Human Exceptionalism

Eugenic United Kingdom

The bioethics news out of the UK keeps getting worse. Now, according to The Sunday Times, doctors are performing late term abortions because of minor anomalies that could be surgically corrected, such as having club feet. Last year a baby was aborted at the 28th week because imaging showed it had a cleft palate! Apparently doctors are pushing this eugenic agenda. Those who pooh-pooh slippery slopes, take heed. Meanwhile, as noted earlier here, the UK now permits eugenic embryo selection based on a genetic propensity to adult onset cancer.

We will never know who we are selecting out either because of our desire not to be “burdened” by a disabled child or because we somehow don’t want the child to suffer. But choosing death over a propensity to suffer would have deprived us of some of the greatest people who ever lived, not to mention some of the most wonderful who never made the history books. Indeed, by such judgments, if the current technology were available at the time, Abraham Lincoln might never have been born because he would have been tall and homely, with a depressive disorder, while Mother Theresa might have been rejected because she would be diminutive.

This striving for hyper control over our progeny is leading toward some very dark places.