Tuesday, January 20, 2009

"Obviously we need a debate"

Professor Simon Baron-Cohen, director of the research team, told the Guardian that it is now time to start considering where society stands on the issue.

"If there was a prenatal test for autism, would this be desirable? What would we lose if children with autistic spectrum disorder were eliminated from the population?" he said. "We should start debating this. There is a test for Down's syndrome and that is legal and parents exercise their right to choose termination, but autism is often linked with talent. It is a different kind of condition."

Or maybe, and this is just a suggestion, we just need to be told which disabled children it's OK to kill. It would save such a lot of time, and anyway, who is really qualified to enter into such a "debate"? Are we going to leave it up to the average Joe-on-the-street?

These things are always best decided by experts.

Maybe the British Government could appoint a board or a commission or something, like the HFEA, or the NICE, that could render decisions on which disabled children should be killed, and which ones allowed to live because they have sufficient "talents" to outweigh the burden of their disabilities.

Of course, in the case of autistic kids, we would have to wait a few years after birth to see which ones manifested "talents" and which ones didn't. Maybe we could set up government centres. At birth, send the kids who "tested positive" for the gene to the centre and have them raised there. By age of, say, three or so, we would probably be able to screen out the talentless ones.

This scheme could save a lot of emotional difficulties for the parents who, inexplicably, often develop irrational attachments to their talentless children, (whether with autism or no) and might balk after three years when it came time to face the inevitable truth.


Good idea.

Thanks Professor.

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