The following sources do not necessarily reflect the Center's position or values. These sources, however, are excellent resources for familiarizing oneself with the all sides of the issue.
Twenty five years or so ago, as a family physician in a Christian mission practice in London, I used to help out at a monthly afternoon clinic with the now dated and politically incorrect name: “Handicapped Fellowship.” Patients with various physical and mental disabilities would be transported in by church members to receive health care, and would then enjoy a British afternoon tea, some entertainment, and a spiritual message.
On May 5, 2004, a front-page story in newspapers around the U.S. reported the production of babies to provide bone marrow or umbilical cord blood for their sick siblings. The reproduction process involved producing many embryos through in vitro fertilization (IVF), testing them for how well they genetically matched their siblings, throwing away the majority who did not match well, and only implanting some of those who remained. The testing technique used in such procedures is called preimplantation genetic diagnosis, or PGD.
A recent USA Today article describes the difficulties of Joe Fletcher and his family in Northern Ireland. Joe’s son, Joshua, has Diamond-Blackfan anemia, a condition that usually occurs as a spontaneous genetic mutation.1 If the affected individual reaches reproductive age, the trait is usually heritable as an autosomal dominant disease. Joshua must receive repeated blood transfusions to counteract his inability to produce red blood cells, which carry oxygen to various parts of the body.
In a 1993 First Things article, Elizabeth Kristol wrote of the coming problems regarding prenatal genetics.1 Her foresight was confirmed last fall when Dr. Dan Brock of the National Institutes of Health suggested that blind and severely disabled children should be aborted for the good of society.
Is there anything wrong with causing someone to be paralyzed, or blind, or deaf? If so, then sit up and take notice.