Wednesday, July 26, 2006


Eugenics in the New Millenium

From National Review Online, I linked to this article from Business Week concerning the testing of embryos. In a nutshell, preimplantation genetic halotyping can screen embryos for 6000 inherited or genetic diseases, thus giving the parents the choice of whether or not to carry a child to term. The article is written by Elizabeth Schiltz, a law professor at St. Thomas School of Law. She shares her outrage that many in the medical and scientific community have labeled her a 'sinner' for being the type of person who would 'choose' to have a child with Down's Syndrome in spite of having prior knowledge of the condition.

Schiltz does not demonize the scientific community. She recognizes that the intentions are to alleviate pain and suffering. But she is right in saying that this type of activity sends a message to those who are disabled.

In Vacation Bible School this summer I had two disabled participants. In the frustration of dealing with the usual hijinks of kids poking each other and kids complaining about the snacks offered, these two brought me the gift of God's grace. One was an elderly adult, who with childlike joy embraced all the activities as if he were already in the Kingdom of Heaven. The other was a child who spent his time snuggling up to me, hugging me, and laughing with me. I just don't understand how anyone would want to treat these human beings as if they are a file on a computer to be deleted.

Schiltz points out that the people who have disabilities rank their lives as being happy, while those on the outside say that they cannot possibly be happy. Who are we to make the decision to take precious lives and destroy them? Who are we to say that the 70 year old man who will never advance mentally beyond 6 years old cannot live a complete and full life? We USAmericans are so hung up on perfection. Perfect looks. Perfect house. Perfect car. Lord, have mercy upon us.

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