Tuesday, January 31, 2012

My interview on "National Review "

While in Washington for book signings, my Pre-natal Diagnosis Conference, and the March for Life, I ran into National Review columnist Kathryn Jean Lopez. We had already collaborated on this interview for National Review which came out today.

Here's a sneak peak;

LOPEZ: How can we help doctors? So many parents in your book got little encouragement from their doctor, instead having to beg to give their child a chance at life. One doctor even lied to the parents about the possibilities for the child living much beyond birth.

VELASQUEZ: Doctors may appear to have an agenda, but it’s most helpful to assume that misconceptions can be overcome with information. They should be encouraged to educate themselves through conferences like the one I am giving about the latest research — whether it be medical research or improved educational methods, so they can help their patients give truly informed consent when a diagnosis is given. They also need the encouragement of seeing our families living fulfilled lives with a child with special needs; in many cases they have not seen families like ours. I recently interviewed Princeton bioethicist Peter Singer, who admitted he had no exposure to people with Down Syndrome. I am hoping that a family with a child with Down Syndrome befriends him so that his eyes can be opened to the joy such children bring.

There are increasing numbers of outreach programs to medical students from members of the special-needs community. One of them at the Boggs Center in New Jersey has a medical student spend a day with a family raising a child with special needs. These relationships can offer the doctor a different perspective than was taught in medical school. Offer to chat with your obstetrician’s other patients who are expecting a child with a disability, or give them a copy of my book. There is also a beautiful free pamphlet available through the National Down Syndrome Society called “Understanding a Down Syndrome Diagnosis.”

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