Thursday, August 03, 2006

Killing boys to "prevent" autism, and attacking women for having disabled children

Chuck Colson reports that British medical researchers want to screen out male embryos in families with a history of autism, simply to reduce the odds of a child being born with autism (simply because most people with autism are boys, and therefore having girls is 'safer'). Colson calls it Eugenics by Default.

Can't argue with him there.

He provides links at the bottom of his commentary for further reading - like Confessions of a "Genetic Outlaw" by Elizabeth R. Schiltz, a mother who has been openly called irresponsible by people who resent that she knew she was going to have a child with Down Syndrome, but didn't have an abortion. She is kinder to the folks arrayed against her and her family than I'd be. I'd suggest you read her article whether or not you read Colson's. (It was published, believe it or not, at BusinessWeek, in the Technology section. Hey, I'm not arguing. Sometimes it's the folks who are all caught up in the excitement of technological breakthroughs who need most to stop and think about the implications of what they're doing, after all.)

5 comments:

SUZANNE said...

Grrrrr.....my daughter is on the autistic spectrum. Just because a kid has autism doesn't mean he's not lovable or that he won't have a meaningful life.

Kathryn Judson said...

Suzanne, I'll second that Grrrr.

coffeemamma said...

I also have a daughter with Autism- I actually have nothing to say about this because I am literaly at a loss for words.

johng said...

I agree that one should be frightened by the concept of genetic commissars who rule, a la the Communist Chinese, on whose genes are permitted.

More of man playing God, which has so devastated modernity.

Where is my copy of 'Brave New World?'

At A Hen's Pace said...

My oldest son is on the very high-functioning end of the autism spectrum. None of my other five children have it.

A friend just told me about a doctor in her town who had advised many women to abort their Down's children (including her, and her child ended up not having it) and then he had a grandchild with Down's. He wrote a public apology to all the women he'd counselled to have abortions!