The Memory Keeper's Daughter

563 Words3 Pages
The Memory Keeper's Daughter, authored by Kim Edwards is a poignant story about how Dr. David Henry gives away his new born daughter, who is later named Phoebe, because she is born with Down syndrome. He keeps his son Paul because he is a normal healthy baby. This event happens unbeknownst to his wife Norah. He is able to do all this because he personally delivers the babies with the help of his nurse, Caroline Gill who is secretly in love with him and is willing to do anything for him. David’s rash decision to give away his daughter is influenced by the sad experiences he went through when his own sister, who was diagnosed with a heart condition and died at the age of 12. The act of giving away his daughter sets into motion a chain of events that change the lives of two families forever. His rejection of Phoebe represents the fear that people have when facing a child with Phoebe's condition. In his own way, David is trying to protect his family from the stigma such a disability would cause. His actions are contrary of that of a doctor’s ethics which is to save…show more content…
The children who were not institutionalized were taught at home as they were deprived of public education. Turnbull et al., (2011) informs us that the eugenics movement which was in existence from 1880 to 1930 targeted people with Down syndrome and other intellectual and developmental disabilities, blaming their parents for being the source of the child’s disability. The movement influenced the government into passing laws that violated the human rights of these children. The states limited the ability of people with intellectual disabilities and other disabilities such as Down syndrome from marrying and required them to be sterilized and institutionalized to prevent them from procreating (Turnbull, Turnbull, Erwin, Soodak, & Shogren,
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