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Brendan O'Connor - ''Let's not rush to judge...''

  • #1
    Registered Users Posts: 416 ✭✭ Rips


    ''Let's not rush to judge over baby Gammy''

    http://www.independent.ie/opinion/columnists/brendan-oconnor/lets-not-rush-to-judge-over-baby-gammy-30495631.html

    Lets not rush to judge, writes Brendan O'Connor, as he proceeds to compare pro-choice parents to a convicted paedophile who left his living breathing biological child with a poverty stricken mother because it was born with Downs Syndrome.
    And maybe they might consider too that society's attitudes to people with Downs are one of the main reasons why people like David Farnell and the thousands of people who terminate their unborn babies with Downs every year do so.
    I am appalled by this article and his attitude.

    I recently accompanied a friend to a scheduled HSE scan, where she had to disclose that she had had private prenatal screening prior to the appointment.
    She is under huge emotional stress as a close family member had just died and she came out of the appointment and burst into tears in the car as the nurse who took her details presumed to judge her for doing so. I was so shocked, hurt and angry, mostly angry that a healthcare worker would contribute to stress that could ultimately be damaging to her child.

    Then I read an article like this and think that its really no surprise...


Comments



  • It's an Indo article, pushing all of the emotional buttons.

    On the one hand, he has a child with Downs, so he is 'on the side of the angels'.

    On the other hand, because he is 'on the side of the angels', he can say whatever he likes. Unsurprisingly, this is what he does:
    A man was demonised all over the world because it was reported that, firstly, he encouraged the Thai surrogate mother to abort Gammy when he discovered the unborn baby had Downs. And, subsequently, he abandoned the baby for being imperfect. Cue outrage in the world's media. Anguish all over social media. Strangers on Twitter saying that their heart was broken over the story. And ultimately a couple of hundred thousand euro collected in an appeal for the baby.All very nice and caring. And all very easy for people to get their knickers in a twist about, before moving onto the next viral outrage.

    A man was demonised, he complains. Making sure to inform us that David Farnell is a paedophile, O' Connor goes on: 'But am I the only one who thinks that I can sympathise with what this ogre did?'

    Then O' Connor goes on to paint an unpleasant picture of a man who requested an abortion of his unborn child and who then abandoned the child. He follows this with: 'Cue outrage in the world's media', as if such a reaction was in some way extraordinary.

    Eventually, after all of this, he makes his point:
    maybe they might think about why someone would not want a child with Downs, and maybe they might think about all those people who choose not to have a baby with Downs, and maybe they might question whether we wish to live in a society where difference or imperfection is eliminated. And as genetics advances all the time, maybe these people might think a little about what other differences we are going to start eliminating from our ever more perfect gene pool. And maybe they might consider too that society's attitudes to people with Downs are one of the main reasons why people like David Farnell and the thousands of people who terminate their unborn babies with Downs every year do so.

    He asserts that his point is to think about why people abort children with Downs. But in reality, he has written an article about people who have sought abortions of children with Downs, and he asks about eliminating imperfections from the gene pool.

    So is it about eliminating flaws from the gene pool, or is it about examining society to see why people think this way?

    I don't think that it's either. I think that it's a cynical exercise in shock tactics and newspaper sales.

    Are newspaper readers prepared to put up with this standard of journalism? Why do people read this newspaper at all?




  • Are newspaper readers prepared to put up with this standard of journalism? Why do people read this newspaper at all?
    Same reason people slow down whenever they drive past the scene of an accident.




  • I'm no fan of Brendan O'Connor but I don't think that article was at all bad. In fact he presents some hard choices pretty starkly.

    I am unclear what exactly it is to which you are all objecting. Is it your position that he is wrong to have a DS baby? And to care for her?

    You're not being very clear, apart from the fact that you all obviously dislike what he said.




  • I'm no fan of Brendan O'Connor but I don't think that article was at all bad. In fact he presents some hard choices pretty starkly.

    I am unclear what exactly it is to which you are all objecting. Is it your position that he is wrong to have a DS baby? And to care for her?

    You're not being very clear, apart from the fact that you all obviously dislike what he said.

    Absolutely not, that is his choice. Who is he to criticise the choices of others, to compare them to David Farnell, especially when he admits his own conflicted feelings on the matter.

    If only all the parents of DS children were as financially secure as he is.

    I'm sure that any parent who chooses to test so they can be informed, or chooses to terminate, has their reasons to do so - and do not have to lower themselves to a level of 'empathy' with a person like David Farnell to validate their choices.

    I have since heard that some HSE maternity hospitals have recently discontinued the routine anomaly scan at 20weeks.

    When questioned, a senior consultant replied that a scan for anomalies was unnecessary as at 20weeks 'what are you going to do about it?'

    In direct conflict with the 1992 constitutional amendment securing a women's 'right to information' and 'right to travel'.

    Perhaps with cuts, they can't afford to offer the service ... or perhaps they can't afford anymore controversy. Best keep them in the dark, until its too late.




  • Rips wrote: »
    Absolutely not, that is his choice. Who is he to criticise the choices of others, to compare them to David Farnell, especially when he admits his own conflicted feelings on the matter.

    If only all the parents of DS children were as financially secure as he is.

    I'm sure that any parent who chooses to test so they can be informed, or chooses to terminate, has their reasons to do so - and do not have to lower themselves to a level of 'empathy' with a person like David Farnell to validate their choices.

    I have since heard that some HSE maternity hospitals have recently discontinued the routine anomaly scan at 20weeks.

    When questioned, a senior consultant replied that a scan for anomalies was unnecessary as at 20weeks 'what are you going to do about it?'

    In direct conflict with the 1992 constitutional amendment securing a women's 'right to information' and 'right to travel'.

    Perhaps with cuts, they can't afford to offer the service ... or perhaps they can't afford anymore controversy. Best keep them in the dark, until its too late.

    That's strange, as on the economic front, one scan is vastly cheaper than a lifetime of supports to a child with DS...


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