An article on The Sunday Times of January 29, 2017 informs that the NHS has paid £70m to parents of disabled babies who say they would have had abortions had they known of the abnormalities earlier. The payments were made for what is legally termed “wrongful birth”:
‘Wrongful birth’ is a horrifying term which gravely offends against genuine commitment to concepts of inclusiveness and anti-discrimination.
Who in a civilized society would dare say to a person with a disability, ‘You should not have been born’?
If prenatal tests are done aimed at facilitating gestation and the subsequent birth, and improving the future health of the baby in question, then – always providing the tests are not so invasive as to seriously risk killing the developing child- such tests can be justified. Otherwise we are sadly talking eugenics not good medicine.
It would be interesting for the media to explore some of the positive responses which have resulted from prenatal screening, however, including incredible surgery which has been performed either in utero, or with the developing baby temporarily outside the womb. These examples show medicine in a more positive light.
It is certainly not screening per se that is the problem. It is what is done after the screening. In this instance the focus does not seem to be on curing but simply a search and abort approach.