choose not to go ahead with a preg­nancy for many rea­sons, of course, and what is right for one fam­ily is not for an­other. Emily Win­stan­ley spoke to three fam­i­lies in our story this week about how they han­dled the news of a Down syn­drome di­ag­no­sis, and how they came to the right de­ci­sion for them.

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