Angry Professor - Part 3
There have been many letters following Prof Lee's on the ST Forum, but I haven't had time to comment on all of them. I would like however to respond to Anonymous at 8:25pm, who commented on my post.
If you are who I think you are, we have met. I welcome you to the blog, but I shall remain behind my cowardly anonymity for reasons stated previously.
No doubt 'happy endings' and 'success stories' involving individuals with disabilities exist. But that fact that such 'against the odds' stories receive publicity underlies the fact that for many, life remains a constant struggle and a strain on the emotions, time, and finances of themselves and their families.
How many unhapy stories are there to one happy story?
How many unhappy stories is one happy story worth?
And I don't just mean that in terms of money, but also in terms of the pain and anguish felt by those concerned.
Anecdotal stories may inspire, but doctors have a responsibility to temper hope with reality. We cannot just tell the patient how someone else struck the jackpot, we must also tell them what the odds are are how high the stakes are.
Specific to the issue of genetic counseling, my personal belief is that it is one thing to have an unplanned pregnancy or a child with an unexpected abnormality, but another altogether when parents attempt to 'beat the odds' and try for a 'normal' child when significant risks of an inherited disorder is already known.
And that is not to say that individuals who suffer from disabilities and their families do not deserve our help and support.
I wish you the best.