I couldn’t help but notice that a well-known blogger Harriet from Toby & roo was the talk of the blogosphere and as somebody who’s followed her blog I was intrigued. Her blog post DNA ENGINEERING TO PREVENT DISABILITIES:: WHY I THINK WE SHOULD PLAY GOD has caused quite a shit storm.
As a mother of a child who is severely disabled here’s my take.
A species in which we’re all genetically modified wouldn’t succeed. I believe we need a variety of people from the warm hearted to the cold hearted. Every race, Able bodied to disabled. We shouldn’t be allowed to play “God”.
I feel mum guilt on a daily basis so when I read this blog post Dare I say, I initially had mixed feelings I was genuinely questioning whether I’d make that choice but soon that was overshadowed by anger.
It’s similar for myself I don’t know about you When you’re pregnant and you reach 12 weeks you get asked if you want a nuchal test to screen to see if your child potentially has Down’s syndrome. I remember clearly lying there on the table when the sonographer asked myself and Michael this question. I could almost feel the anger emitting from Michael. Were they trying to suggest we should know because then our options were open? That we wouldn’t be “judged” for terminating our pregnancy because our baby’s genes were flawed? We didn’t go through with it because regardless if our babies were born with Down’s syndrome we wouldn’t love them any less and we certainly wouldn’t want to kill them to keep the human race “well born”.
I started to feel intense anxiety and guilt whilst reading Harriet’s post. A feeling I’ve become accustomed to, similar to when we received Olivia’s health diagnosis A feeling that something incredibly and catastrophically had just gone wrong in our lives. That anxiety lives with me now, day in day out. It’s on those days I don’t want to, can’t even, leave the house. For fear of what? Being judged that I didn’t “Step up” and make an inconceivable choice between life and death.
My point being is Don’t try to disguise a blog post about eugenics. I’m not trying to make money from my blog I’m not trying to get a book deal or be award winning. I’m writing real life, raw sometimes grim reality of raising a child with a disability. The barriers we face and the ignorance on a daily basis we have to fight. the bullshit lies about how England is inclusive for everyone’s needs and how we’re diverse when my disabled child’s only choice is being changed on a dirty public toilet floor because all inclusive Britain won’t fit suitable facilities. just to name a few. Yes, it’s exhausting but I wouldn’t choose death over life.
Harriet states this blog post comes in response to a twitter poll
RT! Removing the individual genes from embryos which can cause disabilities or illness later in life… #GeneEditing
— Charlie Beswick (@ouralteredlife) August 3, 2017
What happens when your child isn’t born with said gene and their disability comes later in life should we kill them “To avoid trauma”?
What’s annoyed me is neither Harriet or the other parents she’s linked to and quoted in her post are disabled or parent disabled children. Don’t get me wrong I believe with a passion everybody is entitled to their opinion what I don’t agree with is expressing this opinion so publicly when you have zero life experience within this topic.
My final question is… at what point would you stop interfering? Would you alter your child’s race, gender or sexuality?
I would like to say one thing I do not condone and never will condone is Harriet and her children have received death threats because of this. Yes, This blog post goes beyond being offensive and hurtful. genetic engineering is eugenics pure and simple but This is completely unacceptable and once again it makes me question the blogosphere.