Dutch Minister of Health: if National screening program leads to disappearance of people with Down syndrome, society has to accept that
“Minister Schippers asks society to respect those who judge a life with Down syndrome unworthy. But what about those who find themselves on the other side, those who are judged by their genetic disposition? People with Down contribute to our communities and are celebrated by their families. Screening to enable selection reduces them to disposable human waste. People with Down should be respected too.
I happen to have two kids with Down syndrome. Their continued existence as a group is made entirely dependent upon the value judgment of others. If a government encourages the idea that certain people can be considered unworthy of life, that message doesn’t magically disappear at the time of birth. That negative stigmatization continues after birth and takes root in all aspects of society. The discussion in a morally and socially responsible society should not be about how to eradicate a group and ‘legally’ get away with it. It should be about creating equality and better opportunities for everyone.”