Eugenics is not a human right!
Should the elimination of one’s unborn baby because it has Down syndrome be regarded as a human fundamental right? That is the serious issue in a case before the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), which has been called upon to rule on whether parents have a fundamental right to the prenatal screening and elimination of sick or disabled children.
A favourable ruling by the Court would amount to recognising as a fundamental right eugenic solutions to disabled people.
The Court is called upon to rule on the complaint (KRUZMANE versus Latvia) filed by a woman against her doctor who, allegedly, did not prescribe a screening test for Down syndrome for her during her pregnancy, which would have shown that her child had Down syndrome and enabled her to have an abortion.
Faced with the danger of prenatal screening and elimination becoming enshrined and consecrated as a human right, the signatories of this declaration (associations, families and those close to Down syndrome and disabled people) appeal to the conscience of the Court and to European institutions to recognise the humanity, and protect the right to life, of Down syndrome and disabled people.
Recognising as a human right the elimination of Down syndrome children before their birth amounts to stigmatising a human group selected on the basis of their genome. A favourable ruling would deny purely and simply the humanity of the persons with disabilities and setup in law the mechanism for their elimination.
Already, the systematic elimination of Down syndrome children in Europe constitutes a real violation of human rights. Not the fact that some may have escaped this selection because there was a failure to identify them before birth.
We (associations, disabled people and their families), call up on the Court to reaffirm the principle of the prohibition of eugenics, and the obligation of the Member States to protect the life of every person, including of the disabled before their birth. What is at stake is how our European society defines humanity.
Organisations having already joined