Down Syndrome and Doctors

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It is a moment to try any couples' souls, and it happens every day. A pregnant woman and expectant father sit in an examination room after prenatal testing. The doctor comes in and tells them that the child they've dreamed of has Down Syndrome. He or she, if born, will be mentally handicapped and there is a choice to be made about whether to go forward with the pregnancy.

Eighty percent or more of such pregnancies are not taken to term. A new study says that if doctors were not so bleak, more might be. And with a changing quality of Down Syndrome life, more should be. Now that study has met the abortion debate.

Hear about Down Syndrome and the most difficult decision an expectant couple might ever make.


Brian Skotko, Harvard Medical School and author of two studies in the medical journals Pediatrics and American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology

Beth Allard, mother

Dr. John Williams, Director of Maternal Fetal Medicine at Cedar Sinai hospital in Los Angeles.

Carrie Bergeron.

This program aired on October 13, 2005.


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