For those who have followed the debate over potential treatments for Down syndrome in the New York Times parenting blog Motherlode to its source here on Contrarian, I have assembled a series of links you might want to follow.
Our discussion of this issue began with this post back in November. Jenn Power elaborated on her concerns here, and Dr. Ahmad Salehi, the Stanford researcher whose work touched off the discussion, responded thoughtfully here. Jenn’s husband Silas Barss Donham, my son, weighed in here.
Jenn is the community leader of L’Arche Cape Breton in Iron Mines, Nova Scotia, a community for “people with developmental disabilities and those who choose to share life with them.” It’s one of about 130 L’Arche communities around the world founded by the acclaimed humanitarian and philosopher Jean Vanier. A few links:
- L’Arche Cape Breton website.
- L’Arche Wikipedia entry.
- Jean Vanier’s Wikipedia entry.
- Jenn’s blog about disabilities.
- Jenn’s hilarious vacation blog.
- An amazing video Jenn produced in which L’Arche “core members” talk about their hopes and fears.
- A video of my twin grandsons, Josh and Jacob, singing “If you’re handsome and you know it….”
- Josh and Jacob singing the Robert Munsch song, “I love you forever.“
- Josh and Jacob singing Canada’s national anthem, sort of.
You may have gathered that I’m very proud of my daughter-in-law. It was distressing to see so many Motherlode commenters leap to the conclusion that, because Jenn recoiled at the prospect of chemical treatment for her sons’ intellectual impairment, she must be selfish or patronizing. In fact, Jenn is one of the least selfish, most compassionate and giving people I know. My own post on Motherlode elaborates on her admirable work.