(09/08/2016) The Department of Health is set to push through this new
screening technique which could see the almost complete extermination of
people born with Down’s Syndrome in the UK.
1. The Government has admitted that “no
assessment was made of the impact of NIPT on the number of abortions,
Down’s Syndrome community and medical professional and society’s
attitudes towards people with Down’s syndrome.”
2. There is a substantial conflict of interests as some of those pushing for this new test stand to gain financially from it.
• The UK National Screening Committee (UKNSC),
who are responsible for advising the Government “about all aspects of
population screening and supports implementation of screening
programmes”, have approved this new test.
• One of a handful of experts on the UKNSC, Jane Fisher, is also the Director of ‘Ante-Natal Results and Choices’ (ARC)
• ARC in turn receive funding
from the biotech companies and testing providers which will gain most
from the implementation of this new screening technique. Implementation
of this screening technique across the NHS will open up a huge new market over-night for these companies.
In short, at the same time as the UK National Screening
Committee is advising the Government to implement this new screening
technique, some of its members could gain a lot of money from it. The
UKNSC’s judgement therefore, cannot be trusted because we have reason
to believe that some are motivated in their decision by profit and not
by best medical practice.
Now, the Down syndrome community are outraged about never being consulted on this move and have mobilised behind an open letter to Jeremy Hunt which has been signed by over 500 people with Down’s syndrome, their parents and families. “Implementing
cfDNA at this stage would effectively mean introducing a worsened form
of informal eugenics into our culture than already exists.“ Because
there is so little support and information about Down’s Syndrome, many
women choose to end their pregnancies when it is diagnosed in the womb.
If proper support and information were provided, this need not happen
A new screening technique could lead to an informal eugenics where an
estimated 13% decrease in live births in babies with Down’s Syndrome.
The number of babies with Down’s Syndrome aborted is set to increase
if the UK Government follows the recommendation of the UK National
Screening Committee (UKNSC) and adopts a new cfDNA (cell-free DNA)
While the screening itself is being heralded as a move to reduce the
number of miscarriages associated with invasive amniocentesis, the UKNSC
have glossed over the fact that their pilot study predicts cfDNA
screening will detect 102 more babies with Down’s syndrome every year,
of which it is expected that 92 will be aborted.
The eugenic abortion of people with Downs Syndrome often happens because
Many parents whose children have been given a diagnosis or prognosis of
foetal disability have experienced a presumption within the medical
profession that they would opt for abortion.
2. There is a lack of
information and support for parents who want continue carrying a
disabled child, or for those who might be considering adoption.
The end result of this new screening technique is that certain kinds
of people with disabilities would be effectively ‘screened out’ of the
population before they are even born. While abortion is never the right
answer, in this case, as so many others, it often seems like there is no
Sign this petition to urge Jeremy Hunt to prevent the implementation
of this screening technique and ensure that better support is provided
for parents who have a child with a disability.
Don’t Screen Us Out website – email your MP – http://ift.tt/2aMRz4A
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