Down’s syndrome babies depicted as non-persons in major UK newspaper
Blood test still years away
Recent media coverage of a blood test for
Down’s syndrome suggests that children with the condition are being depicted as
non-persons. The Daily Mail, Britain’s second-largest newspaper, announced that
“A quick inexpensive blood test for Down’s syndrome that could save the lives
of hundreds of unborn babies each year is being developed by scientists”.
However, the main result of the test would to terminate hundreds of unborn
babies with Down’s syndrome.
The lives of unaffected babies could be considered
“saved” only in the sense that they would not be miscarried as a result of
invasive investigations to detect and destroy Down’s syndrome babies.
Despite the publicity given to this
preliminary report of research by Dutch scientists at the annual conference of
the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology, a successful test is
still several years away. Professor Stephen Robson, a spokesman for the Royal
College of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, described it as
the “holy grail” of pre-natal testing. ~ Daily
Mail, June 30
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