TBT: Michael Garcia, Archbishop Chaput, & the ginger gene

Shakespeare_WeKnowWhatWeAreThrowback Thursday: some news items from previous last weeks of January. Archbishop Chaput says expectant parents deserve to know that a child with Down syndrome can create joy for others. A waiter refused to serve a customer insulting a child with Down syndrome. A father tells a doctor never to see another patient after the way he delivered a prenatal diagnosis. And, genetic testing expands to detect the “ginger gene.” 

  • Archbishop Chaput delivered remarks on prenatal testing and Down syndrome this week in 2012. An excerpt:

Expectant parents deserve to know that a child with Down syndrome can love, laugh, learn, work, feel hope and excitement, make friends, and create joy for others. These things are beautiful precisely because they transcend what we expect. They witness to the truth that every child with special needs has a value that matters eternally.

  • Who remembers the news in 2013 about Michael Garcia, the waiter who stood up for a family whose child had Down syndrome? After another diner said “Special needs children need to be special somewhere else,” Garcia refused to serve them.
  • ginger_genes_2463655bIn 2013, genetic testing expanded to cover a dreaded condition so couples could find out if they were carriers of “the ginger gene.”
  • A father writes an open letter to tell the doctor who delivered a prenatal diagnosis of Alobar Holoprosencephaly to never meet with another patient again:

After you delivered those words and showed us the pictures, you advised us to head over right then and there to terminate her life. The phrase that is often used is “terminate the pregnancy,” but even that completely undermines her humanity. We didn’t know it at the time, but her name was Pearl, and you advised us to end Pearl’s life. Think about it for a moment… An ultrasound and one old encyclopedia is all it took and you were ready to give up on our baby girl. We said, “no,” and you became visibly frustrated. I don’t know what your morning was like on March 21st. Perhaps you and your wife got into an argument. Ruth and I sure did before we left the house that morning. Maybe your tee time was cancelled, or maybe you too, have a child or a spouse with a disability and some days it gets so tough that you can’t muster an ounce of compassion for those around you. I know those days. I have them all the time. I don’t know, maybe you had the best morning of your life, and it’s just regular practice for you to treat families with distain, but according to the titles of some of your works, that’s probably not the case. If it is, stop. Use your education to write papers, but don’t sit down in another room with brokenhearted parents.

  • This post of mine from January 2013 shares a link to a mom writing about her daughter with Down syndrome, who the mom says is her “every day reminder that we are what we decide to be.”

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