Worse than eugenics

Girl with Down's syndrome

05 May Worse than eugenics

Myths about Down’s syndrome lead to thousands of abortions every year. A new proposal will make it even harder for parents to resist social pressure

If it were made possible, do you think Down’s syndrome should disappear from society?” Put in this stark form, the question pulls you up short. When it was posed in precisely those terms to the Dutch geneticist Hans Galjaard, a former member of the Unesco bioethics committee, it drew an equally direct reply: “Yes, that was one of my motivations,” he said.

Galjaard was talking about a new, non-invasive pre-natal testing technique. The Government is considering incorporating it into its routine screening regime during pregnancy, making this a matter of some urgency. In recent weeks campaigners have been lobbying Westminster with the aim of persuading the Health Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, not to proceed.

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2 Comments
  • Genetic screening is used to eliminate groups of people
    Posted at 16:10h, 14 July Reply

    […] media reports that Denmark will be a Down syndrome-free and perfect society within 30 years. When professor Galjaard, geneticist and former member UNESCO bioethics committee was asked: ‘do you think Down […]

  • Roja Sooben
    Posted at 16:50h, 22 August Reply

    I would like to know if there’s any latest information about progress and response from Whitehall regarding Mr Cameron’s promise – consideration of moral and ethical issues ? I believe it’s important to keep the momentum going as there a number of issues the government need to take on board .

    thank you

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