François Xavier Putallaz, Professor of Philosophy at Freiburg University, reviewed legislation governing the application of PGS(prenatal genetic screening), to be voted on by the Swiss nation on 5 June 2016.
As far as the Professor is concerned, “the real problem arose last year when the Swiss people accepted the constitutional article” authorising PGS.“There is no respect for embryos. The production of embryos for purposes other than IVF is actively encouraged. Authorisation has been granted to sort, select and destroy embryos”.
The initial draft bill paved the way for couples at risk of transmitting a serious hereditary disease to their children to undergo PGS. The technique has since been extended to other disorders, essentially Down syndrome. Together with the option of carrying out non-invasive prenatal screening (NIPS), both methods will certainly initiate the disappearance of babies with Down syndrome”There isn’t just “the risk of a spin-off – we are already in the spin-off”, he explained.
The reproach addressed to PGS opponents is “failure to take into account the physical and moral suffering of the parents of disabled children”. But “the fight against suffering must not take place ‘at any cost’”, responded François Xavier Putallaz: “The aim of medicine is to fight suffering and disability – that’s what it’s all about. But we must not fight against those who are disabled or suffering (…) Real compassion involves supporting the person who is suffering, not trying to get rid him/her”. “PGS does not seek to reduce the disability but to get rid of the disabled”.
cath.ch, Raphaël Zbinden (26/05/2016)