Some genetics/eugenics news : just to remind us all that eugenic developments remain real.
[Thanks to Alison, Bob and Tony for these]
Article 1, entitled : ‘Three-parent IVF’ could combat genetic disease.
It’s about a DNA test; you can find any ‘genetic condition’ and replace the DNA in the egg with somebody else’s. Opens the door to all kinds of possibilities – e.g. finding a deaf gene like connexin 26 and replacing it.
Article 2, more recent, entitled: Oxford Professor Says Mankind (sic) Is Ethically Obligated To Create Genetically Engineered Babies
Here’s what the Professor, Julian Savulescu, says:
“Surely trying to ensure that your children have the best, or a good
enough, opportunity for a great life is responsible parenting?” wrote
Prof Savulescu, the Uehiro Professor in practical ethics. “So where
genetic selection aims to bring out a trait that clearly benefits an
individual and society, we should allow parents the choice.”
As the author states, there’s a word for that Julian, in case you had forgotten. It’s called Eugenics.
Thirdly, the UK’s BBC2 ‘Newsnight’ programme did a report on modern day eugenics thinking in the context of the Paralympics. Unfortunately the programme, on BBC’s iPlayer, is only available in UK, but it’s accessible until Wednesday September 4th: I will try and get a transcript. It featured another Professor, John Harris, who veers towards eugenic thinking…but he was robustly challenged by a UK Paralympian and a writer for the Daily Mail who has a disabled daughter.
Finally, a research dissemination conference, “Sleepwalking Into Eugenics? Genetic modification and disabled people”, will take place at the M-Shed in Bristol on Saturday 10th November, 9am to 4pm. We will be sending out details very shortly (look out for further information in British Deaf News); it’s free but people need to register. The conference will present the results of a Centre for Deaf Studies research project – if these issues interest you, it’s an umissable event.