[to top of second column]
Trig Palin, the 6-month-old son of vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin, has Down syndrome, and she has pledged to shift billions of dollars to programs for children with special needs if she is elected.
Tolleson said that people with Down syndrome have a spectrum of abilities.
"Some need more support, some go on to graduate from college with a four-year degree, and most are somewhere in between," he said.
Of the Australian decision, he said: "I would seriously hope they would rethink their policy and rethink the benefits which a person would bring to the community, not the least of which is the dad."
Moeller made the same argument, noting his qualifications were benefiting Australia at no cost to taxpayers.
"I am a specialist in internal medicine and I am the only one here. This is a crucial service for the area," he told 3AW. "I'm a qualified, well-trained professional, and I came here without the Australian community having to pay anything for me to get this qualification."
Don McRae, director of clinical services at Wimmera Health Care Group, said the hospital had invested a lot of time and energy in recruiting Moeller.
"It's distressing for Dr. Moeller's family and distressing for the community who have welcomed him and relied on his medical services," he said.
Australia's immigration minister, Chris Evans, has no power to intervene in the case until after it is appealed to the Migration Review Tribunal or a court upholds the department's decision.
But Roxon, the health minister, said: "There is a valid reason for this doctor and his family to be eligible to stay here in Australia."
"As a government, we understand the importance of having doctors working in our rural and regional communities, and we support them in many ways and continue to do this," she said.
Neighbors in Bad Driburg, a town about 130 miles from Cologne in western Germany, where the Moellers lived before emigrating, recalled the family's excitement at moving to Australia, which they had fallen in love with while on a vacation.
"They were fine people," said Caecilia Thormann, a former neighbor, adding that Lukas "was a friendly boy, a very friendly child."
Australia's immigration department said it appreciates Moeller's contribution to the community but said it must follow the relevant laws in considering residency applications.
"If we did not have a health requirement, the costs to the community and health system would not be sustainable," the statement said.
Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
< Recent articles
Back to top
News | Sports | Business | Rural Review | Teaching & Learning | Home and Family | Tourism | Obituaries
Law & Courts |
Spiritual Life |
Health & Fitness |
Calendar | Letters to the Editor