A leading bioethicist working for the National Institutes of Health in Maryland advocates aborting babies found by pre-natal testing to be blind or mentally disabled. Speaking at the University of Rhode Island Nov. 12, Dan W. Brock said, “It’s uncontroversial that serious disabilities should be prevented in born persons. It’s considered a misfortune to be born blind or with a serious cognitive disability, but if it’s a bad thing for a born person, then why not prevent these conditions in someone who will be born?”
In his lecture entitled, “Genetic Testing & Selection: A Response to the Disability Movement’s Critique,” Brock sought to answer charges from the disabled community against the use of genetic testing and abortion to eliminate disabled children.
Brock claimed he believes disabled persons, once born, have “full and equal moral status.” However, he said: “We should distinguish between preventing people from becoming disabled, from preventing the existence of disabled people.”
Operating from an extreme utilitarian perspective, Brock said aborting disabled unborn children would benefit society since “fewer resources would be needed.” He explained, “It’s a mistake to think that the social and economic costs are not a legitimate concern in this context.”