Eugenics, Past and Future

Ross Douthat: “But given our society’s track record with prenatal testing for Down syndrome, we also have a pretty good idea of what individuals and couples will do with comprehensive information about their unborn child’s potential prospects. In 90 percent of cases, a positive test for Down syndrome leads to an abortion. It is hard to imagine that more expansive knowledge won’t lead to similar forms of prenatal selection on an ever-more-significant scale.”

Down Syndrome, Alzheimer’s, and a Culture of Life

Cathleen Kaveny: “The negative prohibition–do not kill — is a necessary floor in moral thinking. But for the very vulnerable, including the physically and mentally impaired, it is by no means sufficient. The vulnerable, young and old, need positive assistance if they are to thrive.  And no average family can meet the challenges of Alzheimer’s Disease –with or without Down syndrome– on its own.

It doesn’t just take a village.  It takes a nation.  It takes the common good.”