A World Without….

Last night I watched the BBC documentary “A World Without Downs Syndrome”. In case you missed it, it was presented by the mother of a Downs boy, about how pre-natal screening for Downs has now become less invasive and more accurate, and of those mothers who have the screening now in the UK, 9/10 choose to terminate. In Iceland apparently, the termination rate is 100%. No one with Downs or their families were ever consulted about the ethics of these screenings. The programme opened with footage of the presenter’s boy playing in the garden with his siblings, laughing and having fun. Whose right is it to decide that these people’s lives are not worth living? If I was a Downs person watching that programme I would think “WHAAAT! People hate my existence so much, they want to exterminate me and everyone like me? As if I am a disease. I am not, I just have different chromosomes.” I would feel sad and very angry. The scariest thing is, with the advancement of science, who could be next? We could screen out every slightest imperfection or deviation from the norm, and we’d all become clones of each other.
Imagine if my parents had been told before my birth: “Your daughter will be autistic. She will also be gay and gender non-conforming. Is that a risk you really want to take?” My parents, being enlightened, would hopefully have said yes. But then they could have been consumed with guilt when something didn’t turn out right for me, or viewed with pity and contempt by their friends: “They knew her condition, and yet they still chose to have her?” No. It’s not right. As people kept stating in the programme, the scans are only offering a choice. I am not opposed to choices and informed decisions. But greater choice cannot equal greater happiness. A quote from the programme, “If we have a society that’s unable to care for people, the problem is not the person. The problem is society.”

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One thought on “A World Without….

  1. Such a beautiful post about such a frightening concept πŸ‘πŸΌπŸ‘πŸΌ. It’s so true – sometimes the advancement of scientific capabilities outpaces the evolution of human ethics and common sense ❀️

    Like

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