Dear Geneticist, Your Insensitive Words Stabbed My Heart

October 21, 2016

 

Dear Geneticist,

 

The first thing you asked us when we sat down in your office was "Are you continuing the pregnancy?"

 

That thought had never crossed my mind and hearing those insensitive words stabbed my heart. You were young and I could tell that is what they taught you to ask; but first thing?

 

That question really shaped the rest of my pregnancy and made me feel like I did not belong in a "normal" pregnancy group, it made me feel like an outcast.

 

I've asked many people with "typical pregnancies" since and not one Mother had ever been asked if they were continuing their pregnancy. I hope you eventually realize that this is a bad practice and humanize your approach when speaking with Human Beings in the future.

 

October is Down Syndrome Awareness Month. This letter is part of the Down Syndrome Diagnosis Network’s #DearDoctor campaign. The purpose of this campaign is to raise awareness that there are nationally recognized guidelines in place on how to deliver a Down syndrome diagnosis- with current information and without bias.

 

You can let your doctor know how they did delivering the diagnosis by participating in DSDN’s Physician Feedback Program. If you are a parent of a young child with Down syndrome, connect with DSDN for information, connections and support.

 

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