Downs syndrome and Nazi extermination

Downs syndrome and Nazi extermination

Another good catch by Harry of the Squaring the Globe blog: The Boston Globe today featured a story about the pressure put on parents who are pregnant with a Downs syndrome child to have an abortion.

Brian Skotko, a joint-degree student at Harvard's John F. Kennedy School of Government and Medical School, last year published two research papers that concluded physicians often relay the news in an overwhelmingly negative way, focusing on the limitations and hardships a child with Down syndrome may face&“We have to decide as a society what forms of life are valuable,” Skotko said. “Do we as a society believe people should be able to terminate a pregnancy solely because the child will have Down syndrome, or any other undesired trait? Where do you draw the line?”

He then notes a National Holocaust Museum exhibit about the Nazi public health program that systematically eliminated the disabled as unworthy of life in the Third Reich.

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  • This kind of thinking makes me crazy, sad, afraid…and grateful that there’s some sanity still among us. I blogged on this last October:

    The article called “The Abortion Debate No One Wants to Have” is worth the read.

  • “We have to decide as a society what forms of life are valuable,” Skotko said.”

    Do we really have to? Some would say no:

    “Decisions regarding who should or should not live can, by definition, be made only by those who believe such decisions should be made; and therein lies the horror that nothing can ever exorcise from the ideology behind human bioengineering.”

    -David B. Hart, The Anti-Theology of the Body

  • From 1993 to 1998, there were 295 Down Syndrome livebirths, four stillbirths and 197 Down Syndrome foetuses aborted. …in the Down Syndrome livebirth rate in the same years from 1.17 to 0.89 per 1000 total live births. …in 1998 due to antenatal diagnosis and selective termination.

    ALmost 10 year old data, but the trend was apparent in 1998. See Singapore Med J. 2002 Feb;43(2):070-6

    My God have mercy on us.

  • Just to note. The screening for downs syndrome is not perfect.  My sister was told her son, Kevin had down’s syndrome and was not only encouraged to kill him but to donate his organs to a baby in Florida.

    He didn’t have downs syndrome.  It was a mistake.


  • Your daughter Anna is beautiful!  Her smile made me smile.  God bless you!