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  1. #1
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    los2188 is offline North Carolina Tar Heels..your NCCA Champs!!
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    FL - Mom and Baby With Down Syndrome Mail Letter to Doctor Who Suggested Abortion

    Mom and Baby With Down Syndrome Mail Letter to Doctor Who Suggested Abortion

    The Sanford, Florida mom, with the help of her 15-month-old daughter, finally dropped the letter in the mail at the end of May to the doctor who she said delivered her daughter's prenatal diagnosis of Down syndrome. She then shared it on the Parker Myles Facebook page, where it's been shared thousands of times. The doctor, Baker said, suggested she terminate her pregnancy. Even after she refused, she said she continued to feel pressured.
    https://www.yahoo.com/gma/mom-baby-d...parenting.html

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    I call BS. Of course a physician will list termination as an option whenever there is a genetic defect found during pregnancy screening. I've no doubt the minute she left that appointment that the wheels were already turning as to how she could exploit her circumstances and add to the attacks and vilification of people who make the choice to terminate, and the providers who perform this medical procedure. She's likely characterized this physician's discussion of her options into a "suggestion" in order to push her agenda. Not buying it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by animlzrule View Post
    in order to push her agenda. Not buying it.
    SMB

    what is her agenda? happy children? She is not asking for anything of material substance in her letter. She is sharing how she felt.
    "A word after a word after a word is power."
    ~Margaret Atwood~

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    Quote Originally Posted by AzPistonsGirl View Post
    SMB

    what is her agenda? happy children? She is not asking for anything of material substance in her letter. She is sharing how she felt.

    Her agenda is in my post. And no, she's not simply sharing how she felt. She could have done that without making accusations. If she was simply sharing how she felt, she wouldn't feel it necessary to allude to the physician as being some kind of blood thirsty eugenecist, "pressuring" her into an abortion. It's a physician's job to present all of the options. The physician was doing his/her job. That's her PERCEPTION of what happened, because to her even mentioning abortion as an option is perceived as a personal affront. I didn't claim she is asking for anything of material substance. There are many ways to capitalize on a situation which don't include money. Her agenda is clear as day.

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    deleted post
    Last edited by AzPistonsGirl; 06-07-2016 at 06:54 PM. Reason: deleted post
    "A word after a word after a word is power."
    ~Margaret Atwood~

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    Open letters and anonymous notes are all the rage right now. They tend to be quickly followed up with accounts created to receive donations. I don't think this is totally BS because it doesn't surprise me a doctor would make sure a patient was aware of all the options available to her. I would expect it, especially if there were some sort of time limit on any of the options.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bluesneakers View Post
    Open letters and anonymous notes are all the rage right now. They tend to be quickly followed up with accounts created to receive donations. I don't think this is totally BS because it doesn't surprise me a doctor would make sure a patient was aware of all the options available to her. I would expect it, especially if there were some sort of time limit on any of the options.
    To be clear, what I think is BS is her characterization of the communication between her and her doctor. I'm sure the letter exists and I'm sure there was a discussion of options due to the genetic abnormalities found in utero. I'm also sure that she's trying to demonize a physician for doing his/her job because of an agenda. Her motives and sinister characterization is the BS of the "story".

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    Quote Originally Posted by animlzrule View Post
    To be clear, what I think is BS is her characterization of the communication between her and her doctor. I'm sure the letter exists and I'm sure there was a discussion of options due to the genetic abnormalities found in utero. I'm also sure that she's trying to demonize a physician for doing his/her job because of an agenda. Her motives and sinister characterization is the BS of the "story".
    Got it, and I agree.

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    It would have been negligent for the physician to NOT present ALL of the options to this patient. She could have sued him for not presenting all the options. In fact, there are "wrongful birth" lawsuits trying to make their way thru the legal system at the present time, from parents who feel that termination should have been presented as an option.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wrongful_birth

    Wrongful birth is a legal cause of action in some common law countries in which the parents of a congenitally diseased child claim that their doctor failed to properly warn of their risk of conceiving or giving birth to a child with serious genetic or congenital abnormalities.[1] Thus, the plaintiffs claim, the defendant prevented them from making a truly informed decision as to whether or not to have the child. Wrongful birth is a type of medical malpractice tort. It is distinguished from wrongful life, in which the child sues the doctor.
    She also could have LEFT this doc's care, and chosen a new provider if she felt such "dread" at coming to her prenatal appointments. In fact, I'd argue that she SHOULD have changed docs if she felt "dread". Clearly there was no trust and confidence there on her part.

    I agree that this woman has a huge chip on her shoulder, and a very transparent agenda. She also clearly loves and cherishes her child, and for that, I'm delighted. That doesn't mean that her doc did a bad thing by informing her of the diagnosis and her options. We don't know from her letter, but she may be opposed to abortion in any circumstance, so the mere mention of this by her doc pushed all those buttons for her, and now she feels she needs to condemn him and "show off" her child as revenge or retribution, and to show her support for her choice and her beliefs. And again, the medical professional CANNOT SAY A THING IN THEIR DEFENSE. That is the power of our privacy laws, and the exploitation of the media.

    Either way, her choice was her choice, and she is definitely seeking attention, notoriety, and validation for her decision, from strangers. And instead of sheltering her child from the public, she is using her, IMO, and exploiting her to show what a great mom she is for not choosing termination. She doesn't even realize, IMO, how much she is exploiting her child and her child's privacy-- a vulnerable child, no less.

    Terminating a pregnancy is a difficult legal and personal choice, and should remain legal and personal, IMO. It is even more difficult when the pregnancy was planned, and the fetus is profoundly deformed/ disabled/ has serious anomalies/ conditions incompatible with life-- whichever phrase folks prefer. I'd argue that it should be fully covered by either insurance, or through charities, as well.

    I am also well aware that there are advocates who specifically want to "outlaw" Down Syndrome as a "reason" for choosing termination, as they feel that eradication of DS should not be a goal. That DS is a "variant" of human beings, as opposed to a genetic anomaly with serious birth defects. I agree that all DS kids who are here deserve all of the love and care they need for their lifelong situation, but I have a real problem with the issues of the advocates who want to "outlaw" all prenatal testing for DS, and those who believe that we should not try to eradicate birth defects.

    I think it's also important to understand that individuals afflicted with DS conditions do not have the same set of medical issues-- some individuals are severely afflicted with many serious conditions, and very low IQ's, and are quite medically fragile, and have lifelong dependency needs, while others are "high functioning", and able to live in group homes and hold supervised menial jobs in certain industries. High functioning with few medical issues is not really the norm-- it's the exception.

    If one chooses to carry and raise a DS child, then the care for that child and intensive services begin at the moment of diagnosis. So, IMO, it's essential that EACH pregnant woman be screened for DS, so that the woman can make the best decisions for her and her fetus, with her docs. We can't "eliminate" screening because it leads to abortions of DS fetuses, because the women who plan to birth and raise their DS child NEED early identification for proper medical support.

    IMO, some of the celebrities who have chosen to carry and raise their DS children have presented the most irresponsible behavior in their public lives while pregnant. That leads the public to think that a DS pregnancy is "no big deal". For example, Sarah Palin's public travel and behavior at the end of her pregnancy with Trig was, IMO, deplorable, irresponsible, and highly unsafe for Trig, IMO.

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    I guess I'm wondering if the same doctor discusses termination with all patients or just those whose prenatal screenings turn up something "abnormal." I've been pregnant seven times and not once has any doctor offered termination to me in a hey you're pregnant so just fyi here are all your options talk. Termination was only ever brought up in discussions concerning prenatal testing and more so as a way to gauge if the testing was worth the expense and worry, so like a "well, if you think you would terminate the pregnancy if the test showed something then yes, have the test done."

    I don't know if this woman is telling the truth, exaggerating, or something else, but I do know my experiences through my pregnancies and I know that some doctors have the attitude of I'll present all the options without opinion, some will push certain options over others and some clearly have an agenda. With my first pregnancy I was lectured for over an hour during an ultrasound about how I should definitely get an amino to check for birth defects despite my repeatedly saying I did not want to have one. That doctor was not my regular doctor but one I had to see to have the ultrasound. Had it been my doctor, I definitely would have switched because the pressure just during that one hour was ridiculous, I couldn't imagine being a full time patient of his. I am lucky though in that I would have actually been able to switch doctors. Not everyone can say that, especially in smaller communities where there may not be many ob/gyns, or may not be many choices within a certain healthcare plan.

    Some might see this as her trying to validate her choice but I suppose the same could be said for anyone who talks about all the reasons to terminate. That is trying to validate that choice. I see this more as a mom who loves her child despite living in a society that doesn't value her child's life as much as those of "normal" children. She probably senses from many people that they believe she, her child, and society as a whole would be better off without DS children and I have no problem with her saying that her child is equally as valuable as any other.


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    Quote Originally Posted by animlzrule View Post
    I call BS. Of course a physician will list termination as an option whenever there is a genetic defect found during pregnancy screening. I've no doubt the minute she left that appointment that the wheels were already turning as to how she could exploit her circumstances and add to the attacks and vilification of people who make the choice to terminate, and the providers who perform this medical procedure. She's likely characterized this physician's discussion of her options into a "suggestion" in order to push her agenda. Not buying it.
    I am not going to go into details, but I have experienced the pressure of a doctor in this manner (I am not talking about presenting options, I am talking about cruel and direct language, suggestions and mannerisms). I stood against it, but it was very real, and ended with complaints filed against the doctor. It was found in my favor (I was let out of some bills, which was not my agenda but a consequence of the malpractice by this doctor, yes it was that bad), and the doctor even manipulated medical records (which I had the originals of, yay me!). It might be difficult to believe this does happen until it happens to you. I'm going to decline to respond to this thread as this is a very stressful subject for me (my son passed away of something entirely unrelated to the false diagnosis), I opened it hoping to see support for the mother who wrote the letter. By the way, the doctor who diagnosed my baby, was wrong.

    ETA Please read the comments on that article, this mom is not alone in her experience.
    Last edited by BelleIsle; 06-08-2016 at 05:05 AM. Reason: typos, it's late.

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    Her experience is real for her but discussing termination as an option seems like a matter of normal procedure in prenatal testing. Of course the doctor's personal bias, if any, may influence the way it is worded and it may come out awkwardly, or the parent's anxiety upon finding out their child has a genetic defect may influence the way they hear and interpret things. On the other hand some other mothers who are perhaps considering abortion might experience, "your child is perfect", as the doctor pressuring them to keep the child.

    Ideally, the message should be, "whatever you decide, there is support available".

    Perhaps before prenatal testing, the parents should sign a paper saying whether they wish to be presented with all options or not.
    Last edited by Donjeta; 06-08-2016 at 05:34 AM.

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    Not everybody would want to raise a child with Down syndrome (in fact I believe most fetuses with Down syndrome are aborted). It would be irresponsible for the doctor to now warn the expecting mother that a fetus has this condition.
    Just my opinion

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    Quote Originally Posted by AzPistonsGirl View Post
    SMB

    what is her agenda? happy children? She is not asking for anything of material substance in her letter. She is sharing how she felt.
    Did you read the letter. According to her, her wish is that doctor tells the expecting mother that the fetus is "perfect" if this fetus has Down syndrome.
    Just my opinion

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    What I have an issue with is how publicly this woman is criticizing her specialist, and how congratulatory and self-righteous she is toward herself for her personal decision. There was no need, IMO, to make any of this "public"-- that is my whole issue with what she did. That is why her actions are a statement of "protest", and not just "I'm just a happy mom". This woman is criticizing every other woman who did not make the same choice SHE did, and passing judgment on them, as well as her doc.

    I'm happy she's happy-- I'm NOT happy she is criticizing the doc for providing options, nor for the self-righteous tone she takes which indirectly criticizes others who make the awful, very personal choice to terminate.

    Just imagine a reverse scenario. A woman has a fetus diagnosed with DS, and is counseled by her specialist as to the probable medical situation with the fetus, prognosis, and options. After lengthy deliberation, lots of research and questions, and a lot of tears and sadness, she chooses to terminate the pregnancy.

    The woman is very moved emotionally by the whole experience, and decides to write a letter to her specialist 15 months later. She shares this letter with public media outlets.

    Scenario #1:

    She writes an angry letter to her doc, accusing him of forcefully persuading her to end the pregnancy, stealing her happiness in life, and possibly her one shot at motherhood. She tells him every day she is sad because she canít hold her child, and marvel at her fingers and heartbeat. She tells him he is a terrible person for diagnosing her perfect child with a horrible genetic condition, and he is even more horrible for presenting termination as an option. She questions how he could ever have such an evil, terrible occupation, and says she hopes he quits his job. She threatens to sue him. She gets a lot of sympathy, validation, and media exposure from pro-life advocates, and becomes a celebrity for their cause.

    Scenario #2:

    She writes a letter of thanks and gratitude to her specialist for helping her during such a wrenching, emotional time in her life. She says how thankful she is that modern medicine can diagnose devastating genetic conditions so early in the pregnancy process, and thanks him for helping her truly understand her particular set of circumstances, and the lifelong prognosis. She expresses how difficult and painful her decision was to end her much wanted pregnancy, to prevent lifelong pain and suffering for her child, and that she feels that the wrenching decision she made was compassionate for her child. She tells him she is very hopeful she will be able to have another child, and thanks her doc for the genetic information and counseling she received.

    Letter writer #2 would not be congratulated, validated, or receive much sympathy from the public, IMO. She would be reviled, stalked, and harassed for making such a personal story into a public statement. She would be called a baby murderer, and probably have protesters picketing her home and the doctorís office. IMO.

    I cannot fault those who make the decision to terminate. I have seen many of these patients over the course of their lives, in and out of hospitals, many are non-verbal and unable to understand what is happening to them. She is only 15 months into her child's life, and her child at this poiint is not a lot different from other 15 month olds. There is a lot, a lot, ahead of them. Will she write another letter when her child is 15? 30? 45? Does this woman truly realize she has made the decision for her other 2 daughters that they will have to care for their sister for the rest of her life? Did she consider whether that's right for her to make that decision? I have 3 friends who are all caring for grown siblings who have had serious disabilities since birth. Their parents are now gone, they aren't wealthy, and the care taking is almost a full time job even for the 2 in care homes.

    I could never fault a woman for choosing termination when facing such a devastating prognosis. It's easy to look at disabled kids and admire how cute they are all dressed up in posed pictures, and see how much their families love them. But I think very few truly understand what they face over a lifetime of pain and suffering, and never ending, full time care. It's exhausting financially, emotionally, physically, and spiritually-- and there is very little respite available.

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