Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Curing vs Killing

Twenty years from now, there may be almost no people with Down Syndrome visible to us in our communities. There will be no children with Down Syndrome just as there are no children with polio. But the troubling difference is this. We cured polio. We have simply killed Down Syndrome.

We do it through doctors and genetic counseling and private decisions, but the basic logic of it is no different than that of the Third Reich. Imperfect life is not worth preserving. In the case of Nazi Germany, the government arranged for sterilization, abortion, and euthanasia to get rid of what they called 'life without value.' What you may not know is that the Nazi’s were not the only enthusiasts for eugenics. It was popular all over the world. American states had pro-eugenics laws on the books. But after World War II, the nations recoiled at the culture of death in Nazi Germany. The U.N. rushed to proclaim the need for the respect for life born and unborn.

But the time of moral outrage has subsided. We have forgotten how far we are capable of falling. So, today, individuals make the choice to rid the world of the Down Syndrome child rather than a government. Has it become any more praiseworthy?

(Evangelical author, Hunter Baker)