"Termination"

It's not really the most audibly pleasing word in the English language, but it sure can have a nice ring to it, compared to the words it's often used as a substitute for: "We are going to have to terminate your employment, mister so and so," "Susie was terminated last week," etc. Heck, one of the first mental images "terminate" instills in me is of Arnold Schwarzenegger wielding a shotgun.

A lesser-realized yet equally-as-chilling usage of "terminate" comes to us today from the folks at the Down's Syndrome Association, where recent medical progress has heightened spirits. Really, the news starts as Stanford University (also known for their recent gridiron demise at the hands of the Fighting Irish), where Dr. Stephen Quake and a team of colleagues has been pioneering a form of Down's Syndrome testing for use in early-stage pregnancies.

Dr. Quake said: "Non-invasive testing will be much safer than current approaches."

One of the current ways of confirming the syndrome is amniocentesis, in which a needle is used to take a sample of the fluid within the womb.

Approximately one in 100 women who have the test will miscarry as a result, according to the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists...

Dr. Quake said the new DNA test could be carried out at an even earlier stage of pregnancy than the current tests, giving women more time to make choices about their pregnancy. (BBC)

"What sort of choices," arises the question in the mind of the reader.
Carol Boys, chief executive of the Down's Syndrome Association, said: "There is no question that these non-invasive tests will be introduced in the next few years.

"It's therefore incredibly important that potential parents are given accurate information on Down's syndrome before they make a choice about whether to terminate or not.

"We don't consider Down's syndrome a reason for termination, but we recognise that bringing up a child with Down's syndrome isn't right for everyone.

And so surfaces the topic of our post: "termination." Oddly enough, it does not come from the scientist experimenting with the testing, who incidentally believes his work to be beneficial for those seeking 'choices,' but rather from the woman defending the fetuses afflicted with this 'syndrome.' She doesn't want to call them people, I'm quite sure. Nor does she want to state the harsh reality that her careful choice of words highlights so blatantly. "Potential parents" is a dead giveaway: how can she believe the fetuses are human beings if the procreative agents aren't yet parents? But, then again, why head up an association that seeks to defend Down's Syndrome children if they aren't really 'people' until birth? Why not just "terminate" them all and get it over with? Perhaps she has a cozy job. Perhaps the "termination" of too many fetuses would infringe upon that. Perhaps she may even have to take a solid stance on the issue. But for now, she doesn't.

What is happening is murder, no matter how you choose to say it. And if the advocates of the poor and sick themselves will not stand strong in the face of public and social backlash, then who can?

  1. gravatar

    # by noahcarter - October 6, 2008 at 11:21 PM

    Our culture is a culture of death, unfortunately. I read last month of a new study that showed a lower percentage of Down Syndrome children in the US. The study praised women who chose to murder (or, if we must be politically correct: "terminate") their child before birth because it prevented the genetic defect from being passed on.

    What I find so ironic is the fact that many "scientists," whose pursuit is to study nature, is in favor of destroying nature itself like every abnormality is a wart waiting to be frozen off.

    Over-dramatic? While some say that the Church restricts people from acting freely in such a situation, it remains a fact that the explicit evil of abortion and the subtle evil of new "testing" procedures like you've posted about cannot be described to its fullest extent with the limits of any human language.

    I appreciate that you presented this research on the blog. I'll commend the whole situation to my prayers.

  2. gravatar

    # by Deb - October 7, 2008 at 8:42 AM

    Related to this scary situation is from the UK. Apparently Baroness Mary Warnock is advocating the killing of people with dementia and/or Alzheimers. It really is just a matter of time.
    http://blog.bioethics.net/2008/09/warnock-alzheimers-pts-wasting-lives-and-resources/

  3. gravatar

    # by noahcarter - October 7, 2008 at 3:35 PM

    Wow. That UK situation is scary. I heard Peter Kreeft speak at a conference this summer and he said that "The right to die movement will soon become the obligation to die movement." He really meant soon.

  4. gravatar

    # by Andrew Haines - October 7, 2008 at 11:15 PM

    It is rather curious how quickly the snowball gathers into an all-out war against life. I was just commenting on another blog yesterday about the effects that emotional/dramatic portrayals of immoral acts have on even the most well-intentioned psyche. For example, a depiction in a war movie where one soldier is captured and suffering for the sake of the others, and a fellow soldier gets off a clean sniper shot to alleviate the torture from a distance, etc. Euthanasia. And what about mobster movies, or 007 films, where unjustified killing ignites a sentiment of fulfillment in the viewer. Murder. Have they done it yet with abortion? Do you think they can?

    I think this is just further proof that Kreeft's claim is correct. We promote the "right to die" in so many popular venues that people cannot separate between "right' and "obligation." It's already infiltrated the masses, and soon it will take existential effect.