Letter: Down's syndrome: litigation, inspiration, and the problems of choice

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Sir: I would like to congratulate you on your editorial 'The right to a perfect baby' (24 August). I have an elder brother, Tim, who is now 29 years old and has Down's syndrome. Throughout my life Tim has been an inspiration not only to my family but to everyone around us. Every achievement, no matter how small, makes me ever more proud; every disappointment makes me reflect on my own life and realise that nothing should be taken for granted. In short Tim has, without even trying, made me a better person.

Having a handicapped child must not be seen to be a failure, whether of the parents or of the medical profession. The quicker this particular attitude is lost the easier it will be for parents to cope. Once the handicapped are accepted as equal members of society, the strain put on the parents will be no more than for any other child, and the parents can freely enjoy the child's development and the emotional rewards that come with it.

Yours faithfully,




24 August