Monday, April 19, 2010

Reflection on Eugenics

Yes, what the American government and the Nazi's did to people under their protection was indeed horrible. Forced sterilization that could be easily doctored up to make it seem legitimate, the gas chambers for those different or disabled...

Yes, those kinds of things are wrong and I am not here to dispute that point.

However, what Eugenics was supposed to be was a "support" of "strong" to reproduce, thus still leaving the choice up to the people, which is where it should be. Sometimes I see the things that technology, namely medicinal science, has brought us and I find that it is marvelous but at the same time it has me worried.

Yes, it is great that we are now living to be 80-100 years old, with better diets, exercise.. etc. but some people are living to those ages with the dependency on pills or hospital visits every month or so. Saving a life with emergency surgery after a car accident, or a cancer patient when the tumor has been discovered is an amazing feat, and it's not what has me worried.

What has me worried, for example, are the people who cannot reproduce naturally (for a myriad of reasons... "weak swimmers" is the one that comes to mind first) and yet now we have the technology to reproduce for them. It make sound cruel, but what are the chances that the child is unable to reproduce as well?

At the same time, these procedures tend to be very expensive, so while the "poor" are, for lack of a better, and it may seem cruel, term, "dying off", the rich are able to reproduce despite bad genes or genetics that leads to the weakening of their family line.

Is this what Galton was worried about as well?

I just remembered where I learned of Eugenics first, it was from my father. We were driving and I mentioned this after hearing something on the radio. He told me what Eugenics were, and mentioned that is what my worry sounded like, even though I didn't offer any solutions to what I thought was a problem.

He never mentioned it was the same thing that the Nazi's used, I think he didn't want to scare me.

Anyway, I still don't have any solutions, and this is a very heavy moral confliction I have. I don't want to stop people from having children if they want them, but... can't help but worry about the future, even if I'm not there to see it.

No comments: