View Full Version : Would the world be a better place without disabled people?


TwoFour
03-07-2006, 14:38
Science is advancing fast and in the field of embryology its now possible for parents to screen embryos for genetic disorders that may result in physical or mental impairment.

I personally believe it to be a very dangerous step to allow designer babies and to screen out imperfections because among other reasons, it implies that one person's life is worth more than another before they are even born and that the world is better off without disabled people. This places us in the position of Gods.

I wonder if there is a mood for debating this without resorting to the usual pro and anti camps? I am genuinely interested in the opinions of forummers

GazB
03-07-2006, 14:45
I'd see it from the point of view that, if it can make sure a baby will be born of perfect health, then it's the right thing to do. Not for the parents sake, but for the childs.

jen13kd
03-07-2006, 14:47
i would say that if you can make sure your baby is healthy BEFORE its made than there's no issue - I don't agree with aborting babies just because they're disabled tho'

Cyclone
03-07-2006, 14:47
My opinion is that it's isn't judging one persons life to be worth more than any others, as at the point of screening I don't believe them to be people.

So i'd support the screening of embryo's and/or other scientific fixes to any disability or disease which it's possible to avoid or fix.

Which is by no means saying that people who live today with disabilities are worth any less than anyone else.

JBee
03-07-2006, 14:48
The way I see it I think you've asked two totally different questions here...

Q, Would the world be a better place without disabled people?
A, Of course not. Many people with disabilities make a very valid contribution both in their personal and professional lives.

Q, Is it right that parents can screen out 'imperfect' embros?
A, In some cases yes. I don't agree with designer babies, but with certain conditions, where it could be argued that the child will have a poor quality of life or live in constant pain, then I don't think anyone has the right to judge parents who decide not to bring that child into the world.

KenH
03-07-2006, 14:49
I think the whole idea is bad, even the current trend of testing for serious disabilities and then offerring abortions.

The trouble with testing for a disability is twofold. Firstly, they can often test for a syndrome but not know how badly affected the person will be, if at all. Secondly, where do you draw the line at describing something as a disability? I am colour blind but this is barely any trouble at all (and would be no trouble if the world was changed slightly to accomodate the huge numbers of people so affected) and yet this is a "disability". In the USA they drug vast numbers of children because they have the alledged "Attention Deficit disorder". If this syndrome could be weeded out before birth then might we have an entire race of boring children who sit still all the time.

Plain Talker
03-07-2006, 14:49
I am very very concerned about eugenics-like ideas such as have been proposed.

Who is to decide which life is worth/not-worth living?

i have had many people tel me "oh my G*d, I would consider my life over if i had to rely on a wheelchair like you do..."

but my life is not so bad, okay, can't go hiking in the peak district, like I used to love doing, but, *shrugs* i have my life, and I still have my intellect...

I am happy with my life; I feel quite positive, and, more to the point, I feel that my life and my work are worthwhile. I know that what I do makes a difference.

Doctors give such scare stories about disabiliy in foetuses, etc, and always seem to paint the most bleak, and horrible pictures of the child's future life.

I feel that, (simplistic as it sounds) all life has value, no matter what the disability. i would only have the screening done for conditions like Downs' Syndrome or Spina Bifida in order that I be prepared for the eventuality that my child would have such a condition.

Now I am not saying that this outlook should work for everyone, not everyone would have the strength and stamina to cope with a child with a disability.

Society should have the support in place so that everyone, regardless of their disability/ ability has the opportunity to live life to the fullest of their potential. Barriers should be disposed of so that everyone can compete on equal terms.

PT

Plain Talker
03-07-2006, 14:53
addition to my post, above:-
Of course, no parent actively wants to produce a child that has an impairment, but it happens. And it's not the end of the world, really.

Society needs to be set up in order that no-one is excluded.

Yes, you have to mourn for the child you had hoped for, but you need to be positive on behalf of the child that you have got (If I can reduce it into such simplistic terms)

PT

Ousetunes
03-07-2006, 14:54
A tough one.

In a way I'm against doctors and their profession 'palying God' but say so from a position of good fortune, having no disabilities as such and being a relatively healthy person. Moreover, my children are also blessed with good health and were born without any defects or disabilities. So to a large extent, I'm not really sure I feel qualified to answer.

But, is the issue here one of whether being born (say) crippled is such a bad thing, or that being born blind reduces one's quality of life to such an extent, or an issue of improving the quality of someone's life by being in a position to correct an imperfection (I'm not comfortable using what seem to be harsh words) before that person enters the world?

If as is probably likely - at least in a country like ours - things like being born deaf or with some physical defect become less and less through science's abilty to correct these things, will those who don't 'get corrected' become something of a 'freak show'? Will society treat them like my generation used to take the p155 out of the unfortunates born with polio?

Anything that improves the quality of a person's life is a good thing. But if that is to the detriment of those who either cannot afford such operations or are 'beyond hope', then it gets difficult, doesn't it?

So, despite all I've said, I'm not sure. But as an answer to your (somehwat misleading) title, I'd say 'no'.

Cyclone
03-07-2006, 14:59
testing for disabilities is no more eugenics than a condom is.

Personally i'd like to be able to make a designer me using retro viral insertion or whatever techniques they come up with.

Who'd dye their hair if they could have a pill that actually made it change colour.
And who wouldn't choose to take a pill that fixed their diabetes or their eye sight, made them naturally athletic and smart?

sam1984
03-07-2006, 15:03
I have to say I am more on the 'for' side of this debate but can definately see it from the other side aswell.
I think it is a great thing that screening embryo's will enable families to avoid their child being born with a faulty gene that will lead to them having say Huntingdons Disease or Cystic Fibrosis.
They can also detect genes which would lead to cancers eg breast and ovarian cancers which has got to be a good thing.
Anybody who has watched a loved one suffer or die from such illness's will understand the heartache that people whose whole families suffer like this generation after generation must feel.It is bad enough watching one person suffer nevermind knowing that you and several other members of you're family will probably die from the same thing all due to a faulty gene.
Surely it is better to know that you're child will not go on to develop hereditary breast cancer later in life rather than them have to undergo an elective double mastectomy just incase?

Saying that I suppose you have to say is it right that is it right to stop children being born with a faulty gene when there is a chance that they still may not develop the disease? Also Im sure there will probably be a lot of people say with Cystic Fibrosis sat wondering whether or not they would be here today if this had already been available to parents which must be an awful feeling.

Still though I think it is mainly a good thing.

I also think that the title of you're thread is a totally different question to the one given in the poll.

stackmonkey
03-07-2006, 15:05
it's a tough one, because the poll asks a different question to the thread title.

The world would not be a better place without disabled people. I know plenty and they're as good as any one else.
Should parents screen out 'imperfect' embryos? - If it was me I could only even consider it if my child was going to need intensive 24hr care from birth and even then I'm not sure. Hope i never have to make that choice.

SL31
03-07-2006, 15:07
So long as we dont turn into North Korea!!

nick2
03-07-2006, 15:09
Personally i'd like to be able to make a designer me using retro viral insertion or whatever techniques they come up with.


* shudders *

CaptainSwing
03-07-2006, 15:20
Yes, the poll question and the thread title are quite different.

Would we all be better off if disabled people weren't around? No, and pretty inhumane to even ask the question.

Given the choice, would you prefer it if your child was disabled or not? I think most people would say "not".

Different questions, different answers.

TwoFour
03-07-2006, 15:43
Yes, the poll question and the thread title are quite different.


Agreed, I suppose the title was to attract attention to the poll and the debate.

Really good answers so far. Hope even more people will contribute.

TF

Crayfish
03-07-2006, 15:50
I think for myself, there's no way I'd want to be tied into looking after a child with Downs syndrome or something more severe if there was a way of avoiding this.

Thus I would definitely test and argue for the abortion of any children of mine with any relatively serious conditions - as KenH said 'where do we draw the line' - I think this is a personal thing and everyone you ask will draw it in a different place, but as it comes down to parental decision then that's fine - everyone can decide what they themselves could live with.

I don't personally feel that mentally deficit children would have a lot to offer the world and it could very easily wreck the lives of the parents. I know it would wreck mine, I'm not convinced about having children at all but if I did, anything that I could use to ensure that they were fit, healthy and intelligent people, I would use.

To take it even further, if it were ever possible to produce true 'designer babies' e.g. tinkering with hair colour, eye colour, athletic and intellectual prowess - I'd support that too, on the basis that a strong and intelligent population would be better than the random lottery we have now which produces rather a lot of #@$%@!#s.

Rich
03-07-2006, 15:58
What kind of an idiot voted yes to this?! :rant:

Us disabled people can't HELP being disabled, contrary to the opinions of the likes of Bartfarst and KenH, it does NOT make us any less human etc than an able bodied person.

I am disgusted at this thread.

KenH
03-07-2006, 16:02
'where do we draw the line' - I think this is a personal thing and everyone you ask will draw it in a different place, but as it comes down to parental decision then that's fine - everyone can decide what they themselves could live with..

I don't think that parents should get to choose and that we should specifically have legislation that prevents them from doing so. MY reason is simple, to a number of cultures, in a number of countries, being female is an imperfection that, given the chance, they would get rid of before birth. The reasonable people on this forum might only draw the line at very severe disabilities (assuming you can trust the doctors to get this right), others, like myself, might think that any child that can live even for a moment when it is born should get that chance. These are all quite reasonable positions, but, if parents get to be the ones that choose, we might also get all girls killed in the womb, or all those babies with a lower IQ than 120 or whatever else they can test for.

Crayfish
03-07-2006, 16:20
So: Culture that hates girls produces no girls, innately prejudiced culture dies out through lack of reproductive ability, world is happier place?

Sounds k to me - any culture that dislikes females that much doesn't give them much of a life when they're born anyway.

johnbradley
03-07-2006, 16:21
"is it right that parents can screen out 'imperfect' embryos?"

that was the question.

If we can define 'imperfect', then i think it is perfectly acceptable to vote 'yes'.

the trouble is, what will be the criteria for deciding? and who will decide it? and will it be subject to change/revision?

more importantly, will the definition ever be susceptible to perversion or political pressure?

if the screening was tightly limited to life-altering diseases, and was not to allow 'designer' choices, then i feel that would be ok.

this is not to undermine the place/contribution of disabled people in the world, as i feel they have as much right to life as anyone else. But it is to say that a child's life quality is surely better with genetic illnesses removed from the equation.

Jabberwocky
03-07-2006, 16:27
I spent 15 years caring for my son who had Duchenne, I was there at his birth and there holding his hand when he died aged 15. Physically he couldnt do a thing for himself but mentally, he had a high IQ and because of that he knew EXACTLY what was happening to him.
However, his disability gave his personality elements that no able bodied person could hope to have, so for starters, disabled people DO have a viable place in society, they ARE valuable people-far more valuable than a lot of the crack-heads, alcoholics, racists, biggots...you name them, theyre out there. Maybe they should think of a way to stop people like that from polluting the human race instead of mere physical things.
Having said all that, when my son died I went through hell, and to be honest, still am going through hell, he was everything, I lived for him alone and the morning that he died, I had nothing.
If I was asked if I would do it all again...?
Yes, yes I think I would.
Gladly.

Olive
03-07-2006, 16:57
You could look at this from another angle.

IVF isn't terribly effective, it often fails, putting people through a lot of heartache, and so I gather, a not very pleasant physical time. Plus it's expensive - maybe not the biggest consideration, but still a factor.

I belive that each time IVF is undertaken, several eggs are fertilised and then one or two implanted? I would say that screening for the 'healthiest' embryo, gives those with the best chance of making it.

KenH
03-07-2006, 17:01
If we can define 'imperfect', then i think it is perfectly acceptable to vote 'yes'..

We are all "imperfect".

johnbradley
03-07-2006, 17:13
yes ken, it raises more questions than answers, hence my proviso. the question is also two-fold, as for there to be a definition, there has to be someone defining!

...and who will that be?

depoix
03-07-2006, 17:18
Science is advancing fast and in the field of embryology its now possible for parents to screen embryos for genetic disorders that may result in physical or mental impairment.

I personally believe it to be a very dangerous step to allow designer babies and to screen out imperfections because among other reasons, it implies that one person's life is worth more than another before they are even born and that the world is better off without disabled people. This places us in the position of Gods.

I wonder if there is a mood for debating this without resorting to the usual pro and anti camps? I am genuinely interested in the opinions of forummers
if you could guarantee a child a pain free life im sure it would be a lot better than letting it take its chances

i had a brother born in the fifties,he was born with a severely bent spine,my mum had to carry him around in a steel casket that was crescent shaped and padded out with thick red rubber,he had to be strapped into this,he also had a desease that if he had banged an arm or leg,he would have broken it,so it wasnt only him it affected it was the extra work involved in just moving him that created more work for my mum, he died young,it was for the best,i would never wish anything like that on a child,if there is a way to prevent this happening ever again i would say use it

KenH
03-07-2006, 17:24
if there is a way to prevent this happening ever again i would say use it

The "way" being discussed is to kill such people before they are born, although this is dressed up in more acceptable words. My definition would be that any child that will survive birth should be allowed to do so. I would stress, that this is my definition and I wouldn't have a law that was so strict for other people as they should be allowed to make their own choices - to a point. There must be some point where manipulation by humans isn't acceptable, probably where they are screening for diseases that aren't life threatening.

Mathom
03-07-2006, 18:51
If the question is about screening embryos before implantation then its inevitable that people will pick those which are healthiest if given a choice, whether that's right or wrong. If however its about eliminating disability then all those in favour of this are deluded. Not all, in fact probably few, people with disabilities are born disabled. Disabilities can occur to any of us at any time no matter how 'healthy' we are. Even if we get to a ripe old age unscathed then its likely we may end up with dementia or alzheimers.

And if people asked that parent of a disabled child if they wished they had never been born they'd most likely get some pretty vehement responses as parental love is strong no matter what.

What about the parents who do choose to screen for a perfect embryo and think they have brought their child up perfectly, showered him or her with gifts, holidays in Florida, music lessons etc. but are so busy at work (possibly paying for the IVF) they do not spend enough simple time with their kid? That kid could likely grow up depressed, a life long disability.

The world will not be without disabled people so get used to it. The only way to eliminate disability would be to murder disabled people whatever the age they become disabled at. And I sure as hell don't want to live in a sick world where I know I could be put to death just for say losing a leg in a terrorist bombing or accident.

TwoFour
03-07-2006, 19:35
What kind of an idiot voted yes to this?! :rant:

Us disabled people can't HELP being disabled, contrary to the opinions of the likes of Bartfarst and KenH, it does NOT make us any less human etc than an able bodied person.

I am disgusted at this thread.

I am assuming you are not disgusted by the debate itself but only by some of the views.

I was prompted to post this after reading an interview with Peter White BBC reporter who was born blind with a genetically transmitted condition. He puts across powerfully what KenH has implied that a particular condition does not determine the level of impairment, nor therefore the so-called quality of life. He is a very susccessful person career wise at least relative to the rest of us and yet he and his brother may have been "screened" out were his mother pregnant with them today.

However, I have thought about this from every angle and I just cannot accept that it is OK to end potential life because of a subjective impression of future quality of life. Ultimately that is the woman's choice; there is no getting away from that, but it is not within human wisdom to be able to make such value judgements in my opinion. Who on earth can judge? What do you use as a benchmark? Do we abort a black foetus before a white becuase we fear they may suffer deprivation and discrimination and therefore have a lower "quality of life"? Cleft palate? Female?

Many posters are right in the assertion that it's difficult (I would say impossible)to draw the line and for that reason, you don't draw it at all, in my opinion.

Cyclone
03-07-2006, 19:40
I'd agree that it's very difficult to draw the line.
The parent involved has to bring up the child though, and as abortion is pretty much a right for women in this country (although not quite legally phrased like that) and I don't believe a small collection of cells is a person that can be 'killed' (that's just a poor attempt to make the issue emotive instead of rational) then ultimately the mother should be given as much information as possible or as desired, and then be free to make her choice within the limits of the law regarding how advanced the foetus is.
Rich - can you not add anything more constructive than that you are disgusted, how about why, what makes you disagree, and why did you misinterpret what people said? No one wants to 'get rid' of disabled people who are alive now, they want to stop any more disabled people being born, is that wrong?

Jabberwocky
03-07-2006, 19:42
Stephen Hawking

Thats all I need to say.

Cyclone
03-07-2006, 20:08
why is it?

No one is arguing that disabled people cannot be very successful or contribute a great deal to society.
Who's to say what would have happened though if SH had been aborted and another child then conceived. Intelligence is still very poorly understood and so who's to say that the replacement wouldn't have been as smart or smarter?

Bartfarst
03-07-2006, 20:15
If abortion can be morally justified just because people had a split rubber, then termination due to abnormalities must be acceptable.

It comes down to a form of eugenics - the aim of which was a healthy, intelligent, disease-free society - what's wrong with that?

To prevent the current decline in quality of the human gene pool, caused by the interference of modern medicine which allows the weak to reproduce, we must prevent people with defects and weaknesses from reporoducing - any PC-lunacy which advocates bad-gened people having children is just adding another nail into the coffin of our gene pool.

medusa
03-07-2006, 22:19
Mod note: thread pruned to remove personal comments which were later retracted, and the posts which commented thereon.

TwoFour
04-07-2006, 11:55
To prevent the current decline in quality of the human gene pool, caused by the interference of modern medicine

By that argument, all medicine per se is bad as it allows us weak-gened sort to survive to old age and even possibly reproduce. Better stop all cancer research straight away.

As usual you manage to be gratuitously offensive in order to get attention. You really are silly little boy.

Bartfarst
04-07-2006, 19:59
By that argument, all medicine per se is bad as it allows us weak-gened sort to survive to old age and even possibly reproduce. Better stop all cancer research straight away.

As usual you manage to be gratuitously offensive in order to get attention. You really are silly little boy.
I'm so very sorry.

Perhaps you like the idea of the gene pool being hugely weakened in the space of a half dozen generations - 4 or 5 million years of human evolution thrown down the tubes in little more than a century by the do-gooders.

Evolution is simple; the weak die, the strong survive.

Cyclone
04-07-2006, 20:09
Evolution is a reaction to the pressures placed on the population.
We are altering the pressures, that's all.

If you have a predetermined idea of what is best for the human race, then yes you can say that some alterations, such as some modern medicine (not all) will drive away from your target.
But try to claim that your target is the natural evolution target, there is no such thing, evolution is just a reaction to whatever pressure exists.

Bartfarst
04-07-2006, 21:41
Evolution is a reaction to the pressures placed on the population.
We are altering the pressures, that's all.

If you have a predetermined idea of what is best for the human race, then yes you can say that some alterations, such as some modern medicine (not all) will drive away from your target.
But try to claim that your target is the natural evolution target, there is no such thing, evolution is just a reaction to whatever pressure exists.
I don't disagree in principle with what you say - evolution is a species' reactions to external pressures.

However, modern medicine has, in the evolutionary blink of an eye, taken away the survival of the fittest - within a few generations we're seeing sperm counts drop, allergies increasing just about exponentially - where does it stop?

Halibut
04-07-2006, 21:45
I'm so very sorry.

Perhaps you like the idea of the gene pool being hugely weakened in the space of a half dozen generations - 4 or 5 million years of human evolution thrown down the tubes in little more than a century by the do-gooders.

Evolution is simple; the weak die, the strong survive.

How do you imagine the gene pool being hugely weakened in the space of half a dozen generations? What have 'do-gooders' to do with this?
Is this by any chance a reference to multiculturalism or a not too well hidden agenda of some other kind?

sausagefinga
04-07-2006, 21:45
I haven't read all the post so may be repeating someone.

It is legal to have an abortion for no other reason than the parents dont fancy a child. If this is okay then why is it wrong to abort when it is shown there will be a problem with the baby to be?

Jabberwocky
04-07-2006, 21:46
Humans are no longer subject to the laws of evolution and havent been subject to them for at least a million years.

Bartfarst
04-07-2006, 21:49
Humans are no longer subject to the laws of evolution and havent been subject to them for at least a million years.
Please talk sense - you'll find it less embarrassing in the long run.

We are still subject to evolution - that, for example (at a very basic level you may, at a push, comprehend) is why we have been getting taller over the last 500 years, but about 5 or 6 inches.

NatalieSheff
04-07-2006, 21:49
bit of a deep thread really, having got disabled in the family at a few levels i know that i personally couldnt have coped with certain degrees as a parent. thankfully my baby was fine and i didnt have to make that decision. i think much of the time the body will miscarriage an "imperfect" baby and i believe that child will get born another time, when all the bits are in place in mums tum and mums live. basically i think everything happened for a reason, but also that you make decisions that you know in ur heart are right, at that time. i suppose disabilities can develop or appear after accidents, but maybe if we could stop the suffering before it starts? hmm im not sure. i wouldnt like to be in that position

NatalieSheff
04-07-2006, 21:50
and in mums life i meant!

Jabberwocky
04-07-2006, 21:50
Please talk sense - you'll find it less embarrassing in the long run.

We are still subject to evolution - that, for example (at a very basic level you may, at a push, comprehend) is why we have been getting taller over the last 500 years, but about 5 or 6 inches.

Height is a nutritional factor.
Your turn to talk sense now.
Explain exactly how far the human race has evolved over the past million years.

Jabberwocky
04-07-2006, 21:52
Height is a nutritional factor.
Your turn to talk sense now.
Explain exactly how far the human race has evolved over the past million years.
Embarrassed yet?

Bartfarst
04-07-2006, 21:53
Height is a nutritional factor.
Your turn to talk sense now.
Explain exactly how far the human race has evolved over the past million years.
Tripe - you're getting funnier.

Based on your logic tall thin kids are better fed than short fat kids.

Go get yourself an education, it's very useful at times like this.

Jabberwocky
04-07-2006, 21:55
Tripe - you're getting funnier.

Based on your logic tall thin kids are better fed than short fat kids.

Go get yourself an education, it's very useful at times like this.
Tripe but PROVEN tripe!
Weather tall and thin or short and fat, height is STILL a nutritional factor.
Is a degree in Anthropology education enough for you monkey boy?

Bartfarst
04-07-2006, 21:58
Tripe but PROVEN tripe!
Weather tall and thin or short and fat, height is STILL a nutritional factor.
Is a degree in Anthropology education enough for you monkey boy?
I'm afraid that, based on your statements thus far, I'd be amazed if you have so much as a CSE in woodwork.

How about we get back to the topic, and refrain from the playground insults???? Suggest you save those for the playground tomorrow.

johnbradley
04-07-2006, 21:58
Good old barty, was that where you were all this time, ironing out the creases in that collection of brown shirts?

well, we almost agree here, but i like to draw the line pre-hitler, so we may have to diverge.

if we have got the chance to eliminate congenital disease forever, then we should take it. However, let us not underestimate the influence within, and contribution to the world, that 'disabled' folk have had. The desire to eliminate illness need not undermine those who have struggled through with these ailments, and your comments, as usual, fail to discern between the two.

Jabberwocky
04-07-2006, 21:59
I'm afraid that, based on your statements thus far, I'd be amazed if you have so much as a CSE in woodwork.

How about we get back to the topic, and refrain from the playground insults???? Suggest you save those for the playground tomorrow.
Ill be glad to.. as soon as you tell us all how far the human race has evolved in the past million years.
Of course youll find this impossible, because of education I expect.

Jabberwocky
04-07-2006, 22:00
:) By the way Barty. Glad to see you back

Bartfarst
04-07-2006, 22:04
Good old barty, was that where you were all this time, ironing out the creases in that collection of brown shirts?

well, we almost agree here, but i like to draw the line pre-hitler, so we may have to diverge.

if we have got the chance to eliminate congenital disease forever, then we should take it. However, let us not underestimate the influence within, and contribution to the world, that 'disabled' folk have had. The desire to eliminate illness need not undermine those who have struggled through with these ailments, and your comments, as usual, fail to discern between the two.
You misunderstand. I don't suggest we march (or wheel) the disabled into chambers, I do however think things would be better for all, especially those who are disabled, if we were able to avoid people being born with disabilities.
One way to do that, or to minimise it, is not to permit the disabled to breed. Common sense really.

plekhanov
04-07-2006, 22:05
You misunderstand. I don't suggest we march (or wheel) the disabled into chambers, I do however think things would be better for all, especially those who are disabled, if we were able to avoid people being born with disabilities.
One way to do that, or to minimise it, is not to permit the disabled to breed. Common sense really.
And just how do you propose to stop people you deem to be disabled from breeding?

Jabberwocky
04-07-2006, 22:07
Stephen Hawking. Premier Physics genious of the 20th century. Profoundly disabled, If he had never been born the human race would be years behind in umpteen different branches of mathamatics and theoretical sciences.
What about that?

Bartfarst
04-07-2006, 22:12
Ill be glad to.. as soon as you tell us all how far the human race has evolved in the past million years.
Of course youll find this impossible, because of education I expect.
I already did - heght is an excellent example.

Tall men are generally more attractive to women, get laid more, have more tall babies, beget more tall men. Generations on, men get taller.

You may also find, over the last MILLION years (do you honestly think that we haven't changed in that time - and you claim a related qualification??), that we have straighter spines, different skull shapes, different brain sizes, different skins, bone structures, and hair distributions.

Have you any real concept of what 'man' looked like a million years ago? Homo erectuis were still around 300000 years ago. Neanderthals existed between 350000 and 50000 (maybe 30000) years ago. Did they just eat a diffent diet - is that why we're not the same? Only an imbecile could think that.

You'd have us think that people get taller by being fed more.

Bartfarst
04-07-2006, 22:12
And just how do you propose to stop people you deem to be disabled from breeding?
Sterilise them at birth.

Bartfarst
04-07-2006, 22:14
Stephen Hawking. Premier Physics genious of the 20th century. Profoundly disabled, If he had never been born the human race would be years behind in umpteen different branches of mathamatics and theoretical sciences.
What about that?
Read his books. He hasn't led 'umpteen branches'. He had many good ideas, and has been famed more because of his disability than for his actual scientific talent - he's good, but so are many more of his peers. And, on the whole, he's been disproven over the last few years.

:D

plekhanov
04-07-2006, 22:16
You'd have us think that people get taller by being fed more.
They do, there is a genetic component of course but nutrition is a major factor, do you really think that the increases in average height the UK population has undergone over the last century or so are down to evolution :loopy:

Jabberwocky
04-07-2006, 22:16
I already did - heght is an excellent example.

Tall men are generally more attractive to women, get laid more, have more tall babies, beget more tall men. Generations on, men get taller.

You may also find, over the last MILLION years (do you honestly think that we haven't changed in that time - and you claim a related qualification??), that we have straighter spines, different skull shapes, different brain sizes, different skins, bone structures, and hair distributions.

Have you any real concept of what 'man' looked like a million years ago? Homo erectuis were still around 300000 years ago. Neanderthals existed between 350000 and 50000 (maybe 30000) years ago. Did they just eat a diffent diet - is that why we're not the same? Only an imbecile could think that.

You'd have us think that people get taller by being fed more.

If I may say. ********.
Homo Erectus was not human! He was a close relative but not human.
Homo Saipens Sapiens (Us) WAS around 1 million years ago. If he was to walk down the street today no one would know!
Only a REAL imbecile would think any different to that!
Oh,,, you already did.
People are taller than they were a mere 100 years ago because of nutrition, Japanese people are, on the whole shorter than europeans because european nutrition is better than East Asian nutrition.
Try again.:hihi:

plekhanov
04-07-2006, 22:17
Sterilise them at birth.
And you think their parents and the rest of society will allow that to happen?

Bartfarst
04-07-2006, 22:19
They do, there is a genetic component of course but nutrition is a major factor, do you really think that the increases in average height the UK population has undergone over the last century or so are down to evolution :loopy:
To a large extent. People can choose partners more easily because of travel and increased exposure to more potential mates. Dogs can be bred to bigger sizes or different coats within a handful of generations.

Feed a dog more and it gets fatter. Feed a short family more and in a few generations they will be a short fat family. Let people choose taller, more attractive mates and they will give birth to taller children.

Now who's :loopy:

Jabberwocky
04-07-2006, 22:20
Barty has many good points, I have to agree with him even if I dont like it. The trouble is, of course, each and every one of us has genetic problems in our chromosomes, and when two people with the same problem have a child, thats when the child is disabled. No matter how many times we sterilize the "Flawed" ones, these disabilities WILL return.
Until the human race is completely sterilized.
Imagine in a century or so, the last doctor sterilizing...himself...

BrainThrust
04-07-2006, 22:22
Good old barty, was that where you were all this time, ironing out the creases in that collection of brown shirts?

well, we almost agree here, but i like to draw the line pre-hitler, so we may have to diverge.

if we have got the chance to eliminate congenital disease forever, then we should take it. However, let us not underestimate the influence within, and contribution to the world, that 'disabled' folk have had. The desire to eliminate illness need not undermine those who have struggled through with these ailments, and your comments, as usual, fail to discern between the two.

This is a tricky one for me.

While this screening will come into effect what is essentially happening is that you are cherry picking what type of baby you want to have.

The question is where do the boundaries end up, I'm not talking about as extreme as designer babies but lets take a look at this.

I'm disabled, the nerves that link the from of my brain and the back of my brain ever fully developed, this is a condition, if you've heard me talk about it, known as dyspraxia.

I also have mental health issues in the form of SAD and OCD.

Now what happens when the screening for disbailites such as my own come about? If my parents were having me now, would I even exist.

Like it or not, the sperm that half of me came from WAS the one that worked. People are looking on disability as a wholly bad thing and that is where the issues arise.

You're all using a medical model of disability instead of the social model of disability which is gaining more and more support as the defenition of disability.

This model states that it is no our impairment that disables us, but the discrimination, unacceptance and downright ignorance by society that disables us.

Yes we have impairments but they do not make us less of a person, they do not give someone less right to live as anyone else (and termination due to a disability screening is denying the right to live) and they certainly do not make us unable tobe just as successful menber of society than anyone else.

I might be disbaled but that doesn't make me a second class citizen and this screening can lead to people seeing my and other disbaled people's existance as a minor hiccup in reality that will soon be eradicated.

Can you imagine the stigma that would be attached to disabled people when every GP in the world is saying to pregnant mothers 'go on, have the screening and terminate if there is something wrong'. I wouldn't want to live in a world where society eventually ends up making those decision about who and what is allowed to live and anything that is the tinyest bit different is a problem and needs to be eradicated.

What about human adaptability? What about our sense of community? our appreciation of diversity? Removing disabled people from the genepool works against all of these.

Besides, look at all the people who are driven on by the fact they have a disability and feel they have something to prove. They do tend to achieve because they have this motivation, I know a lot of my work as Students with disabilites officer at my student union is driven on by the fact I hate to see any injustice done towards people who are discriminated due to their impairment.

I know my drive to succeed and to prove myself to anyone who'll take notice partly stems from my OCD, and I know I feel I have to prove I can out do and out think many nono-disabled people, because without this, their opinions are questioned about the validity of my existence.

This screening is a very rocky road, and just like the medical profession has done in the past (regarding some doctors pressuring women to not have them when it is against their wishes) there may be a situation where a new generation of doctors [ressure parents into having the screening and then having a subsequent abortion when the child could achieve just as much and possibly more.

In the genetic lottery, we do not know a little but nowhere near enough to assess the qualities of a person before they are born, and long may that continue, never assuming your own or other people's potential is one of the greatest human passions IMHO.

Wilf

Bartfarst
04-07-2006, 22:26
If I may say. ********.
Homo Erectus was not human! He was a close relative but not human.
Homo Saipens Sapiens (Us) WAS around 1 million years ago. If he was to walk down the street today no one would know!
Only a REAL imbecile would think any different to that!
Oh,,, you already did.
People are taller than they were a mere 100 years ago because of nutrition, Japanese people are, on the whole shorter than europeans because european nutrition is better than East Asian nutrition.
Try again.:hihi:
It's good that your special needs school gives you access to computers, it will help you develop.

I suppose pygmies get worse food (living in a lush jungle) than Kalahari bushmen (living in bare scrubland)?

Correcting you, the oldest fossil evidence of anatomically modern humans is from about 130000 years ago, found in Africa.

Don't try to argue fact with me - I know I'm right, and you need to realise your place in the food chain. Now give up and stop spouting such embarrassingly ill-informed nonsense.

On that note I will bid you goodnight.

Jabberwocky
04-07-2006, 22:35
It's good that your special needs school gives you access to computers, it will help you develop.

I suppose pygmies get worse food (living in a lush jungle) than Kalahari bushmen (living in bare scrubland)?

Correcting you, the oldest fossil evidence of anatomically modern humans is from about 130000 years ago, found in Africa.

Don't try to argue fact with me - I know I'm right, and you need to realise your place in the food chain. Now give up and stop spouting such embarrassingly ill-informed nonsense.

On that note I will bid you goodnight.
Bull AGAIN!
You obviously picked the wrong part of Google to trawl through.
Pigmies do indeed get less food than their taller counterparts, its the same with animals too too, pigmy hippos and elephants do indeed eat less nutritional food than their taller relatives. Pygmies grow small as an adaptation to their cramped environment, there are many factors to evolution and the fact that humans are self-domesticated animals has halted their evolutionary trek.
You know youre wrong, and way down the food chain, and with each word you type...sorry copy from google you prove it.
I`m not exactly sure when the first anatomically modern humans arose, I`m in a good mood, so I`ll take googles...sorry your word for it. but I CAN tell you that humans DO grow taller with better nutrition.
Maybe you should inform the head of your special school that you need better computers to work with--thats if you can speak.
Have a good night you monster and again, Its bloody good to see you back. Dont bugger off for so long again.

Mathom
04-07-2006, 22:37
There will always be the vast numbers of people with disabilities who are disabled through reasons that have nothing whatsoever to do with genes. So do what we want with regard to selective breeding and we will never eliminate disability, so we might as well get used to it.

I think I know what the victims disabled by the 7/7 bombing would think about being sterilised.

Even genetics cannot provide absolute certainites as there are recessive genes which lie hidden and skip generations. I knew someone who was ginger and pale skinned with african features and it turned out they had a black ancestor. One of my ancestors was a 'giant', a famed arms bearer to Henry IV but my father has always been tiny. Incidentally, he grew up during rationing when food was limited.

plekhanov
04-07-2006, 23:32
To a large extent. People can choose partners more easily because of travel and increased exposure to more potential mates. Dogs can be bred to bigger sizes or different coats within a handful of generations.

Feed a dog more and it gets fatter. Feed a short family more and in a few generations they will be a short fat family. Let people choose taller, more attractive mates and they will give birth to taller children.

Now who's :loopy:
You really donít understand how evolution works do you? For the human race to have evolved to be taller over the last hundred years or so (the blink of an eye in terms of human evolution) there would have to be enormous pressures preventing short people from reproducing and enabling tall people to have lots of offspring.

However as you yourself complain social and medical advances mean that basically everybody is now (in the west at least) able to reproduce, this being the case how on earth did the population of Britain evolve to be taller since WWII when we had all but eliminated evolutionary pressures from our society?

Jabberwocky
04-07-2006, 23:42
Bartfast has a very simplistic view of the world, bless him. He isnt deliberately trying to offend anyone, all he can do is work within the parameters of his rather limited, blinkered education, if, indeed he had anything that could be remotely called an education.
I, for one am glad that hes back, I used to read his work long before I touched a key on this forum, and to me, hes gained a cult status. I love to feel superior to people and dear Barty makes me feel superior with each and every syllable he types.
God I`m going to get it now when he comes back online.
Seriously, he doesnt talk crap all the time. Some of the stuff he types is valid, no one can deny that. The only reason a lot of people take exeption is because Barty dares to type things that most of us dont have the Balls to type, and I include myself among them. Just because something sounds nasty and unpleasant, doesnt make it any less true.
He makes the forum a far more interesting place to visit.

Cyclone
05-07-2006, 06:38
The idea that humans have stopped evolving is clearly ill thought out and not supported by evidence.

The ability to digest milk beyond the infant years is a relatively new (in evolutionary terms) ability, developed in the last 10k years and spread rapidly across europe as domestication of cows spread.

There is no reason why you have to find examples and explain how/why humans are subject to evolution just like all other species, rather if you say they aren't you have to come up with a damn good explanation why.
Especially when you suggest a million years, rather than the since post industrialisation.

Providing the strongest evidence yet that humans are still evolving, researchers have detected some 700 regions of the human genome where genes appear to have been reshaped by natural selection, a principal force of evolution, within the last 5,000 to 15,000 years.



a brief search turned this (http://www.nytimes.com/2006/03/07/science/07evolve.html?ex=1299387600&en=039ecd5836bc6b0e&ei=5090&partner=rssuserland&emc=rss) up.
Many of these instances of selection may reflect the pressures that came to bear as people abandoned their hunting and gathering way of life for settlement and agriculture, a transition well under way in Europe and East Asia some 5,000 years ago.


Whilst height might have been an unwise battle ground for bartfast to choose, his underlying point that humans are still evolving, is undoubtedly still correct.

Presumably what he meant about genes was nothing to do with multiculturism, but down to modern medicine making it possible for disabled people who would previously have had very short lives, to now have children by various means.
From a cold analytical point of view, this means that their faulty genes are passed on, when for the species, not passing them on would have been more beneficial.

ANGELUS
05-07-2006, 07:08
Well, speaking as someone who wasnt born with perfect health (small hole in the heart) I dont think we would be better off if there was no disabled people around.

Not that I am disabled though thankfully.

redrobbo
05-07-2006, 07:38
The thread title and the poll question are two different subjects. I will address the poll question...... "Is it right that parents can screen out "imperfect" embryos?"

My answer is 'yes'.

I have friends who have three children, the youngest of whom has Down's Syndrome. This lad is now 9. He has no speech, and wears nappies. He has no sense of danger, and thus his every move has to be constantly watched. His quality of care, provided by his parents and his older siblings, is first rate, but his quality of life is seemingly poor. His parents are worn out, and the quality of their life is affected by the burden of care that they have to provide for their youngest son.

They knew from screening that the embryo in the womb would be born with Down's Syndrome, but they chose not to abort. They did not expect that their child would be as severely disabled as he is. There have been times when I have held my friend in my arms and she has cried and cried. Her tears are for her child who will always require 24 hour care. And her tears are for her two other children who have never had a 'normal' family life. And her tears are for her husband and herself, as the strain of constant care has taken its toll on their own relationship.

It's fine for us to pontificate on the right to life, and it's ok for us to deliberate on whether embryo screening for genetic disorders should be permitted. But when I see my friends, I oft times wonder how many of us would have made the decision they made - to continue with a pregnancy despite knowing the risks involved. And when I hold my friend closely as she sobs, I hear her unspoken words - that they made the wrong decision.

CaptainSwing
05-07-2006, 08:06
Now what happens when the screening for disabilities such as my own come about? If my parents were having me now, would I even exist?
In a sense, yes you would still exist, but minus the SAD, OCD and dyspraxia. I mean you wouldn't be genetically identical with yourself ( :confused: ), but you'd be your parents' child and would have been brought up in the same environment. (Assuming that your problems are the kind of thing that will ever be screened for.)

BrainThrust
05-07-2006, 09:50
In a sense, yes you would still exist, but minus the SAD, OCD and dyspraxia. I mean you wouldn't be genetically identical with yourself ( :confused: ), but you'd be your parents' child and would have been brought up in the same environment. (Assuming that your problems are the kind of thing that will ever be screened for.)

I disagree, I think our genetics make up a hell of a lot of who wer are and what if the combination that makes me 'me' is tied up in the dyspraxia, the OCD or the SAD.

Of course, when I say this it is undoubtedly true, the dyspraxia gave me a life where coordination wasn't that great but I dealt with it, the OCD is tough but I just explain my actions sometimes and I make plans around the SAD.

The skills and attribute I've gained from these are just as integral to making me as ginger hair and size eleven feet.

Screening is going to happen for parents but we need to be careful where the line is drawn. The problem is the second somone sees the word 'disability screening' then they are going to mentally add every disability into the same group. Thats a tricky position because while some inborn disabilities and genetic disorders may result in a person who had a disability thats means they have very little quality of life, is mentally assigned to the same as say, being a dwarf or midget, having aneamia, deafness, blindess or any number of other conditions.

As long as this grouping then exists within a publib mindset, where is the line drawn for parents between sufficiently disabled for termination and just plain disabled? Will this disability mindset result in people who would have had incredibly successful lives being discriminated against before they are even born. Thats not even giving them a chance to show their other qualities. You picking on one fault wehn you have no othe rinformation to go on.

Wilf

johnbradley
05-07-2006, 10:01
thanks brainthrust, your post indicates a bit of a 'copernican turn' that i didnt quite see before.

so the perspective shifts, from seeing people as 'not fitting', to appreciating [disabled] people as 'people', with many of the same, and some entirely different attributes...yet still able to make a valuable contribution to family and wider society.

this makes it much harder to qualify, for sure.

KenH
05-07-2006, 10:08
There is a real danger in talking about "quality of life". In this particular discussion we have people talking about some disabilities giving a "good quality of life" and others a "poor quality of life". We also have doctors who want to remove treatment from, and sometimes starve to death, children who they believe have a "poor quality of life". What we are saying is that one person will be able to do so little that they may as well be dead, but the reality is that only the individual concerned really knows if that is the case. In many cases we just don't know what they are thinking, or whether they enjoy the very small things a great deal. There are people in this world who do nothing but sit in front of the telly drinking beer. There are also people who are in constant pain, who can't move, but enjoy what they can do. By killing these people before they have the chance to be born we then can't really know what sort of people they would be.

Cyclone
05-07-2006, 10:14
Will this disability mindset result in people who would have had incredibly successful lives being discriminated against before they are even born. Thats not even giving them a chance to show their other qualities. You picking on one fault wehn you have no othe rinformation to go on.


It's obviously uncomfortable to think that you might never had existed.
But basically you cannot discrimate against someone who does not exist, and you are not depriving the world of anything because you don't know whether they would ever contribute anything.
The argument could just as easily be that (hypothetical couple) have chosen to have 1 baby. So they are depriving the world of their 2nd child who might have been the worlds greatest physist, or peace maker, or genocidal maniac.

Hopefully the second argument can be seen as a fallacy, a nonesense statement based on 'might have beens'. Which by extension makes the first argument the same fallacy, just a little less clear.

Since we currently give women the right (although not officially) to have a termination if they wish too, allowing screening does not extend that right.
All it does is give the potential mother more information on which to base her decision.

Cyclone
05-07-2006, 10:16
There is a real danger in talking about "quality of life". In this particular discussion we have people talking about some disabilities giving a "good quality of life" and others a "poor quality of life". We also have doctors who want to remove treatment from, and sometimes starve to death, children who they believe have a "poor quality of life". What we are saying is that one person will be able to do so little that they may as well be dead, but the reality is that only the individual concerned really knows if that is the case. In many cases we just don't know what they are thinking, or whether they enjoy the very small things a great deal. There are people in this world who do nothing but sit in front of the telly drinking beer. There are also people who are in constant pain, who can't move, but enjoy what they can do. By killing these people before they have the chance to be born we then can't really know what sort of people they would be.

abortion is not killing as a foetus is not alive, it's part of it's mother.
Please use less emotive terms if you want to discuss the issue rationally.

CaptainSwing
05-07-2006, 10:18
It's obviously uncomfortable to think that you might never have existed.
Why uncomfortable? The thought doesn't bother me. If I had never existed, then I'd never have been around to be bothered about not having existed!

KenH
05-07-2006, 10:18
[QUOTE=Cyclone]It's obviously uncomfortable to think that you might never had existed.
But basically you cannot discrimate against someone who does not exist, and you are not depriving the world of anything because you don't know whether they would ever contribute anything.QUOTE]

They do exist if they test each embyo and then use one when they find it free of any risks. The ones that have not been used do still exist until they are killed. I know that people choose to not think of these as being the same as a baby (I certainly feel like that as well) but at what point do they become a new life?

CaptainSwing
05-07-2006, 10:23
At what point do they become a new life?
Yes that's a very tricky one, which I think can only be decided by consensus (edit: or at least a majority opinion). As a first stab I'd propose the point at which they can feel pain, but there's a big philosophical literature on what does or does not constitute a 'person', which is I think what we're trying to get at here.

KenH
05-07-2006, 10:29
Yes that's a very tricky one, which I think can only be decided by consensus. As a first stab I'd propose the point at which they can feel pain, but there's a big philosophical literature on what does or does not constitute a 'person', which is I think what we're trying to get at here.

The problem with that definition is that it is really "the point at which we THINK they can feel pain". My definition would be that if they are alive then they are alive, so that life starts from conception. That doesn't mean that I have the same opinion about losing a "baby" at 6 weeks as one at 30 weeks. It is clear to me that you are alive or dead but that we care about "death" depending on where someone is in the path from conception through birth to old age. If someone is "alive" then they deserve a measure of protection but not necessarily as much protection as someone who is 5 years old.

CaptainSwing
05-07-2006, 10:33
Why uncomfortable? The thought doesn't bother me. If I had never existed, then I'd never have been around to be bothered about not having existed!
Further to that, I think the uncomfortable thought is rather that people might start to resent me being alive here and now (if I were disabled). If that came to be the case, I'd say that that would be much too high a price to pay for the benefits of screening.

BrainThrust
05-07-2006, 10:39
Further to that, I think the uncomfortable thought is rather that people might start to resent me being alive here and now (if I were disabled). If that came to be the case, I'd say that that would be much too high a price to pay for the benefits of screening.

My thoughts exactly. With screening becoming a standard GPs are pushing, it further perpetrates this ideal that there is something inherently wrong with disabled people existing and having the same rights as anyone else.

Thats where the issue lies, we're fighting against the discrimination that disables us on one hand and on the other hand we're saying 'don't worry, this burden on us won't exist in 50 years time'.

DISABLED PEOPLE ARE NOT A BURDEN! They bring diversity, motivation and adaptabilityto a society that is trying to make everyone the same.

Wilf

CaptainSwing
05-07-2006, 10:42
My definition would be that if they are alive then they are alive, so that life starts from conception.
One problem with that definition is that there are all sorts of things that are alive which we have no compunction at all about killing, for instance most of the animals and plants we eat. Apart, possibly, from Jains and such, nobody has that degree of respect for life in the abstract, and everybody applies some further criterion. To me, applying the criterion of having human DNA, even if only as a single cell, seems anthropocentric and even 'speciesist' (horrible word), but I appreciate that other people feel differently, or don't see any problem in being anthropocentric.

Cyclone
05-07-2006, 11:03
A foetus is no more seperately alive than a womans finger.

The current legal position is that abortions are legal up until the 24th week, and after that only in certain special circumstances.
I'm happy with that position and find it an easy one to adopt as the indication of when the foetus becomes a viable seperate life from the mother, as opposed to any other bit of her body dependant on her and thus part of her.

As I don't personally think any less of someone for being disabled, I might be underestimating the effect that screening might have on attitude towards currently disabled people. But at the end of the day, I don't think that's a good argument to deliberately withhold information from potential parents that may have a profound affect on their life.

KenH
05-07-2006, 11:23
A foetus is no more seperately alive than a womans finger.
.

That is a rather silly definition. A finger doesn't have a brain and cannot think. For all we know, a baby at 20 weeks may be able to dream or to think. A finger certainly can't do anything of this sort as it is controlled by a seperate brain/nervous system. The 24 week point is simply the current accepted limit, but it will change. Not very long ago, the child would have died at 24 weeks but now they can survive. In the future we may have such sophisticated incubators that they may survive at younger and younger terms. We can't just keep saying that they can now survive at 18/20/22 weeks (delete according to scientific thought at the moment) so they become human at that point and are part of their mother until then.

CaptainSwing
05-07-2006, 11:24
The problem with that definition is that it is really "the point at which we THINK they can feel pain".
True, but I think we have quite solid criteria for that - if a thing has a nervous system and acts like it's in pain, then it's in pain (I'd say). Or at least this criterion is the cautious one (assuming we want to avoid causing pain, that is).

[Cyclone - well put, esp in your last paragraph.]

CaptainSwing
05-07-2006, 11:36
That is a rather silly definition. A finger doesn't have a brain and cannot think. For all we know, a baby at 20 weeks may be able to dream or to think. A finger certainly can't do anything of this sort as it is controlled by a seperate brain/nervous system. The 24 week point is simply the current accepted limit, but it will change. Not very long ago, the child would have died at 24 weeks but now they can survive. In the future we may have such sophisticated incubators that they may survive at younger and younger terms. We can't just keep saying that they can now survive at 18/20/22 weeks (delete according to scientific thought at the moment) so they become human at that point and are part of their mother until then.
Yes, this criterion is just the one that's accepted at the moment, a pragmatic compromise that's not based on anything fundamental, as you point out. If you were going to use this kind of criterion, it would perhaps be better to place the cutoff at the point where the foetus could survive independently of any intensive medical intervention. Personally I don't find that criterion particularly attractive.

It's possible that we might one day be able to extend the viable age back to conception, and grow babies in bottles Brave New World style. In that case, people who accept the viability criterion would have to say that terminations are unacceptable full stop. And it would be a short step from that to arguing that every sperm is indeed sacred - the fertilisation step would be relatively simple.

It's also possible that one day we'll be able to clone people from more or less any living cell in a person's body. Should we then afford every cell in your body individual human rights on the grounds that each cell is alive and a potential human being? I don't think so.

TwoFour
05-07-2006, 12:40
I've really enjoyed reading this thread apart from the evolution garbage posted by the forummer ironically who seeme to have been left behind around the frog stage. Talk of "preventing them from breeding" says it all about him really and compulsory sterilisation just tops it off nicely.

I think the abortion debate started rearing its head in recent pages whcih I actually thought would happen sooner. I have awful difficulty keeping a consistent view about abortion myself.

I haven't changed my position on the impaired foetus however, which is that no one on earth can make the judgement about a potential persons right to life based on their likely physical or mental capacity, or any other charcteristic for that matter. Yes the parents life is affected profoundly by having a disabled child but that does not cut it with me. When you get married you do so for better or for worse, and I believe that the decison to bring a human into the world should also be for better or for worse. What does it say about a potential parents reasons for wanting a child if they want to choose their baby?

People born with profound impairment will often die young; before birth it is very often not possible to know what the impact of a gentic abnormality will be should the foetus make it to full term. Even if it were possible, only god can make that decision and as I don't believe in god, that's that for me.

Cheers

Rich
05-07-2006, 13:17
My thoughts exactly. With screening becoming a standard GPs are pushing, it further perpetrates this ideal that there is something inherently wrong with disabled people existing and having the same rights as anyone else.

Thats where the issue lies, we're fighting against the discrimination that disables us on one hand and on the other hand we're saying 'don't worry, this burden on us won't exist in 50 years time'.

DISABLED PEOPLE ARE NOT A BURDEN! They bring diversity, motivation and adaptabilityto a society that is trying to make everyone the same.

Wilf

Well said Wilf...

Anyone *cough* Bartfast *cough* who says disabled people are a tax burden and all the rest of it need to walk a mile in a disabled person's shoes, and then if they come back and still rant and rave about disabled, they need to shut the **** up IMO.

I don't want to get into a long rant about disabled people can't get jobs due to discrimination etc, as quite frankly HE isn't worthy of my ranting skills.

Mods, this is not baiting, I have a genuine grievance with Bartfarst as he has slagged me off and called me a "tax burden" for being an unemployed disabled person on benefits.

Cyclone
05-07-2006, 16:49
clearly we are capable of actually making the decision. The question is (i suppose) whether we should.
And that question extends into whether we should allow other people to make the decision for themselves, or should someone else overrule them.

What does it say about the parents if they wish to choose to have a non disabled baby. I think it says that they are perfectly normal average parents. No one wishes to have a disabled child.

TwoFour
05-07-2006, 17:04
clearly we are capable of actually making the decision. The question is (i suppose) whether we should.
And that question extends into whether we should allow other people to make the decision for themselves, or should someone else overrule them.

What does it say about the parents if they wish to choose to have a non disabled baby. I think it says that they are perfectly normal average parents. No one wishes to have a disabled child.

It's hard to reconcile though because surely people deciding to have a child are doing just that. Of course they hope and pray their child will be healthy etc. but in my book as child is a child and none is "less desirable" than another becfause fo its genes. Parents may prefer a boy or girl to "balance" a family or for "cultural reasons" but no way should they be aborting potential girls or boys accordingly. (Woman's choice notwithstanding)

[and BTW there are some people who prefer a disabled child notably some Deaf people who sincerely want their child to be part of the Deaf world and culture.]

Cyclone
05-07-2006, 17:15
being a girl or a boy is not an illness or a condition, so of course no one should abort a child because of that reason.

How about if they were scanning a number of fertilised eggs before implanting them though, some have to be frozen anyway, so why not choose the ones you want?

A child is a child, but a foetus is not a child, it's a small collection of cells, and if it can be tested for problems at that stage then I think that should be up to the parents.
If they disagree, no one will force them to have tests.

TwoFour
05-07-2006, 17:18
How about if they were scanning a number of fertilised eggs before implanting them though, some have to be frozen anyway, so why not choose the ones you want?


Yes, good point. I suppose that if not all the eggs are being used then there may be some valid criteria for selecting whcih ones to use but this begs the question should this be allowed anyway? That's another thread.

Titian
05-07-2006, 17:20
A child is a child, but a foetus is not a child, it's a small collection of cells, ...


I think that is debated even in science.

Cyclone
05-07-2006, 17:23
How about if all disabilities could be cured overnight, would the world be a better place.
To be honest that's how I read the title of the thread at first, as a what if scenario.
Some people seem to have assumed it has to involve disappearing the currently disabled instead, and aborting foetuses instead of modern gene manipulation techniques to cure them.

Mathom
05-07-2006, 18:14
To the parent there would be a huge world of difference between screening embryos for implantation and aborting one which has been found to possibly be developing a condition. The former doesn't involve such a horrible choice, but the latter does, and many parents carry on with the pregnancy because they simply cannot face the prospect of termination. So if we looking at a future where disabilities are diagnosed in the womb, then children will still continue to be born with disabilities simply as termination will be completely abhorent to many pregnant women, religious or not, as hormones are such an important influence.

Plain Talker
05-07-2006, 18:50
How about if all disabilities could be cured overnight, would the world be a better place.
To be honest that's how I read the title of the thread at first, as a what if scenario.
Some people seem to have assumed it has to involve disappearing the currently disabled instead, and aborting foetuses instead of modern gene manipulation techniques to cure them.

I think the world would be less diverse, definitely; and I think actually it'd be less interesting.

as i said in my previous post, not many parents would atually choose to have a disabled child, rather than a "whole" child.

the thing that perturbs me is where we stop.

I have said this before, about 2 yrs ago when we had this same debate.

the moot question is 'where do we draw the line?'

Ok (abhorrent thought) we destroy the child in the womb with Spina Bif' or Downs,
that is then deemed acceptable..

What about someone like my ex husband, left with cerebral palsy and dyspraxia after beign starved of oxygen during a difficult birth?

Do we destroy him as he is being born, as *he* has a disability and could potentially be a burden.

Or this new genetics reasearch shows that you * points* will develop multiple sclerosis or parkinsons disease, and will prove a burden on society in terms of needing treatment or care.

Or you *points again*have the HRBC gene for breast cancer, you'll need herceptin, to treat it, but it's prohibitively expensive, do we destroy YOU, as a potential burden?

Can we see into the future, and know, say, that person 'X' is going to acquire a spinal injury, and be paralysed, and, yes, again, be a burden on resources .... so had we best destroy them, also, as a pre-emptive measure?

Or even better, seeing as becoming elderly can make one frail and dependant, let's have a "logan's Run" type society, where no-one need grow old and decrepid... because they are "Terminated" on their 30th birthdays.

I am not actually disabled... it's society, and the barriers within society that disable me.

I resent totally the idea that I might be considered not "worthwhile" -I consider that I make a very great contribution to society.

PT

BrainThrust
05-07-2006, 20:24
How about if all disabilities could be cured overnight, would the world be a better place.
To be honest that's how I read the title of the thread at first, as a what if scenario.
Some people seem to have assumed it has to involve disappearing the currently disabled instead, and aborting foetuses instead of modern gene manipulation techniques to cure them.


You're still using the medical model of disability Cyclone, if we stopped asuming about a person's impairment, compensated for impairments and tried to understand then the disabilities would vanish overnight.

Wilf

Plain Talker
05-07-2006, 20:58
Brain Bhrust,

you are totally backing up what I have said, about the fact that I am not disabled, it is society that disables me.

PT

redrobbo
05-07-2006, 21:08
I haven't changed my position on the impaired foetus however, which is that no one on earth can make the judgement about a potential persons right to life based on their likely physical or mental capacity, or any other charcteristic for that matter. Yes the parents life is affected profoundly by having a disabled child but that does not cut it with me. When you get married you do so for better or for worse, and I believe that the decison to bring a human into the world should also be for better or for worse. What does it say about a potential parents reasons for wanting a child if they want to choose their baby?


You build your argument on a false premise TwoFour. Only a minority of couples now take a vow "for better or for worse", and the divorce rate also somewhat undermines your argument.

You may acknowledge that a parents life is affected profoundly by having a disabled child, and you may add that that doesn't "cut it" with you. But as I said in an earlier post.....


It's fine for us to pontificate on the right to life, and it's ok for us to deliberate on whether embryo screening for genetic disorders should be permitted. But when I see my friends, I oft times wonder how many of us would have made the decision they made - to continue with a pregnancy despite knowing the risks involved. And when I hold my friend closely as she sobs, I hear her unspoken words - that they made the wrong decision.

medusa
05-07-2006, 21:14
Mod note: Criticising an opinion is valid in a debate thread- but name calling aimed at other posters is not, and users who resort to it are likely to earn themselves bans until they can learn not to.

Please take this as a warning Rich. Usernames are to be used when referring to other posters on a thread.

Cyclone
05-07-2006, 21:23
You're still using the medical model of disability Cyclone, if we stopped asuming about a person's impairment, compensated for impairments and tried to understand then the disabilities would vanish overnight.

Wilf

I don't care if you want to give it a different name or label, it means the same.
Pretending that people with physical impairments are as capable as those without (or indeed mental impairments) is living in lala land.
Society doesn't mean that you need a wheel chair, society means that you don't starve to death because you are unable to walk to gather food.
Society enables you beyond what you would normally be able to achieve.

No one at any point PT has argued that currently disabled people should be eliminated, nor that people who aquire a disability during or after birth should quietly disappear.
If you can't see that there are whole worlds of difference between the screening of embryos (not even foeti) and killing people then we will never agree on this point.

Diversity is a wonderful thing, would the world be more diverse if the black death, small pox and other plagues still ran riot on humanity. I'm sure it would.
Does that mean you want to reintroduce them in the name of diversity? I hope not.

BrainThrust
05-07-2006, 21:34
I don't care if you want to give it a different name or label, it means the same.
Pretending that people with physical impairments are as capable as those without (or indeed mental impairments) is living in lala land.
Society doesn't mean that you need a wheel chair, society means that you don't starve to death because you are unable to walk to gather food.
Society enables you beyond what you would normally be able to achieve.

No one at any point PT has argued that currently disabled people should be eliminated, nor that people who aquire a disability during or after birth should quietly disappear.
If you can't see that there are whole worlds of difference between the screening of embryos (not even foeti) and killing people then we will never agree on this point.

Diversity is a wonderful thing, would the world be more diverse if the black death, small pox and other plagues still ran riot on humanity. I'm sure it would.
Does that mean you want to reintroduce them in the name of diversity? I hope not.

With all due respect Cyclone, there is a massive difference between my defenition and yours.

You are saying the physical impairment is the disability. I would say people's reactions to it are the disability.

Your point about disabled people not being as capalble as a non disabled person can be contested also. I would argue that some disabled people are far more capable than a non disabled people and to think all disabled people cannot contribute is living in lala land.

As for society, yes it does enable to some extent but not without the uneccesary cost of viewing disability with stigma.

Screening without an independent choice is only going to perpetrate this stigma and make disabled people suffer even more discrimination.

Wilf

Teabag
05-07-2006, 21:39
Define 'disabled' and see if your not included

Cyclone
05-07-2006, 21:46
I certainly didn't say that disabled people cannot contribute, don't put words in my mouth.

I'll pick an example, having no legs (i have no idea if that is possible congenitally, but that's not the point).
Tell me how without aid this person is as capable as someone with both (working) legs.
Could they live unaided in a non technological society? I think not. Thus disabled, less able than a person with all four functioning limbs.

How would screening without choice work, has anyone suggested compulsory screening (apart from maybe bartfast)?

In my example above the reaction of people isn't the problem, if everyone else in the world vanished now, one person left with both legs would probably survive a natural lifespan. Someone without, or with a disability that required medical assistance, or even something as simple as dyspraxia, probably wouldn't.

If there were a magic button to press that would mean (without screening and without abortion) that no one was ever born disabled again, would you not press it?

Cyclone
05-07-2006, 21:49
Define 'disabled' and see if your not included

disabled simply means not functioning correctly. With 'correctly' normally being defined as an optimum function and a range of acceptability. Any function outside that would be to be disabled.

That's a rather mechanistic way of defining it, but without using a lot more words that's about as clear as I can make it.

Teabag
05-07-2006, 21:57
disabled simply means not functioning correctly. With 'correctly' normally being defined as an optimum function and a range of acceptability. Any function outside that would be to be disabled.

That's a rather mechanistic way of defining it, but without using a lot more words that's about as clear as I can make it.

A better defintion than I could attempt.

Who decides what is correct? Who decides what is normal?

Crayfish
05-07-2006, 22:05
Me. I decide everything. Ha.

Apart from that, normal or rather any deviation from such is usually decided by medical professionals through rigorous examination.

BrainThrust
05-07-2006, 22:11
I certainly didn't say that disabled people cannot contribute, don't put words in my mouth.

I'll pick an example, having no legs (i have no idea if that is possible congenitally, but that's not the point).
Tell me how without aid this person is as capable as someone with both (working) legs.
Could they live unaided in a non technological society? I think not. Thus disabled, less able than a person with all four functioning limbs.

How would screening without choice work, has anyone suggested compulsory screening (apart from maybe bartfast)?

In my example above the reaction of people isn't the problem, if everyone else in the world vanished now, one person left with both legs would probably survive a natural lifespan. Someone without, or with a disability that required medical assistance, or even something as simple as dyspraxia, probably wouldn't.

If there were a magic button to press that would mean (without screening and without abortion) that no one was ever born disabled again, would you not press it?


Using you example first. That person has an impairment yes, and you're right in saying there are some thing that they cannot do unaided.

That isn't a disability though, thats an impairment. Society's reluctance to allow this person to do things that they would normally allow a non disabled person to do is where this person is disabled. Society disbales them from doing these things by not providing them aid to do this.

Secondly, a non disabled person is that situation where everyone else disappears probably wouldn't live a full lifespan. We all have support structures to help us whether they be social groups or an enabler for a deaf person, a OT, a carer or even a counsellor. I think a non disabled person would quickly go mad or take their own life.

Thirdly, Screening without independent choice is what i said, I'm expecting a stuation where the screening comes back and people are pressured into not having a disabled child by their GPs because of the stigma attached. The fact that disability is then seen as even worse medically will only lead to the stigma increasing and creating a downward spiral where mothewrs end up having no real choice whether to accept their unborn child's impairments or terminate them.

Wilf

Teabag
05-07-2006, 22:15
Ok

So 'disability' is just a 'deviation from the normal' in purely medical terms

What society views as 'normal deviation' is this a fixed view or has it changed and will it change in the future?

If it changes or will change....who makes those decisions, who tells the medical 'experts'?

Cyclone
06-07-2006, 06:37
Using you example first. That person has an impairment yes, and you're right in saying there are some thing that they cannot do unaided.

That isn't a disability though, thats an impairment. Society's reluctance to allow this person to do things that they would normally allow a non disabled person to do is where this person is disabled. Society disbales them from doing these things by not providing them aid to do this.
I disagree, having no legs disables them, society may or may not compensate for that and so provide an element of enablation (if that's a word).
They can't deliver the post as a job. Society doesn't stop them, the fact that they have no legs to walk stops them.
Not providing aid is passive, it does not act, so it does not disable someone. If aid is provided it may enable someone to do more than they could before.



Secondly, a non disabled person is that situation where everyone else disappears probably wouldn't live a full lifespan. We all have support structures to help us whether they be social groups or an enabler for a deaf person, a OT, a carer or even a counsellor. I think a non disabled person would quickly go mad or take their own life.

Both people would suffer the effects of loneliness, but one of them would be physically capable of living a full lifespan.
How about instead of everyone disappearing, they decide to become a hermit and live in the mountains. Loneliness won't be a factor this time, so no killing themselves.



Thirdly, Screening without independent choice is what i said, I'm expecting a stuation where the screening comes back and people are pressured into not having a disabled child by their GPs because of the stigma attached. The fact that disability is then seen as even worse medically will only lead to the stigma increasing and creating a downward spiral where mothewrs end up having no real choice whether to accept their unborn child's impairments or terminate them.

This would be ethically wrong and I hope that no medical professional would behave like that.
Wilf[/QUOTE]

Cyclone
06-07-2006, 06:38
Ok

So 'disability' is just a 'deviation from the normal' in purely medical terms

What society views as 'normal deviation' is this a fixed view or has it changed and will it change in the future?

If it changes or will change....who makes those decisions, who tells the medical 'experts'?

I think the medical experts do the telling rather than the other way around.
But I don't think normal is varying at a rate that any single generation would be able to perceive it.

BrainThrust
06-07-2006, 12:12
I disagree, having no legs disables them, society may or may not compensate for that and so provide an element of enablation (if that's a word).
They can't deliver the post as a job. Society doesn't stop them, the fact that they have no legs to walk stops them.
Not providing aid is passive, it does not act, so it does not disable someone. If aid is provided it may enable someone to do more than they could before.

Look, we're always going to argue this fact because of your refusal to even read the word impairment in my posts and see that i'm not saying they don't have something that stops them doing something for themselves, but that isn't the disability, that is the impairment. Your usage solely of a person with no legs, even as an example, is frankly quite stereotypical of a person who does not understand disability and never will look beyond the schemas developed by their views. Lets stop the pointless argument because this is not a case where we can bring anything new to an argument that proves our point, you're repeating youself and so am I.

As for the completely ethical medical profession as you see it. Were some GPs being ethical when they pressure women into not having abortions because of their own beliefs?

Besides surely the medical profession will use your argument that they are being ethical in the fact that they are not subjecting a person to a disability when they could do something about it.

Im not saying this is guaranteed to happen but it's far from impossible as you suggest.

Wilf

BrainThrust
06-07-2006, 12:16
I think the medical experts do the telling rather than the other way around.
But I don't think normal is varying at a rate that any single generation would be able to perceive it.

What about perceptions male and female roles and stereotypes. They've changed in my lifetime massively and the norm for females has changed wildly.

In twenty two years we've had a paradigm shift in what is normal. The norm has changed massively.

If you're talking about physical change, thats changed too, tattoos, peircings and the like have changed form being an outsider thing to being dragged into the norm.

Wilf

Cyclone
06-07-2006, 12:18
I'm not refusing to read the word, although maybe i've missed some significance you were placing on it.
You accepted the example earlier, i'm sure we could use an alternative, it might be harder to say what I wanted too, but i'm sure I could still use it to illustrate my point.

I can't say that the medical profession will always be ethical, but it's supposed to be. Living in fear of other peoples prejudices and stopping medical advances because of that fear isn't the right way to go IMO.
If you worry that the medical profession might act in a way it's not supposed too, do you also spend time worrying that the police might frame you for something or that the army will stage a coup d'etat?

Cyclone
06-07-2006, 12:18
What about perceptions male and female roles and stereotypes. They've changed in my lifetime massively and the norm for females has changed wildly.

In twenty two years we've had a paradigm shift in what is normal. The norm has changed massively.

If you're talking about physical change, thats changed too, tattoos, peircings and the like have changed form being an outsider thing to being dragged into the norm.

Wilf

I was talking about natural physical change.

TwoFour
06-07-2006, 12:37
I think that Brainthrust and Cyclone are talking different languages.

Within the Social Model (which is favoured by many disabled people) disable is what the world/society does to someone with an impairment such as blindness or spinal injury.

For Cyclone to say "I disagree, having no legs disables them" therefore makes no sense within the Social Model.

Subsequent argument is therefore difficult.

I used to have an article which explained the Social Model really well. I'll see if I can find it.

Cheers

Cyclone
06-07-2006, 12:41
that's just semantics, why take a word that means something, then pretend it means something else?

BrainThrust
06-07-2006, 12:42
I'm not refusing to read the word, although maybe i've missed some significance you were placing on it.
You accepted the example earlier, i'm sure we could use an alternative, it might be harder to say what I wanted too, but i'm sure I could still use it to illustrate my point.

I can't say that the medical profession will always be ethical, but it's supposed to be. Living in fear of other peoples prejudices and stopping medical advances because of that fear isn't the right way to go IMO.
If you worry that the medical profession might act in a way it's not supposed too, do you also spend time worrying that the police might frame you for something or that the army will stage a coup d'etat?


Okay then lets clear up this whole impairment or disability thing, yeah?

The Medical Model of Disability

The medical model of disability sees the disabled person as the problem. We are to be adapted to fit into the world as it is.

If this is not possible, then we are shut away in some specialised institution or isolated at home, where only our most basic needs are met.

The emphasis is on dependence, backed up by the stereotypes of disability that call forth pity, fear and patronising attitudes. Usually the focus is on the impairment, rather than the needs of the person. The power to change us seems to lie within the medical and associated professions, with their talk of cures, normalisation and science. Often our lives are handed over to them.

Other people's assessments of us, usually non-disabled professionals, are used to determine where we go to school, what support we get and what type of education, where we live, whether or not we can work and what type of work we can do, and indeed whether or not we are born at all, or are even allowed to procreate. Similar control is exercised over us by the design of the built environment presenting us with many barriers, thereby making it difficult or impossible for our needs to be met and limiting our opportunities. Whether it is in work, school, leisure and entertainment facilities, transport, training, higher education, housing or in personal, family and social life, too many common practices and attitudes disable us.

Take a look at the stardard image we use for a disabled person (brandished on toilets and painted into parking spaces of the person in the wheelchair). This image is hellish in terms of what it conveys to the public as it suggests the impaired person is Confined" to a wheelchair, Can't Climb Stairs, Is sick, Needs help, Has a bitter attitude, Needs a cure, Is housebound, Can't use hands, Can't walk, Can't talk, Can't see or hear, Needs a doctor, Needs institutional care.

The obsession with finding medically based cures distracts us from looking at causes of exclusion and disablement.

Most disablement is created by oppressive social systems.

The Social Model of Disability

Impairment and chronic illness exist and they sometimes pose real difficulties for us. The disability movement comprises those disabled people and supporters who understand that we are, regardless of our particular impairment, subjected to a common oppression by the non-disabled world. We are of the view that the position of disabled people and the discrimination against us are socially created. This has little to do with our impairments. As disabled people we are often made to feel it's our own fault that we are different. The difference is that some part, or parts, of our body or mind are limited in their functioning. This is an impairment.

This does not make us less suitable to participate in society, but most people have not been brought up to accept us as we are. Through fear, ignorance and prejudice, barriers and discriminatory practices develop which disable us. The understanding of this process of disablement allows us as disabled people to feel good about ourselves and empowers us to fight for our human rights.

The disabled people's movement believes the 'cure' to the problem of disability lies in the restructuring of society. Unlike medically based 'cures', which focus on individuals and their impairment, this is an achievable goal and to the benefit of everyone. This approach, which we refer to as the 'social model of disability' suggests that disabled people's individual and collective disadvantage is due to a complex form of institutional discrimination as fundamental to our society as sexism, racism or heterosexism.

Clearly, this thinking has important implications for our education system - particularly with reference to primary and secondary schools. Prejudicial attitudes toward disabled people and, indeed, against all minority groups are not inherited. They are learned through contact with the prejudice and ignorance of others. Therefore, to challenge discrimination against disabled people we must begin in our schools. Our fight for the inclusion of all children, however severely disabled, in one mainstream education system, will not make sense unless the differences between the 'social' and the 'medical' or individual model of disability is understood.

The problems around the world are being addressed, and better facilities are slowly being provided for disabled people, but this is not happening fast enough because not enough people are aware of the problems that we face.

Thats why we need such a paradigm shift about the social model of disability. The fact I have an impairment is not the problem, society confining me because i have a problem is what disables me.

Wilf

Crayfish
06-07-2006, 16:53
How is this relevant to screening for embryos with disabilities?

Under either model disability is still not a good thing, either because they're disabled or using your elaborate politically/disabled person view correct model - an opportunity to dramatically decrease the number of disabled people born (who will have poorer quality lives for whatever reason) should be welcomed with open arms, surely? The social model doesn't come into it because screening is performed in a medical sense, on medical criteria, on an undifferentiated ball of cells to which the term 'social' cannot possibly apply.

Providing the tools to identify, and the option to terminate severely mentally or physically disabled embryos would mean that the average quality of human life would rise. So would national / world productivity, and the drain on resources exerted by disabled people would fall. I'm not by any means saying that this drain is their fault, but it's just reality - someone unable to work should ethically be helped by the rest of society but this obviously takes tax money and considerable parental / other people's time and energy. Parents of disabled children have a crap life by and large, and I know that I'd take the option to stop this happening to me. Of course, it would be an option and anyone who feels that aborting children just because they're likely to have no legs and an IQ of 6 would be a bad thing would be welcome to keep it.

No one here is attempting to pass judgement on disabled people currently alive, just arguing the case for preventing more defective children being unnecessarily brought into the world.

Cyclone
06-07-2006, 17:29
I don't agree with the spiel there about the medical versus social model.

Society does not disable you by not providing suitable facilities, the impairment disables you because you cannot use facilities that are suitable for a non impaired person.

Similar control is exercised over us by the design of the built environment presenting us with many barriers, thereby making it difficult or impossible for our needs to be met and limiting our opportunities.

This is wrong. Society does not exhert control over you in order to disable you with difficult things like steps. The impairment makes you disabled, the impairment is what limits your opportunities.
If society makes special facilities available and gives you extra options then you are enabled beyond the norm for your condition.

Call it disabled or call it impaired, it isn't societies fault and they aren't all out to get you. The medical model sounds like it was written by someone with a persecution complex.

Crayfish
06-07-2006, 17:35
Seconded, models thing is rubbish anyway.

TwoFour
06-07-2006, 17:39
Under either model disability is still not a good thing, either because they're disabled or using your elaborate politically/disabled person view correct model - an opportunity to dramatically decrease the number of disabled people born (who will have poorer quality lives for whatever reason) should be welcomed with open arms, surely? .

Not the case, because quality of life is largely subjective and is not determined by physical or mental impariment or lack of it

and the drain on resources exerted by disabled people would fall. I'm not by any means saying that this drain is their fault, but it's just reality - someone unable to work should ethically be helped by the rest of society but this obviously takes tax money and considerable parental / other people's time and energy. .

OK but this is a huge generalisation as many disabled people do work or contribute to society in other ways (even some with severe impairments)- seeing any group of people as a burden doesn't really help anyone. We live in an advanced civilised society and therefore we are in position to be able to celebrate diverity including disability.

Parents of disabled children have a crap life by and large, and I know that I'd take the option to stop this happening to me..

Another assumption here. As you are not a parent of a disbled child, how could you know? Parenting any child is a huge challenge and I would say that some of my friends with non-disabled kids have a crap life but they wouldn't have aborted the child to change that.

I suppose technically a baby could be adopted if the parents couldn't cope or decided that they didn't want to cope.

No one here is attempting to pass judgement on disabled people currently alive, just arguing the case for preventing more defective children being unnecessarily brought into the world.

Using words like defective to describe a baby could be seen as cruel and unnecessary. Makes it sound like they are a machine or something. This language was abandoned yeasr ago.

Crayfish
06-07-2006, 17:45
Of course, with any generalisation there are exemptions to the rule; however I stand by every point that I made, in general terms. Just to counter-rebut your rebuttals using this framework:

1. A disability is likely to affect quality of life, and it will be more easy and common for non-disabled people to have a good quality of life. Also, I would judge quality of life in terms of contribution and success, not just in terms of personal happiness - literally, the quality or qualitative value of a life.

2. Many disabled people do work, but less disabled people work / are able to work / are able to do the same work or as varied a spectrum of work / are able to subsist on their own than non-disabled people, hence screening out disabled foetuses would have a net positive effect.

3. Both in terms of common sense and from personal experience of knowing parents with disabled children, they take up a huge amount of time and are unable to offer proxy-rewards in the same way that healthy children are.

4. Defective has been eliminated from the PC dictionary, yes - I don't subscribe to this. Defective = unable to fully perform the function of a wholly operative specimen of the same species. This can mean the same as disability, but in fact when applied to foetuses defective is a more accurate term, as the information picked up through screening is generally biochemical markers of defective traits that will lead to a disability in the live born child if allowed to continue.

By removing these defective foetuses at a point before they are anything close to a person, then there is still space in that family for a normal child; hence the number of people with a better chance of achieving a good quality of life and doing something for the world / humanity would increase while the number of children that are either partially or fully unable to contribute and are a hindrance to humanity would decrease.

What sentimental micro-ethicists don't factor into their views is that humanity may well face some very large, global scale problems in the future and that a larger-picture view needs to be taken above and beyond that of the individual.

TwoFour
06-07-2006, 17:46
Society does not disable you by not providing suitable facilities, the impairment disables you because you cannot use facilities that are suitable for a non impaired person.

But this is the whole point of the Social Model. It is viewing the situation from the other end from where you are viewing it. It is an alternative way of looking at the world.

Someone with arthritis can't get on a bus because they can't lift their legs enough...OR they can't get on the bus becuase the bus does not have level access from the pavement.

A blind person can't use a newspaper becuase they cant see the words OR they can't use it because it's not in braille or audio.

BrainThrust
06-07-2006, 18:07
I'mleaving this alone now, I can see i'm not gonna change closed minds here. I'm not disabled my by my impairment, i'm disabled by the views expressed here, whether you want to admit it or not.

Wilf

Rich
06-07-2006, 18:12
I'mleaving this alone now, I can see i'm not gonna change closed minds here. I'm not disabled my by my impairment, i'm disabled by the views expressed here, whether you want to admit it or not.

Wilf

Once again, well said that man.

As I said earlier in this thread, all these idiots who are slagging off disabled people, just you try walking a mile in a disabled person's shoes, and then come back and see if you still slag us off :rant: :loopy:

Cyclone
06-07-2006, 18:52
Rich, you do absolutely nothing to help your side of the argument. At least BT made an argument and defended it logically, you just rant and call people names.

BT - I don't think that my mind is closed, I think that your playing silly games with words, and the idea that an impairment doesn't disable you is just frankly ridiculous.

Mathom
06-07-2006, 19:17
Again I will say that disability is not always something people are born with, in fact any one of us could become disabled tomorrow. So it is totally and utterly naive to think that any kind of selective breeding could eliminate disability. There will always be the need for adaptations to buses, subtitles, etc etc.

I know a man who has a disability which we'd call extremely severe, yet he is in a powerful position. Some people are shocked when they discover his disability - I've witnessed it. He has an incredible intellect, and is fiercely independent. He once said he views his disability as an advantage, says that had he not had it, he could have gone off the rails as a lad and ended up wasting his life; as it was, due to his disability he had the chance of a good specialist education. He's an inspiring person, but also a perfectly 'normal' person.

And let's stop using 'normal', because it can't be defined.

In my opinion the debate about whether people with disabilities are useful members of society shouldn't even be taking place. Especially not amongst those who are not disabled. Its the people with disabilities who call the shots in the disability debate because they are the ones in the know.

BrainThrust
06-07-2006, 19:20
Am I being silly by saying my impairment impairs me and that it is turned intoa disability by society? I don't think so, the words are different, their meanings are different and they have different connotations.

I fail t o see how any of those are 'silly games'. However saying i am using silly games is fairly patronising, it could be suggested that you are not resorting to belittling my use of words becuase YOu can't see the distinction.

Now i'm gone. not rising to it again, I still think you're closeminded to the idea that society isn't all roses towards disabled people.

Wilf

Crayfish
06-07-2006, 19:50
No, it's an impairment that makes you less able than other people. Sorry, I don't mean to cause offence but I'm a consistent realist. Normal people would be able to use both stairs and ramps, an 'impaired' person may only be able to use ramps thus is disabled.

Society probably isn't all roses towards disabled people, this is one reason why the quality of life of non-impaired persons is better and why foetuses should be screened for disability at birth. To be honest, considering the minority population of disabled persons and the consideration that we could well be in with a chance of virtually eradicating congenital disability, I don't think renovating everything in the world to be disabled friendly is a good move and wouldn't counsel spending money on it.

Mathom
06-07-2006, 20:14
To be honest, considering the minority population of disabled persons and the consideration that we could well be in with a chance of virtually eradicating congenital disability, I don't think renovating everything in the world to be disabled friendly is a good move and wouldn't counsel spending money on it.

You'll think it a very good move if you have an accident, get old, contract MS or any other of the multitude of things that could happen to you - and will, in the case of getting old. I never used to think about it until I had to use a wheelchair for a few months and then I was very pleased that places were accessible or I'd have been stuck indoors wasting my life away.

Its a good move, as there are so many people with disabilities that businesses will lose a lot of money if they don't improve accessibility, and in a lot of cases it can be no more expensive than providing a sturdy wooden ramp.

Cyclone
06-07-2006, 20:31
Am I being silly by saying my impairment impairs me and that it is turned intoa disability by society? I don't think so, the words are different, their meanings are different and they have different connotations.

I fail t o see how any of those are 'silly games'. However saying i am using silly games is fairly patronising, it could be suggested that you are not resorting to belittling my use of words becuase YOu can't see the distinction.

Now i'm gone. not rising to it again, I still think you're closeminded to the idea that society isn't all roses towards disabled people.

Wilf

dis∑a∑bled ( P ) Pronunciation Key (ds-bld)
adj.
1) Inoperative:
2) Impaired, as in physical functioning

im∑paired ( P ) Pronunciation Key (m-p‚rd)
adj.
1) Diminished, damaged, or weakened: an impaired sense of smell.
2) Functioning poorly or incompetently: a driver so tired as to be impaired.
3) Having a physical or mental disability: an impaired child in need of special assistance


They mean the same thing, to be impaired is to have a disability, to be disabled is to have an impairment.

I am using the commonly accepted meanings for the words.
That's why I say it's silly games, because I know what the words mean and you can't just redefine them to mean what you want.

If you can point out where I said that society was all roses towards disabled people then I will retract it and applogise.
You can't though, because I didn't.
Society is largely indifferent, which means that you suffer because your impairment (to use your terminology) is disabling you.
If society spent a lot of time and effort it could largely make adjustments to enable you again. What you see as active discrimination against you, is not, it's just inaction. That's like calling someone a murderer because they choose not to pull someone to safety from a burning building.

Can you say that society will be better off if screening is not employed and the number of disabled people does not fall than if it were employed?

No one has suggested at any point that all disability can be removed from the world, it's been acknoledged all along that someone can become impaired at any point through injury or illness. Congenital impairment however could be almost eradicated, and if that were done it would actually have the effect of reducing the genes in circulation.

Normal can be defined, it's really quite easy to do it. It will have a range within around some averages within which is the 95th percentile and outside of which can be considered abnormal.

I don't think there was really a debate about whether disabled people are useful members of society, some are, some are not. Hell there are perfectly normal people who aren't useful at all.
The fact is though that some disabled people require support, some require lots of support. Overall if less disabled people were born the support costs would reduce. You can't argue with that, I hope.

TwoFour
07-07-2006, 12:51
If society spent a lot of time and effort it could largely make adjustments to enable you again. What you see as active discrimination against you, is not, it's just inaction.



You've just nearly defined the Social Model. If society weren't indifferent people would still be impaired but they would be less disabled or more enalbed as you have out it.

Inaction is discrimination. That's the law.

Cheers.

Cyclone
07-07-2006, 13:31
No it's not. In some cases the law says that reasonable adjustments must be made. Inaction in the most part, by individuals, isn't against the law and isn't vindictive.

TwoFour
08-07-2006, 09:20
No it's not. In some cases the law says that reasonable adjustments must be made. Inaction in the most part, by individuals, isn't against the law and isn't vindictive.

...and its that unwitting inaction that is often the most disabling.

I meant the action that has to be taken under DDA to make public services and buildings etc accessible.

Cyclone
08-07-2006, 09:41
The wilful misuse of the word disabling. The impairment disables you.
My having a step into my house doesn't disable you, it just doesn't do anything to enable you.

To disable something is an action, you cannot 'do' something by inaction, you can only allow the current state to continue.

Crayfish
08-07-2006, 09:46
Fact is, non disabled people who know no disabled people don't have any reason to act whatsoever - it just isn't part of our world or something we think or care about.

Might be a problem for disabled people and obviously if I ever was disabled I'd think about it, but taking no action on something completely irrelevant to my world isn't discrimination!

If that were the case, you'd be actively discriminating against every single disadvantaged minority in the world, including the many that you've probably never even heard of.

Crayfish
08-07-2006, 09:50
Anyway, this thread is diving off into nonsensical technicalities that aren't anything to do with the subject matter - anyone actually have an opinion on screening foetuses at birth and offering the option to abort or do you just want to take the opportunity to witter on about those already living who are disabled ad somnus? Maybe starting another thread is in order.

BrainThrust
08-07-2006, 12:33
Can I clarify somethag that has been said.

The DDA is the law at the moment and reasonable adjustment is more of a get out clause than a vindication of inaction.

The new law which is coming through at the moment AFAIAA, called the Disability Equality Duty (DED) will make inaction and not making adjustments a crime.

I had a briefing on it by the Disability Rights Comission and I'll quote from thr booklet I was given there.

The disabiluty Equality Duty publshed it's codes last december and they becoem law this December. It shifts responsibility from the disabled person making a claim of discrimination to the institution taking action. It requires Insititutions to analyse potential patterns of discrimination and to take proportionate action to change them.

It builds up the DDA as it provides a framework for public authorities to carry out their functions more effectively and requires the involvement of disabled people, not just a mere consultation, which is often ignored.

The Public sector now has a care of duty to:

Elimiate unlawful discrimination
Promote equal opportunites
Elimite disability related harassment
prmote positive attitudes towards disabled persons
Encourage participation by disabled persons in public life
Take steps to take account of disabled person's disabilites, even where that involves treating disabled persons more favourably than other persons.


Beyond this there are a lot of specific dutys the certain public sectors have to take into account.

The enforcement of the DED is more stingent that the DDA also. Any individual, including the DRC can apply for a judicial review of a public body they felt was failing to comply AND the DRC can also issue specific compliance notices which if ignored can go to court to request a compliance order.

For more information on this google "The duty to Promote Disability Equality - Statutory Code of Practice, England and Wales" or visit www.dotheduty.org

Wilf

Sorry if thats OT but I felt I needed to clear up the law.

Teabag
08-07-2006, 13:06
The wilful misuse of the word disabling. The impairment disables you.
My having a step into my house doesn't disable you, it just doesn't do anything to enable you.

To disable something is an action, you cannot 'do' something by inaction, you can only allow the current state to continue.

I can see your point but building a massive flights of stairs is an action surely? I think my Grandpa would have no chance getting into some shops with barriers they place on entry...does that mean he is disabled too? Obviously his age is an impairment...I am sure he would have something to say on that matter.

Society has to be designed for all of its citizens and stop placing barriers - physical, economic and social. People don't want to be enabled - they want their rights. There is a lot more freedom to be won Cyclone.

Bartfarst
08-07-2006, 13:17
I can see your point but building a massive flights of stairs is an action surely? I think my Grandpa would have no chance getting into some shops with barriers they place on entry...does that mean he is disabled too? Obviously his age is an impairment...I am sure he would have something to say on that matter.

Society has to be designed for all of its citizens and stop placing barriers - physical, economic and social. People don't want to be enabled - they want their rights. There is a lot more freedom to be won Cyclone.
Why 'rights'?

Why should the disabled have the 'right' to force small businesses to spend thousands of pounds on disabled access? If there's a market for disabled access, let shops and businesses who want to sell to that market spend the money - but don't support the madness whereby the current do-gooders are crippling small businesses by making them spend money they can't afford on disabled facilities.

It's very unfortunate for peope to have disabilities, but why should everybody else have to suffer for it?

Jabberwocky
08-07-2006, 13:22
Bartfast is right here.
I know a small business that went under in the 90s because they were practically forced to install a wheelchair ramp at the cost of a lot of money.
The problem is, in the 10 years that the business was open not one single disabled person visited it, yet some health and safety officer insisted a ramp be fitted. The business was given a grant to help but they had to pay it back with interest, a forced loan basically that crippled the business in the end.
So there were 5 people on the dole, an empty unit with a nice wheelchair ramp fitted to it, and a council that had made a nice bundle of money.

BrainThrust
08-07-2006, 13:25
The problem is, in the 10 years that the business was open not one single disabled person visited it

Perhaps because they couldn't?

Wilf

Jabberwocky
08-07-2006, 13:26
Perhaps because they couldn't?

Wilf
Well the business sold weight training equipment and most of the stuff they sold was outside on their car park anyway so anyone coming to buy the gear didnt even need to go inside.

Teabag
08-07-2006, 15:16
Why 'rights'?

Why should the disabled have the 'right' to force small businesses to spend thousands of pounds on disabled access? If there's a market for disabled access, let shops and businesses who want to sell to that market spend the money - but don't support the madness whereby the current do-gooders are crippling small businesses by making them spend money they can't afford on disabled facilities.

It's very unfortunate for peope to have disabilities, but why should everybody else have to suffer for it?

It is hard for small business to meet those costs out of narrow margins, I agree here - I think the Govt should offer small businesses grants to offset the costs - I am not sure if this is already the case, if not, it should be encouraged

As for rights in the general sense - I don't think anyone would seriously dispute the case and I see you do not in your post BF:thumbsup:

Plain Talker
08-07-2006, 17:20
Why 'rights'?

Why should the disabled have the 'right' to force small businesses to spend thousands of pounds on disabled access? If there's a market for disabled access, let shops and businesses who want to sell to that market spend the money - but don't support the madness whereby the current do-gooders are crippling small businesses by making them spend money they can't afford on disabled facilities.

It's very unfortunate for peope to have disabilities, but why should everybody else have to suffer for it?

because if it's inclusive enough to get someone with a disability in, then it's accessible for all..... simple equation.

as teabag says

I can see your point but building a massive flights of stairs is an action surely? I think my Grandpa would have no chance getting into some shops with barriers they place on entry...does that mean he is disabled too? Obviously his age is an impairment...I am sure he would have something to say on that matter.

Society has to be designed for all stop placing barriers - physical, economic and social.

if the doors installed are too heavy for someone elderly or impaired to open (see Ponds Forge ISC's main entrance, for a perfect example of non-inclusive thinking on doors) then they are excluded from participating in society.

too-heavy doors are a disabling barrier, as are steps.

however, we're digressing again.

back to your regularly scheduled topic.

PT