Making perfect babies

Featured in

  • Published 20040601
  • ISBN: 9780733314339
  • Extent: 268 pp
  • Paperback (234 x 153mm)

THE BYSTANDER APPEARED shocked. Open-mouthed, she was standing there shaking her head. “Not one”, she said, “not one but two. Don’t you know that kind of thing is preventable now?”

The objects of her disgust were the two children of Sarah D., a woman I met in the United States. Sarah’s children were both born with an extra chromosome 21, giving them the typical appearance of Down’s syndrome. Sarah was aware that Down’s syndrome can be prevented – or rather, that the condition can be diagnosed in a foetus long before birth, allowing for what is rather gruesomely termed a “therapeutic abortion”.

Already a subscriber? Sign in here

If you are an educator or student wishing to access content for study purposes please contact us at

Share article

About the author

Sam Tormey

Dr Sam Tormey has worked in medical genetics in the United States and recently completed a masters degree in bioethics at Cambridge University as...

More from this edition

Chewing the fat

EssayI HAVE BEEN fascinated by fat ever since I was a pre-teen anorexic. My fascination may have preceded the onset of anorexia, although I...

DNA and the justice game

ReportageI HAD JUST received double digits for the Brisbane National Australia Bank robbery when they transferred me into B Block at the Sir David...

Writing, standing on your head

EssayTHE WRITER NEEDS a body to perform writing. The body is a text written by thought, experience, genetics, culture, performance, fashion, personality. The body...

Stay up to date with the latest, news, articles and special offers from Griffith Review.