Tag Archives: Down syndrome

Beauty in breaking

Lealani Acosta Nashville, Tennessee, United States   Photo courtesy of Lealani Mae Acosta. Permission granted by Teresa Briley-Scott.  I had a succulent hanging from my office cabinet, suspended in a clear teardrop-shaped terrarium: its spiny green arches floated above a mound of fake snow, which I intermittently illuminated by touching the built-in switch that electrified […]

Nazi doctors and medical eponyms

Howard Fischer Uppsala, Sweden   “Special Children’s Ward” Vienna Am Spiegelgrund. Source. The tradition in medicine has been to name a pathological condition after the person who first described it in the medical literature. Thus we have Addison’s disease, Down’s syndrome, and several hundred others. The tendency now is to eliminate the possessive,1 giving Addison […]

Rethinking the impulse to empathize: A sister’s perspective on sympathy and stigma

Jeanne Farnan Pennsylvania, United States   Mary Cassatt, Mother Combing Sara’s Hair, 1901. Private collection. Web Gallery of Impressionism “I am so sorry.”  My youngest sister, Annie, was born during the spring semester of my first year of high school. These four words are etched into my memory, integrally intertwined with the events of that […]

The boy with two dads

David Thoele Chicago, Illinois, United States   Martin pictured with his two dads The first time I met Martin in my clinic, the 7-year-old seemed friendly, but shy.  He was a bit chubby, with dark, short-cropped hair, rounded fingernails, and blue-tinged skin. He was short for his age, with features of Down syndrome, which his […]

Down Syndrome through the centuries in art

Bojana Cokić Zajecar, Serbia    Though fully described by John Langdon Down in 1862, this syndrome of delayed growth, characteristic facial features, and intellectual impairment has been featured in numerous works of art since antiquity. Ancient Egyptian figure, published by Kunze and Nippert in 1986 (1)   Clay figure from Mexico from about AD 500. […]

Reflections on medicine and art

Bojana Cokić Zajecar, Serbia           Down syndrome Adoration of the Christ Child Anonymous Metropolitan Museum of Art Prader-Willi syndrome La Monstrua Desnuda Juan Carreno de Miranda Museo Nacional del Prado Angelman syndrome Boy with a Puppet Giovanni Francesca Carota Castelvecchio Museum Dwarfism Bufón don Sebastián de Morra Diego Velasquez Museo del […]