Stephen Tall's report on Lib Dem Voice that deaf couples are to be allowed to choose to have a deaf baby has got me a little bit mad. Apparently the Government have caved into the lobbying of a small group of deaf activists who believe that deafness should not be viewed either as a disability or even as a serious medical condition and want the chance to screen embryos for children who would be deaf.
Deafness, although in my view a disability, is not a debilitating condition whereby sufferers enjoy no quality of life. And therefore the idea that people would choose to get rid of (through abortion) or screen against (via embryo selection) a baby who would be deaf is, to my mind, totally wrong.
But it is a condition which renders it more difficult for sufferers to function in the normal world. In my view, these activists want to make it more so. By demanding that we do not view deafness as a disability, they are presumably rejecting the additional protections and rights which people with a disability need to protect them both from prejudice and from organisations denying them access to services. I do not believe that it is right that we should deny protection to many people who feel they need it on the basis of the views of a few who do not.
This is just my view. I don't believe in imposing my morals on others. But it would appear that these activists (and possibly now the Government) do.