Prenatal genetic selection, a contemporary form of racism


The ECLJ (European Court for Law and Justice) gave a lecture at the Human Rights Council in Geneva last June 20th, during an interactive dialogue on racism with the special rapporteur. He worked on “the contemporary forms of racism”, but according to the ECLJ he should have included “eugenics considered as a form of scientific racism”.

 

Theories according to which “certain groups of people are worth less than others because of their physical characteristics” or “the evolution of the human species has caused some individuals and groups of humans to be less evolved than others” have paved the way for racism and eugenics.  They also prepared people to accept the idea that “humanity can be perfected thanks to the progress of genetics and the selection and voluntary elimination as well as the demographic limitation of all groups judged ‘inferior’”. The ECLJ therefore reminded the audience it is no good trying to fight [racism] without including [eugenics], and asked the rapporteur to condemn “contemporary eugenics resulting from prenatal genetic manipulation and the selection of human beings”. It particularly insisted on the new prenatal test for Down Syndrome “which will enable doctors to detect and eliminate most Down Syndrome children”, even though “they are perfectly capable of having a long and happy life”.

 

The ECLJ concluded by saying that “the true danger of 20th century racism does not come from the few neo-Nazi groups, but rather from this eugenic ideology and selection that hunts down certain human beings because of their genetic heritage, supported by the state and modern techniques”.