February 22, 2024

Modern eugenics

What's in a name? Does it make a difference if (by way of example) the widespread abortion of unborn children with Down syndrome is called “eugenics”? A number of bioethicists deny that it is, even though the rates of termination reach 90% if a diagnosis is made before birth. From their point of view, “eugenics” is a word reserved for Nazi atrocities. The destruction of children with Down syndrome is not being carried out by Nazis, ergo, it is not eugenics. 

A number of bioethicists writing from a disability perspective disagree. We have presented some of their arguments in a special issue of the Journal of Policy and Practice in Intellectual Disabilities. They have a refreshingly different opinion on this contentious topic. 

Michael Cook
Did it finish in 1945?