//Down’s discrimination

Down’s discrimination

Chief Executive of Down’s Syndrome Scotland

EddieMcConell- https://www.covid19inquiry.scot/sites/default/files/ev-documents/sci-wt0450-000001.pdf

123. Our experience is that there is still what we call ‘diagnostic overshadowing’. What we see is, when somebody presents at a GP practice or at a hospital with Down’s syndrome, we commonly see them focus on the Down’s syndrome and the presenting health issues are almost nullified because they say, "Well that is part of the Down’s syndrome".

However, it is a health issue that needs to be
addressed but they cannot see past the Down’s syndrome. That was certainly heightened during the pandemic.

124. We are quite strong about this and want to make our feelings clear. That is a form of discrimination, and we will call it out as discrimination. I think it is fair to say that the frailty scale issue and that access to equal healthcare existed before the pandemic, it was just escalated in the pandemic.

125. We had an incident not long after the pandemic where a gentleman went for a heart appointment, a cardiac appointment, and the specialist in the treatment room turned round to the young man’s mother, the man was in his 20s, and she said, "I do not know whether it’s worth operating on somebody like him".

Those were the words that came out and that was the mindset, that his life is less worthy because he’s got Down’s syndrome to undergo heart treatment.

Woman with Down’s syndrome loses court of appeal abortion law case


Heidi Crowter argued that the law was discriminatory and stigmatised disabled people

Heidi Crowter, who brought the case alongside Máire Lea-Wilson, whose son Aidan also has Down’s syndrome, had argued that allowing pregnancy terminations up to birth if the foetus has the condition is discriminatory and stigmatises disabled people. But in a ruling on Friday, three senior judges dismissed the appeal and said abortion laws were for parliament to decide.

Heidi Crowter

“absolutely distraught” by the ruling,

and the existing law made her feel that people like her should be “extinct”.

I am very upset that babies with Down’s syndrome can be aborted up to birth. This tells me that I am not valued and of much less value than a person without Down’s syndrome. I am angry that the judges say that my feelings don’t matter. That makes me feel that I am not as valuable as a person without Down’s syndrome.

Heidi outside court


Down’s syndrome (Trisomy 21), Edwards syndrome (Trisomy 18) and Patau syndrome (Trisomy 13)

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