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The elimination of people with Down Syndrome, a right?

Published on 06/02/2012 in Press releases

cedhOn the 5th of 2002, a 40 year old Latvian women, gave birth to a little girl with Down Syndrome. Because she hadn’t been informed about the possibility of testing the foetus for Down Syndrome, which would have enabled her to interrupt her pregnancy, Anita Kruzmane decided to bring a lawsuit against her doctor.

 But the Latvian jurisdiction having proof that her doctor had suggested a screening test for Down Syndrome, the General Court, the Court of Appeal and the Court of Last Instance all three rejected the complaint.

In the name of the «  right to the respect of private and family life » (article 8 of the European Convention for the Protection of Human rights and Fundamental Freedoms), Anita Kruzmane then applied directly to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), so that what she called a prejudice, may be recognized.

At that point her action took a whole new amplitude, as the European Magistrates were to adjudicate about the so-called alleged right to abortion in regards to the child’s health, in this case a child with Down Syndrome. In other words, the ECHR has been asked to adjudicate on the following question: “Is the elimination of People with Down Syndrome a human right?”

The Threefold « prenatal screening- prenatal diagnosis- medical termination of pregnancy” already leads to eugenic excesses in a certain number of European countries, France having the sad record of eliminating 96% of children whose prenatal diagnosis is Down Syndrome positive.

With the Kruzmane affair, a new stage could be reached: the recognition of the “right to kill for medical cause” as a “Human Right” would be a revolution. This would impact a very large number of countries as the ECHR decisions are finite and considered as superior norms for all 47 state members of the Council of Europe.

The stigmatization of a group of humans because of its genome, the pure and simple negation of the humanity of these people and the fact of giving access to all means for their demise is unprecedented in the history of humanity.

Considering what is at stake, The Jérôme Lejeune Foundation and many other associations in other European countries are publically denouncing this case. They have launched an international action of mobilization whose aim is to show how strongly people would react in the case of a decision in favour of the complainant. Indeed, it is urgent that they understand that recognising such a right would jeopardize not only European democracy but even more importantly: our humanity.

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