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Disabled People Discuss 'Eugenic' Drugs on TV

12/04/2022

It is an unpleasant thought, but we have to face the fact that there are people in the world who dream of a society in which there are no LGBTQIA people, or other groups such as disabled people, people with dwarfism or people with Downs Syndrome. People with these views may not consider themselves to be Nazis or fascists, but their belief in eugenics and genetic engineering stems from the same impulses that drove a popular wave of eugenicists on left and right of the political spectrum in the 1920s and 1930’s. Indeed, only after 1945, when the horrors of the German Nazi regime’s crimes against Jews, gypsies, disabled people, people with learning disabilities and many other groups were fully realised, did eugenic politics go into decline. But there are still some who advocate for interventions to eradicate certain traits from society. In a brilliant and hard hitting piece for BBC-1, paralympic champion Ellie Simmonds, who has a type of dwarfism called achondroplasia, looks critically into a new drug which some say could lead to a world without dwarfism. As the BBC press release notes, “The road to acceptance and inclusion for disabled people has been hard won, and many feel these gains are in danger of being lost, while others see only positives with breakthroughs in modern treatments. Ellie draws on her own experiences and reflects on wider questions about the relationship between science and disability.” Essential viewing for members of our community with or without disabilites, who fear that in the wrong hands, genetic engineering of humans could be a very dangerous path to a loss of our diversity and humanity itself.  

Medicine
television
Eugenics
Genetic Engineering
Disability Activism
Disability Pride
Activism
politics

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