Disabled Children and Our Cultural Blindspot

In this touching 7-minute video, mother Lacey Buchanan shares her story of choosing life for her disabled son.

Contrast the above video with the recent news story of an Oregon couple who were awarded nearly $3 million by a jury after their daughter was born with Down Syndrome. 

The couple, who have not commented publicly on their lawsuit because they are “worried about the backlash they could get over such a controversial topic,” sued the hospital for millions, the amount they say will be needed to care for their daughter during her lifetime. They contend that doctors at the hospital “repeatedly advised” them that a test of their unborn child had “definitely ruled out Down syndrome” and that other indicators were “not reliable.” The doctors, say the Levys, were “negligent in their performance, analysis and reporting.” Had they known their daughter would have been born with Down Syndrome, they would have aborted the baby.

Boaz ReigstadThis is a sickening situation. I would like to see lawsuits by people talked into an abortion, rather than people suing when they end up letting an innocent child live because they weren't “given the correct medical information.” They are in essence saying, "You should have told us, and if you would have, we would have killed our daughter."

As far back as the 1980's, I read about a survey of pediatricians in which 3/4 said they would abort if knew they were going to have a Down Syndrome Child. Another survey of pediatricians and pediatric surgeons re­vealed that more than two out of three would go along with parents’ wishes to deny life-saving surgery to a child with Down syndrome.

On the one hand, we provide special parking and elevators for the handicapped. We talk tenderly about those poster children with Spina-bifida and Down syndrome. We smile when they’re in a McDonald’s commercial. We sponsor the Special Olympics and cheer on the competitors, speaking of the joy and inspiration they bring us.

But when we hear a woman is carrying one of these very children, many say, “Kill it.”

God help us.

Photo by AbsolutVision on Unsplash

Randy Alcorn (@randyalcorn) is the author of over sixty books and the founder and director of Eternal Perspective Ministries