Eugenics close to becoming a ‘human right’ in Europe

Downs syndrome childThe Christian Medical Fellowship reports: Eugenics close to becoming a ‘human right’ in Europe. Apparently the European Court of Human Rights

is preparing to issue a ruling on the fundamental right to the prenatal screening and elimination of children with diseases or disabilities. …

A decision in favour would not only increase the stigmatisation of disabled people but would also make the eugenic process (of selecting and eliminating certain people) a human right.

This has worrying overtones of the Nazi policy of eliminating those deemed unfit to live. It is also of course deeply concerning to those of us who believe that unborn children have the right to life.

You may like to join me in signing the Stop Eugenics Now petition, linked to from the CMF post.

10 thoughts on “Eugenics close to becoming a ‘human right’ in Europe

  1. Stuff like this is scary to me, because where do you draw the line? How long will it be before people choose to abort babies because they don’t have the preferred eye colour? Who is going to define the terms ‘disease’ or ‘disability’?

  2. Precisely, Rhea. Or any characteristic with a known genetic basis. Maybe even sometime sexual orientation ;-) The implications are very worrying, and I’m surprised that I haven’t seen more reaction on the blogosphere.

  3. I typically don’t worry about people at some point in the future aborting unborn children simply because they’re gay, only because the only people that I know who seem to have any issue/problem with LGBs are more religious people who are typically very pro-life…though who knows, maybe they’d make an exception in cases of being gay! ha!

  4. As a senior citizen, I wonder if we also might not be far behind on this trend? And at what might a cutoff age and/or health condition be for euthanasia to save the precious health care funds for youth? A disturbing development to say the least. Right to life at all ages, I say!

  5. Have you heard about “Christian Eugenics”? What I am concerned about is that some credited and well known researchers that have supported “ex-gay therapies” earlier,  now have embraced Eugenics. I stumbled upon some reports that show that such “ex-gay Eugenics” do exists, where a mother can make a simple test. If she respond positive and there is a big risk that the child later on may develop homosexuality. In that case she can use hormones. Just wondering.

  6. No, Jonathan, I haven’t heard of that. I would be interested in any more concrete information. But this is not really eugenics unless you are talking about abortion or infanticide. Hormone treatment to turn gays straight, while surely highly controversial, wouldn’t serve to remove any homosexual genes, if they exist, from the gene pool. Actually it would have the opposite effect, by making it more likely that carriers of these genes would breed.

  7. Not to mention all other traits that can disappear if we try to alter the gene pool or otherwise try to change the hormone balance by inserting medication, like the “hormone patch” that has been some talks about.

    Eugenics, is as you say, a thought of birth control and other ways to stop unfit parents to have children. It was wildly in use during Nazi Germany during WW2. And yes, infanticide and abortions were methods used, going back to late 1800s until the 1980s. But there is also another side of this; as a result of increasing interest of the “gay gene” and other factors. More or less biased research have tried to find the causes of homosexuality, has been used by both sides of the discussion, not to mention some research results that has been misinterpreted and used by NARTH, EXODUS, AFA and other “ex-gay” organizations.

    Eugenics has always been characterized by the thought of a “positive” resp. “negative” Eugenic. Where the negative, is what you correctly say is killing of a foetus, and is as such an “unwanted method”, which may only be applied in cases of extreme urgency, (for example, if the mother’s life is at stake).

    The positive Eugenics highlights positive aspects of development, i.e. make choices that can provide for parents possibilities to be able to bear children with good characteristics such as intelligence, empathy, honesty, etc. One side achieving this is with the help of a contemporary view of this concept, which I think will attract not least parents that have a religious faith.
    The possibilites I have been looking at can be to change the outcome of the unborn child, with the help of hormone treatmens, for example, where you change some “unwanted” traits in a child/foetus. A strong argument for the use of this gender corrective technique, is that you are NOT killing the foetus, but improving its properties.

    You can improve its abilities to grow up and live a straight life. This medical treatment does not damage the foetus. This seems to advocate a strong voice in the debate about “designed babies”. But before this concept can come into force in society, the development of guidelines in the areas of ethics and morality, as well as how medical examinations will be performed, and other technical details need to be developed. Then there is by all means another thing how we see and react to this development in technology.

    Regarding the implications of this and concerns for certain risks, I write about this on my blog, http://tzedaqyal.wordpress.com/2012/05/28/historical-retrospect-on-eugenics-and-race-biology-pt-1/

  8. Well, Jonathan, if medical treatment can be given to a foetus which would otherwise be born diseased, then I would be all in favour, just as I am in favour of medical treatment for babies born diseased. Hormone treatment for foetuses or babies to change their personality etc, even if possible, would be ethically far more dubious, but I guess this might be acceptable if it could help to prevent for example serious psychiatric conditions. To turn a potentially gay child straight? I would say “no”, but I can understand parents who might want to give their child hormones which can be shown to have that effect.

  9. Thank you for your answer. I will round this up. It has been an interesting conversation. Then perhaps it is up to the concept of “illness”. But we confuse the concepts, so that we often talk about “what is sick” in society, that will say, we are not talking about physical or mental illness. We are talking about desired and undesired characteristics as a “sickness”. And the yardstick we have used through history, has changed based on the ideal, politics or religious beliefs that has prevailed during that time. Even the perception of morals and ethics seem to have a tendency to change depending on the time we live in, nothing is unchangeable. That is what I think is so dangerous, that we constantly disrupts the boundaries of human dignity. And that is also some thoughts I have tried to express on my blog. If you wish to have further contact, see contact information. Thank you.

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