Thursday 6 October 2016

No hidden agenda's

Well that was quite something...

I  hope those of you that tuned into watch "A World Without Down's syndrome?" enjoyed it as much as I did. 

A quote that struck a real chord with me came when the Icelandic geneticist spoke of the manger of their building (whose son has Down's syndrome):

 "There is hardly anything more beautiful than seeing the two of them together, because there is such a strong bond and so much love"

As I mentioned in my blog post, Sally has shown great courage to make this documentary. Why? well because aside from all the amazing responses she's now exposed herself to debate with which comes an onslaught of 'doubters' who thought last nights programme had a hidden agenda – to guilt trip any new parents into keeping their unborn child with Down's syndrome.

The only 'agendas' I saw were:

A) to spark a much overdue and vital society debate as to the ethics of the new non-invasive screening for Down's syndrome (DS), because let's face it, if it starts with DS where does it end up heading? We are all, every single last one of us imperfect in so many ways after all.


B) to show the side that has almost no voice at the point of diagnosis. The real life stories of families living with DS. The side that might help take the fear away at a time when you are led to believe your world is caving in. It's this kind of more balanced information that will help a couple to make a more INFORMED choice. The scales just aren't fairly tipped at the moment.

As a parent and advocate for DS (with a pretty small voice) I am so happy this documentary was made and aired. The tireless hard work so many people have been doing over the years has now been given a fair hearing and reached more people than we could ever have dreamed of and been delivered in such a brilliant, compelling, sometimes funny and above all, non-patronising way with zero hidden agendas.

A big thank you to Sally for taking the gutsy plunge, for Hayley (Down's Side Up) for being brave enough to share her emotional story so publicly, to all the people involved from both sides for having the courage to share your thoughts on a sensitive subject and for the BBC for airing such a groundbreaking documentary.

Now the debate has started the hard work really begins :)

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