2. Down’s Syndrome Tests: When “what if” comes very close to “most probably”: Brooding and Dilemmas

Panic Attack or Anxiety PTSD by George Grie This image (or other media file) is in the public domain because its copyright has expired. This applies to Australia, the European Union and those countries with a copyright term of life of the author plus 70 years.
Panic Attack or Anxiety PTSD
by George Grie
This image (or other media file) is in the public domain because its copyright has expired.
This applies to Australia, the European Union and those countries with a copyright term of life of the author plus 70 years.

Normally, when it comes to such matters, I consider myself to be logical and ready to act based on scientific facts and numbers, but I still couldn’t help crying for a while before going back to work that day after the clinic. What if the fetus really does have down’s syndrome? How about the 1 in 400 risk of a miscarriage after an amnio? What if I lose the baby – I mean fetus – and a month later, the results are of a perfectly healthy baby? How does one cope with that?

At home that evening, I was surprised and also pleased to see the husband, for the first time in his life, doing research into the ethical side of the whole matter. The “what if” he had been asking himself for the last few hours was what would happen once we got the results of a defected chromosome fetus. We have seen the baby – ugh, fetus – on the ultrasound, we have lived with it for 4 months and we have been making future plans for 3 people and despite all our efforts to prevent it, we have established a bond with the tiny fragile life in me.

One month later, once we got the “positive” results as in positive for defected chromosome, after 5 months of living together, we were supposed to end the life that depended so much on us to survive. At this point, we realized, that was exactly why we had to choose to interfere in the pregnancy. There was no way of knowing how severely our child would be affected and there was a chance it might depend on us for the rest of its life. Even if we were ready to give up on the future life we had pictured for ourselves, what would happen to the child once we were gone? How would he/she live on? Who would be there to help? What kind of a life would await him/her without us around?

I ended feeling close to what Dawkins meant when he said it would be immoral to bring a child under such conditions when one has a choice.

Thus, we made up our minds to go for the amniocentesis the next day.

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