This post appeared originally on PROLIFE NZ
Today we feature a special guest post from Rachael, a human rights lawyer based in Auckland NZ…
Sunday 9 September marked the end of the 2012 Paralympics. Every four years this international event showcases the determination and exceptional sporting ability of disabled athletes from all over the world, a true testament to the human spirit and the ability to achieve the incredible against all odds. That the New Zealand media gave these games so little coverage is disappointing and raises questions as to why this was the case.Better no coverage, however, than the twisted and bizarre move by the BBC to use the 2012 Paralympics as a platform to promote eugenics. Eugenics is an ideology advocating practices aimed at increasing superior characteristics and decreasing inferior ones in order to “improve” the genetic quality of the human race. Hitler employed this ideology in his attempt to create a “master race” by exterminating those he deemed “undesirables” or “life unworthy of life”.
On the eve of the Paralympics, BBC Newsnight ran a segment called ‘Eugenics, Helping or Eradicating Disability?’ The show began with the question “is it a noble aim to rid the world of mental and physical disability”? As if for the sake of completeness, the piece then described how “the most heinous crimes of the 20th century, the holocaust, the mass murder of the disabled, the enforced sterilisation of anyone considered inferior, all took place in the name of eugenics”. It continued: “Many of the Paralympians we’ll be celebrating in London have the same disabilities as those whose rights have been violated. But does this mean we should write off eugenics in its totality?…Should the prospect of designer babies be ignored just because of its associations with Nazism?”