chapter  5
Neutrality and Ideology in Genetic Disorder Control
Pages 16

Imagine, for a moment, that the genetics technology of the 1990s was available in the 1930s. Turn the clock back sixty years, and reflect upon these three images: First, try to conceive of Tay-Sachs screening programs for Jews during the latter part of the Third Reich, with prenatal genetic screening widely available as a possible tool, controlled by the German state apparatus. Second, try to imagine a new sickle-cell anemia screening program suddenly made available in the rural South of the United States, controlled by the states of Mississippi, Alabama, and South Carolina, in the year 1938. Finally, consider a gene screening program in Scotland during the same period, set up and administered because of the discovery of a genetic disorder found to have relatively high incidence in the Scottish population.