Statement of conscience in trisomy 21 screening: Pregnant women’s free will jeopardized
Extract [Paragraph de conclusion] C’est précisément parce qu’« il ne peut y avoir d’anesthésie des consciences » qu’il faut s’opposer fermement à toute mesure qui restreindraient davantage encore la liberté décisionnelle des femmes en matière de dépistage prénatal. L’idée de clause de conscience soutenue par Leblanc et Ardouin en fait partie.
[Concluding paragraph] It is precisely because “there can be no anesthesia of conscience” that we must strongly oppose any measures that would further restrict women’s decision-making freedom in prenatal screening. The idea of a conscience clause supported by Leblanc and Ardouin is one of them.
Abstract The film “Who Should Survive?: One of the Choices on Our Conscience” contains a dramatization of the death of an infant with Down syndrome as the result of the parents’ decision not to have a congenital intestinal obstruction surgically corrected. The dramatization was based on two similar cases at The Johns Hopkins Hospital and was financed by the Joseph P. Kennedy, Jr., Foundation. When “Who Should Survive?” was exhibited in 1971, the public reaction was generally critical of the parents’ decision and the physicians’ inaction. Although technological developments in medicine were a necessary condition for the production of this film and its unanticipated reception, they were not a sufficient condition. The proximate cause was a changed understanding of the capabilities of individuals with Down syndrome. Part of the impetus for this change was data showing the adverse effects of institutionalization on normal children.