Die “Euthanasie”-Kinder

Never again

“I have two daughters. They both have Down syndrome. They taught me what love really means. They showed me a world that they see and that they are in. It’s a beautiful world where everyone loves one another and the sun always shines.

It breaks my heart to know that almost all women terminate their pregnancy if their baby is identified with Down syndrome. But how can I blame them? Marketing and media are still used to condition the public to think of disability in terms of suffering and burden.

Tests are promoted with the slogan “freedom of choice” and selective abortion is passionately defended by many. But the dehumanization and eradication of specific groups of people is not a sign of dignity, freedom or progression. It is, and always has been, a sign of a population which is being controlled.”

‘Never again’ are meaningless words if our actions don’t match.

Read the entire article on Huffington Post

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The crime is wanting to make a group extinct

Why are some people called a risk even before they are born? Are they less human than others?

Read the article in Huffington Post

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Genetic screening is not about health; it is about eliminating groups of people

DSC_0049[1].JPGMargaret’s old pediatrician tells me that years ago he used to have a steady stream of patients
with Down syndrome. Not anymore. Where did they go, I wonder. They aren’t being born anymore, he says.”

A small group of experts use genetic science to divide the population into those “who are candidates for selection” and “those who are not”. Pregnant women are then offered the “free” choice to selectively abort certain children.

Are we really that free? This article explores how social marketing is used to raise public acceptance that children with certain genetic variations are deliberately aborted. Seventy-six years after the war, eugenic ideas have not changed.

By separating genetic science from humanity we dehumanize our (unborn) children. Vulnerability is not caused by disability; it is caused by every act that devalues human life. We are all vulnerable.

Read more:
Genetic screening is used to eliminate groups of people

Naturally Imperfect

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A woman walks in a vegetable and fruit store and asks…

Can I have a cucumber, sir?”

Certainly Madam, would you like this class A cucumber on the shelf or a class B cucumber from the box on the floor?”

I don’t know. What’s the difference?”

Class A passed the test and class B didn’t.”

Well just give me the one with the best taste.”

They are not tested for taste, but for straightness madam. Class B has a crooked shape and that makes stacking and peeling a bit awkward.”

My family comes for dinner and I want to prepare a tasty salad.”

Well, the success of your salad really depends on the other ingredients and the dressing because the taste of these cucumbers is equal.”love-by-real-cucumbers

What should I do?”

Most people choose class A, because it fits easier in the grocery-bag and vegetable drawer in the fridge.”

Fine. Give me a straight, class A cucumber then. But tell me, what happens to the cucumbers that fail the test?”

Luckily, stories like these are getting rare. Green activists have saved oddly shaped veggies from ending up as waste. Once again they are found on grocery shelves between their ‘straight’ cousins. Good; because perfection and conformity do not exist in nature.

Time to protect human diversity because CHILDREN WITH DOWN SYNDROME FACE AN ABSURD SITUATION…

This message is brought to you by Downpride: human diversity is people business

Bernie Sanders’ American nightmare

Bernie Sanders thinks the American dream is in Denmark and praises the Scandinavian nation for considering Public health-care a right. “If we screen out those who are sick in advance, we can accommodate and care for others.” This is how the Danes are informed about the benefits of their National screening program that targets Down syndrome and is offered free to all pregnant women. There’s only one flaw: Down syndrome is NOT a disease. Most people with Down syndrome live happy, healthy lives.

collage4According Danish news paper Berlingske Denmark decided in 2004 not to listen to people who complain of human selection and started promoting abortion of fetuses diagnosed with Down syndrome so their society will be free of such people and perfect in the future. Since then the number of children born with Down syndrome have fallen by around 13 percent annually. Here’s a recent Danish headline: with a termination rate of 98%, Down syndrome is headed for extinction.

Medical advances are often introduced in public health-care systems with the promise they will be “individually assessed”, but it is naive to believe this. The norm is being Down-syndrome free and genetically perfect, and technology will be used to achieve conformity to that norm. The prenatal screening train has been placed on a high speed track and the goal is eliminating Down syndrome (and other genetic variations).

The adding up of a lot of individual choices to the ‘acceptability’ of aborting certain kinds of embryos or fetuses resembles eugenics in the search for a ‘perfect child’.”, Unesco’s bioethics committee warned in 2015.

How long are we going to keep up the shenanigans that prenatal screening is about women’s free choice? Danish women spilled in a 2015 documentary called Dead over Downs, how they are routinely misinformed and scared about the condition with stories of hardship. Those that dare to resist screening or abortion, are bullied and called irresponsible for having a child that is ‘a burden to society’.

That is psychological coercion and it amounts to massive and grave violation under International law, especially when the aim of a state is to reduce medical costs.

While Denmark is consistently hyped as the happiest place on earth, I think happiness is confused with a state of numbness and comfort. When love, pain, freedom and the art of living are being dismissed in a society, it starts to resemble the place Huxley describes in Brave New World.

Now the last remaining Danes with Downs are reaching out to the world through a series of video-clips produced by a small indie media company appositely named TV Glad. They are asking people worldwide to “please stand up against a society that systematically wipes out Down syndrome”.

It is hard to imagine this happening in the United States, or even the rest of Europe, but it was unthinkable in Denmark not so long ago. Many countries, including the UK, the Netherlands and France, have recently proposed to implement genetic screening into their public health-care systems. Genetic genocide has now become a global threat.geld1

Groups of people who are considered ‘expensive’ or ‘useless’ are being wiped out under the pretense of ‘public health-care”. That is not a dream but a nightmare from which we should wake up. 

Please share and sign our International petition Stop Discriminating Down

MYTHS & TRUTHS about NIPT and DOWN SYNDROME

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Today there are still many misconceptions about prenatal genetic screening (also called Non-invasive or dna-screening) and the effect on people with Down syndrome.
This list dispels some of the common myths about Non-invasive prenatal testing (NIPT).

MYTH: Screening prevents suffering because Down syndrome is a serious life-limiting condition.
TRUTH: While in the sixties Down syndrome could still be viewed as seriously life limiting and, to some, offer justification to provide prenatal screening and selection for Down syndrome, today’s reality of life with Down syndrome would justify phasing out existing prenatal programs: people with Down syndrome on average, live long, healthy and full-filling lives. Their families report an above average appreciation for life.

MYTH: Prenatal selection is rare for Down syndrome.
TRUTH: In Europe 92 of every 100 pregnancies are terminated when Down syndrome is diagnosed. In the United States this number is around 67.

MYTH: Denmark reports Down syndrome is headed for extinction, which means the dying out of a species because of environmental forces.
TRUTH: As soon as Denmark stops the deliberate intervention aimed at eliminating a group, Down syndrome will once again occur in approximately 1 in 550 live births. This means that Down syndrome naturally occurs and people with Down syndrome are a part of our human species.

MYTH: NIPT will not lead to more women taking up screening.
TRUTH: Countries already experience a 30% increase in the uptake of screening. Experts predict a higher uptake once NIPT is well accepted.

MYTH: Non-invasive prenatal testing will reduce the total number of miscarriages as a result of invasive tests.
TRUTH: A more widespread use of NIPT would lead to a significant increase of false-positives, requiring confirmation. Hence the following paradox: the number of invasive diagnostics would rise because of the use of the NIPT that should precisely be diminishing the use of invasive diagnostics.

MYTH: Discrimination before birth by offering and promoting prenatal selection does not lead to discrimination after birth.
TRUTH: Selecting people with Down syndrome by routinely preventing their births sends a clear message that people with Down syndrome are valued less in society. The only way to stop discrimination on the bases of Down syndrome, is to stop discrimination on the bases of Down syndrome.

Myth 3. Genetic screening is not about money, but our well-being

moneyIn Asia, Europe and the Americas combined there are over a hundred million pregnancies yearly.  With an average cost of $900 per test, potential profits for the pharmaceutical industry developing dna-tests are huge:

 

“Looking forward, the market for prenatal and newborn genetic testing is projected to be worth USD 8.37 billion by the end of 2019, growing at a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 26.9%.”

(For the latest news on revenues, shares and other financial tidbits on tests check out #NIPT).

Pharmaceutical industry slickly markets peace of mind’ to expectant parents to sell their product and maximize profits. It is not surprising they have managed to distort a test aimed at eliminating a portion of society into a promise of life in ‘Harmony’. I can see expecting parents –only wanting the best for their child- swallowing the false promise of a perfect life based only on genetic information.

Read the whole article:

“DOWN SYNDROME CAUSES SUFFERING”

“DOWN SYNDROME CAUSES SUFFERING”, a headline reads. When I look at my beautiful two daughters I know this is a blatant lie. Politicians, medical professionals and industry are cultivating fear to market tests that continue to harm the Down syndrome community.

I dedicate my first article to my beautiful daughters April and Hazel. ‘May you grow old in a world where one day, everyone is wanted for the person who they are.’

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An inconvenient truth: people with Down syndrome are very happy being themselves.

If you asked my daughters April and Hazel what life is like (with Down syndrome), they would probably give you their undivided attention for a few moments. Hazel would likely start telling you about her friends in school, her little brother Olav, her favorite foods and people in the world (babies). The story might get increasingly hard to follow and likely end in laughter and a high five. April will gaze at you solemnly from behind her glasses. Searching her brain for the proper words to express her feelings, she will be pensive for a while as in meditation. You will start to notice the freckles on her cheeks and tiny nose. Then, as she delicately wraps her arms around your shoulders, a smile will radiate like a ray of sunshine from behind that earnest look.

My daughters don’t suffer because they have an extra chromosome. Sure the road to fluent speech, flawless writing, and coordinated bicycling is often filled with obstacles, but they don’t let it ruin their day, much less their lives. They are consumed with more important stuff like Saturdays’ dance recital or Sundays’ soccer game. Of course, like any kid, mine can drive a mother insane. Hazel can be stubborn as a mule and April can take an hour to get dressed. But they also have the ability to simply accept their flaws and those of others without judgment and to fully enjoy life. In my opinion, that makes my daughters perfect.

For those who hide behind the noble phrase that ‘prenatal selection of babies with Down syndrome is an act of love’ I would like to throw this inconvenient truth on the table: people with Down syndrome are very happy being themselves. In fact, research on a population shows people with Down syndrome and their families rate life above average. It is the outside community that judges their lives poorly.

A few decades ago Down syndrome was considered a life limiting condition and people with Down syndrome were often housed in institutions. Many were in poor health, had limited self-care and social skills, couldn’t read, and died young. It was thought their problems were caused by their DNA and unavoidable. This offered justification for some to offer prenatal screening en selecting Down syndrome to women who were considered at an ‘increased risk’.

         Down syndrome could be considered an ‘acceptable genetic variation’.

Social and medical advances have profoundly changed what it means to live with Down syndrome and other disabilities since then. Today people with Down syndrome are living longer and healthier lives and it seems clear they were limited at least as much by institutionalization, low expectations, lack of education and poor health care as by their DNA. They are increasingly finishing high school, living more independently and holding jobs. In fact, by usual medical definitions and standards, Down syndrome cannot be considered a ‘serious condition’. Think average IQ, life expectancy and other life limiting factors. In today’s framework, Down syndrome could be considered an ‘acceptable genetic variation’.

Rather than discussing ending prenatal screening and selection for Down syndrome, the opposite is happening: from technologically limited tests offered to few, prenatal screening is now routinely offered to all women in the United States and abroad while advanced genetic technology is introduced. Misperception and outright denial of the advances made for this group of people sharing similar physical characteristics abounds in media and medical ‘opinions’. From assumptions about financial dependence, low earning power and generating suffering. By targeting a portion of society (Down syndrome) for elimination it creates and reinforces stubborn outdated stereotyping in society.

If we, as a modern society, value the right to be ourselves, un-judged and free to make our own choices, we should wish the same freedom and rights for our off-spring.

My daughters are not a mistake or a reflection of my personal choice but full-fledged persons and a crucial part of society. They may not become the first female president of the United States (but who will?), it doesn’t mean they have other, important, talents. So often are people with Down syndrome accredited with the ability to be open, accept life, live in the moment and to spread love, simplicity and joy. In fact, people with Down syndrome, as a group, were nominated for the 2014 Public Peace Prize for their ‘real ability to diffuse peace around them’.  These human traits are needed more, rather than less, in today’s fast paced, money and self-centered society.

Eliminating people with Down syndrome from society doesn’t say anything about their inherent worth. It says everything about societies inability to appreciate or accept human differences as part of the whole.

“We all need to feel wanted for the person that we are. So take good care of each other” Fred Penner, Canadian Children’s music performer sings. That’s the message we should pass on to our children.

About the author: Renate Lindeman is a Mother of two children with Down syndrome, Writer, Disability activist, A representative for Saving Down syndrome and spokesperson for Downpride. Renate is the former president of the NS Down syndrome society.

 

Down syndrome and prenatal screening: 4 myths debunked

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By Renate Lindeman, Downpride for Saving Down syndrome

You have a child, a brother, sister, loved one with Down syndrome. You love this person with all your heart.  You love their purity, the openness, the talent to be in the moment, the ability to accept flaws in others and still enjoy life. You love how this person spreads simplicity and love. Loving someone with Down syndrome may not have made life easier, but certainly has made it more worthwhile.

Were you ever confronted with prenatal screening and selection for Down syndrome when you felt marginalised? Were you offended by negative, outdated stereotyping in the media, discriminatory language used by medical professionals or were you in a tense discussion with colleagues, friends or relatives?

You KNOW why people with Down syndrome belong in society. You FEEL we are losing our humanity by selectively eliminating people with Down syndrome from our lives. But the promise of prenatal (dna) screening has been so slickly marketed and it is so easily accepted by society as a ‘right’, a ‘freedom’, a çhoice’, a ‘guarantee’, that you have found yourself  lost for words?

Saving Down syndrome is proud to bring you a series of articles debunking the 4 most common myths surrounding Down syndrome, prenatal screening and selection, so you will never be lost for words again.

Mark your agenda, read, share, convince and save our future generation with Down syndrome.

August 12th, 2015              Myth 1: Down syndrome is a serious condition that causes suffering

August 19th, 2015              Myth 2: Prenatal screening & selection for DS is a woman’s right and a free choice

August 26th, 2015              Myth 3: Genetic screening is not about money, but about our well-being

September 2nd , 2015     Myth 4: Darwin was right: health, development and happiness are set in stone in our genes.

NIPT in Nederlands Volksgezondheidsprogramma ter discussie in Washington Post

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Down syndrome screening isn’t about public health. It’s about eliminating a group of people.

June 16 at 6:00 AM

Renate Lindeman is the spokesperson for Dutch parent group Downpride. She lives in the Netherlands.
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Upon delivering my first child 11 years ago, I heard the words “Down syndrome,” and my world collapsed. Visions of children sitting passively in a corner watching life go by, not participating, kept me awake those first nights as a mom.

It didn’t take me long, though, to figure out that my ideas were based on negative, outdated information that had nothing to do with the reality of life with Down syndrome today. My daughter April is an active, outgoing girl. She’s my nature child, wildly passionate about anything with four legs. Although April uses few words, she’s a master communicator. Through her, I’ve learned that Down syndrome is not the scary, terrible condition it’s made out to be.

Read more….