Our view

OUR VIEW - imageThe Board of Trustees have carefully explored the policy background, issues and challenges around pre-natal testing.

Down’s Syndrome Scotland continues to believe that people with Down’s syndrome can and do lead full and rewarding lives.

Down’s Syndrome Scotland acknowledges that the offer of pre-natal screening and testing for Down’s syndrome is a routine part of antenatal care offered in Scotland. We respect parents’ rights to making choices about antenatal tests and their outcomes.

However at the time of screening/testing, easily understood and up-to-date information SHOULD ALWAYS be provided in a balanced way by well trained professionals. This should include:

  • The accuracy of screening/test results and associated risks of further screening/tests;
  • The life prospects of people with Down’s syndrome;
  • The impact on families (challenges and joys);
  • The support available both from Down’s Syndrome Scotland and in the community;
  • The offer of informed, broad and non-directive counselling from a suitable specialist.

Our purpose is to ensure that the prenatal screening/testing process informs all potential parents of the challenges and joys of having a child with Down’s syndrome.  We offer to support expectant parents who contact the organisation during this time, through our family support service.  In addition we will over the next 6 months develop a leaflet similar to our ‘new baby packs’ giving information about the challenges and joys of having a child with Down’s syndrome, for parents at this stage.  It is our aim to get agreement that these would be given to all parents who receive either a high risk result or a diagnosis, just as our ‘baby packs’ are given to all new parents by hospital staff.

In providing such information, Down’s Syndrome Scotland maintains neutrality as a recognised source of impartial advice and supports the people involved whatever their personal decision.