Thursday, December 10, 2009

Screening for Down syndrome Condemned As Eugenics

"This programme will simply result in babies with Down's syndrome being targeted with abortion in an attempt to weed out these people from our society." He said the proposal sends a message to disabled people that they are not as welcome in New Zealand as people without disabilities. The screening method is not healthcare, rather it is "unjust eugenics" and has no place in New Zealand."

1 comment:

suzy said...

Prenatal screening for Down syndrome-letter to Min of Health, NZ Tony Ryall

I'd just quickly like to express my disappointment in your response to my letter I sent you on the 3rd January. As I anticipated you have not addressed any of the issues I raised, i.e. the fact that people with Down syndrome have not been consulted on this issue and their opinion has not been expressed; lack of information on the fact that this screening frequently results in psychological and emotional harm for parents and damage to relationships; and the eugenic effects of efficient pre-natal screening.

My heart sinks as I read your response as I know it is going to result in an enormous reduction in the birth of babies with Down syndrome and our families, communities and society at large are going to miss out on these beautiful, valuable and extremely vulnerable human beings. We need these people.

The other emotion I feel when reading your response is one of anger and this is based purely on my disgust with discrimination and abhorrence of the eugenic effects this screening brings with it. Its unbelievable that a so-called civilised society such as ours is willing to support the "individual choice" of people to such an extent that the result is genocide of Disabled foetuses and a dearth of Disabled people in our communities.

The following is a quote from DownsEd UK: "To some, individual choice seems to trump all other considerations. Personal freedom is sacrosanct. To the medical screening establishment and the prenatal screening industry, 'informed choice' is the ultimate disclaimer - the outcomes of the policies cannot be the responsibility of the policymakers because all they are doing is facilitating informed individual choices. This is obvious nonsense. We do not facilitate prenatal selection of individual babies for any old thing. Just Down syndrome (and a few other conditions) are targeted by (current) public health policies. We do not (officially) leave sex selection to 'informed choice'.Government, the medical screening establishment and the prenatal screening industry therefore carry responsibility for the outcomes of their policies".

I agree entirely with them.

This activity is the very essence of what humans find so disturbing in the actions of the likes of Hitler, Mengeles, Hussein etc etc. And New Zealand pontificates to the rest of the world how fabulous we are with disability spending thousand of dollars devising Disability Strategies, amending Human Rights Acts, espousing an Education Act that is supposed to make our schools "inclusive of all" and legislating a Code of Rights that is meant to protect against discrimination yet all the while it hypocritically has introduced a screening programme that provides the ultimate solution to disability i.e. a 75 to 90% termination of disabled foetuses.

My wish is that New Zealand remain a leader in the Disability field; that it be an enlightened society that values and cares for its most vulnerable members and that is lead by a brave Government that is not willing to endorse genocide.

I wish you luck with this pre-natal screening as personally I couldn’t do what you are doing; its cowardly, amoral and inhumane.