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These blood tests are not the end, you are the beginning

To pay health insurance for blood tests to determine whether a child has down syndrome? The SPD politician Dagmar Schmidt has a son with trisomy 21, and explain

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These blood tests are not the end, you are the beginning

To pay health insurance for blood tests to determine whether a child has down syndrome? The SPD politician Dagmar Schmidt has a son with trisomy 21, and explains why the debate is much more fundamental questions.

Interview of Michaela Schwinn

even before the birth using a blood test right be sure whether or not a child has down syndrome. Could be by this investigation are soon to be a standard benefit of health insurance? Thus, the Bundestag, has today in a policy debate.

Dagmar Schmidt, 46, SPD politician and Deputy, and together with the other for an ethical discussion of the question. Her son Carl was born with down syndrome. In the meantime, he is five years old, likes to play on the piano, is interested in football and is "the happiness of the whole family," says Schmidt.

the Interview in the Morning

This Interview series is devoted to current topics, and is published from Monday to Friday, at the latest at 7.30 am on SZ.de. All of the Interviews here.

SZ: Ms. Smith, what do you think of the fact that such blood tests from the health insurance are taken?

Dagmar Schmidt: That depends entirely on the conditions. For example, I would never agree that the blood test for regular pregnancy examination. If so, then he should be paid only in the case of high-risk pregnancies. But it's not just a question of whether the Tests should be paid for by the funds or not. It's debate is about much larger, more fundamental questions.

What?

These blood tests are not the end, you are the beginning. Soon we will know whether a child has a tendency to obesity, to rheumatism, to cancer, to all Sorts. So I ask myself: Will be presented to parents soon a piece of paper with dozens of anomalies, where you have to tick what should be tested? And, How would our society want to deal with these possibilities? What does it mean to know these things before the birth?

When they were pregnant, was there a Test for down's syndrome recommended?

I had a very good gynecologist. She told me that there are these possibilities, but associated with the question: "What would change for you, if you get the result?" We have watched as parents in the eyes, and to us it was clear: There would change nothing. That is why we have decided against it. I don't know but of well-Known, that such advice is the default.

The members of the Bundestag Dagmar Schmidt with your child.

(photo: Private)

What have they experienced?

For example, Doctors trying to persuade them: "but they Make the Test, then you can be sure that nothing is." I think that is wrong. Parents should also have the right to experience a hopeful pregnancy, without having to burden themselves with Tests. We need a right not to know.

But if you want to know the parents yet?

This is, of course, totally fine. Then you may be with your decision, but it is not to be left alone. Because often Doctors push for the Test, but then, if something is found, then the parents often get no more help. Here it would need more education and counseling: What is down syndrome? How life of people with down syndrome? How do families live? To understand this, you could, for example, conversations with families who have a child with down syndrome.

when did you first learn that your child has down syndrome?

immediately after the birth. We have it seen immediately. Doctors have long rumgedruckst and were only able to tell us something, after we have asked you the next day after that. That was really bizarre. With regard to the training of Doctors, especially the human contact and the psycho-social counselling and support in such situations, because I can still see very much potential for improvement.

How to incorporated your son in your environment?

We have only had positive experiences. My son goes to a normal Kindergarten in the village, and in the coming year he will start school also quite normal. Nevertheless, we are still far away from a truly inclusive society. I would wish for a culture of welcome for each child. Then it would fall parents-to-be also easier for the child, you have come to expect, to accept the way it is.p>

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