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Comments about ‘Scientists find it is possible to 'silence' chromosome that causes Down syndrome’

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Breakthrough causes mixed reactions within Down syndrome community

Published: Monday, Aug. 12 2013 2:25 p.m. MDT

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Eliot
Genola, UT

"There is something positive that people with Down syndrome contribute to the world."

That is a statement from someone who does not have Down syndrome. Will someone offer a perspective from a person who does have the syndrome?

Kalindra
Salt Lake City, Utah

@ Eliot: Would you willing change a fundamental aspect of yourself - knowing it would change your life for both good and bad? Do you feel you make a positive impact on the world around you? Do those who know you think you make a positive impact on the world around you?

I have a sister with Downs. When she was born, my parents were told to institutionalize her. My parents did not listen. Due to my parents, and many parents like them who also did not listen, the lives of individuals with Downs have vastly improved.

My sister has improved my life in ways she cannot know - and I would not change that for anything.

I don't know if my sister could comprehend the question you want her asked - although there may be other Downs individuals who could.

Cochlear implants make the deaf hearing, but many deaf choose not to have them.

Turning off Downs will probably be just as controversial.

Truthseeker
SLO, CA

Re:Kalindra
"My sister has improved my life in ways she cannot know - and I would not change that for anything."

I understand you love your sister the way she is, but:
What of her life? Would you not want for her to have all the choices you've had?
Would she be any less of "value" to you if she had been born without Down's Syndrome?

What happens to people with Down's Syndrome when their primary caregivers get old and infirm or die?

It would be nice if there was a "cure" available, to those who wanted it.

cjb
Bountiful, UT

If downs syndrome is really a positive thing, then why are scientists trying to get rid of it?

1utahn
North Salt Lake, UT

Let parents decide. I would probably decide to deactivate the gene if I knew my child would be born with it, but there are going to parents who would not.

Shawnm750
West Jordan, UT

I think what most people are failing to realize here is that just because scientists have found a way to "suppress" this condition (in a Petri dish) doesn't mean that this condition is going away. As with any genetic disorder, Down syndrome is encoded in EVERY cell in a person's body. The only way to realistically prevent it, is to do it at conception, or early in the embryonic stage. Until technology becomes FAR more advanced, there's not going to be any type of prenatal prevention for most people. So people like Kalindra's sister who already have the condition aren't going to be "cured."

As the article points out, what it does mean is that doctors will soon (potentially) be able to better treat some of the conditions associated with this ailment. Gene therapy has made some huge advancements, and I believe that's the real positive news that we should take from this discovery. We can offer those with this condition an even higher quality of life.

Speaking personally, I know numerous people with Down syndrome, and I too have had my life enriched by them in ways no "normal" person ever could.

worf
Mcallen, TX

Down syndrome people, are some of the nicest most caring people.

I wouldn't call it a defect.

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