A hotel chef who has Downs Syndrome is set make a heart-breaking plea to the Master of the Rotunda hospital, Professor Fergal Malone, not to eliminate those who are diagnosed with the disorder. will hand deliver an emotional letter to the Rotunda tomorrow, (Friday), in which he asks, ‘ What are you telling parents?’
Conor O’ Dowd, (28), from Drogheda will hand deliver an emotional letter to the Rotunda tomorrow, (Friday), in which he asks, ‘ What are you telling parents?’
His poignant reaction comes after Professor Malone revealed in an interview that 95% of babies born in the Rotunda that are diagnosed with Downs Syndrome are aborted.
Conor’s father, Michael O’Dowd of Disability Voices for Life, said, “I believe this is a governance issue for the Rotunda.
“A 95% rate of abortions suggests that information being given to prospective parents may be skewed towards highlighting potential medical problems, ignoring the positive aspects of having a child with Down syndrome.
“In 2018, just 5 years ago the Professor stated that “approximately half” of all parents with a prenatal diagnosis of Down Syndrome aborted the baby – while the other half did not.
“He insisted at that time that it was his experience that it was “not a given” that parents will opt for abortion if they were told by doctors that their unborn child would be born with a chromosomal abnormality such as Down syndrome.
“If we are to believe that Dr Malone is correct both in 2018 and at this time, then the rates of abortion for babies with Down Syndrome have doubled in his hospital,”
“I feel that babies with Down syndrome are almost being eradicated. We need an inquiry into what’s happening with the culture in Irish hospitals. Something is very wrong when almost all babies like my son are being aborted. So much for compassion.’
Studies in other countries have shown that parents report often feeling under pressure from medical professionals to abort their babies, though Dr Malone said that is not happening in the Rotunda.
One study by Down Syndrome Australia found that “almost half of families reported feeling pressured by healthcare providers to terminate their pregnancy”
Conor’s letter in full:
“Dear Professor Malone
My name is Conor and I am a young man with Down syndrome. I am working as a Chef in a hotel in Drogheda and I go to College in Dundalk. I love my life
I don’t understand why people are trying to eliminate people like me. It is very wrong and very unfair.
We love our parents, our family and our friends and they love us.
What are you telling parents?
Tell them the truth.”