NRL News

Doctor to new mother of Down syndrome baby: Don’t worry, some of them die young

by | Aug 10, 2017

Editor’s note. This post, and the one below, both appeared at Each quote originally appeared in “Testing Women, Testing the Fetus: the Social Impact of Amniocentesis in America,” by Rayna Rapp (New York: Routledge, 1999).

The mother of a baby with down syndrome describes what the doctor said to her after the delivery:

“She was tiny, but she was great, like she was just the cutest thing. And then my husband comes in, and he looked weird and immediately he said, “The baby, something is wrong…” And all I could think of was that she’s blind, I guess that was probably the worst thing I could ever have imagined. But the doctor had just called him and told him that Rose was a Mongoloid. We took a half hour to get it out of him, like he couldn’t finish telling me the story, and then the doctor came in and said, “What your husband just told you is right.” He was, like, very down on the whole thing, very negative. He said, “The only blessing is that they don’t tend to live very long.” So he thought it would be a good thing if our new baby would die. What more can I say?”


Doctor yells at new mother of baby with Down syndrome

A woman whose baby was born with Down syndrome talks about how the doctor who helped her deliver treated her:

“My doctor was so angry with me. He couldn’t believe I didn’t take that test. “How could you let this happen?” He yelled at me. “You’re 40!” But I think something else: even though he’s mentally retarded, he could be a good person… It’s just like finding out you have a new job. You just do it, and you accept it, that’s all there is to it.”


Categories: Down Syndrome