Friday, 19 January 2018

General Synod agenda - press reports

Updated Saturday night

Like the official press release, press reports on the agenda for next month’s meeting of the Church of England General Synod concentrate on one item.

Olivia Rudgard The Telegraph Church of England set to lobby Government over rising Down’s Syndrome abortions

Harriet Sherwood The Guardian Down’s syndrome test could see condition disappear, C of E warns

Madeleine Davies Church Times C of E report seeks neutral approach to new Down’s test
More heavyweights wanted on the Bishops’ bench

Harry Farley Christian Today CofE to consider call for women pregnant with Down’s syndrome babies to get ‘unbiased’ information
Church of England braced for ‘controversial’ next step in ending 200-year split with Methodists

Cara Bentley Premier Valuing people with Down’s Syndrome on Church of England’s General Synod agenda

Anglican Communion News Service Anglican Communion primates invited to Church of England’s General Synod

Update

Olivia Rudgard The Telegraph Church of England braced for ‘controversial’ vote on using Methodist ministers

Posted by Peter Owen on Friday, 19 January 2018 at 8:29pm GMT | TrackBack
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Categorised as: Church of England | General Synod
Comments

So the dioceses of the CofE are going to be encouraged to enter into companion relationships with dioceses in the Communion. Our diocese did that. Both sides greatly benefited for several years. But then the Archbishop of Uganda decided that dioceses in the US were not fit to associate with his dioceses and all contact was forbidden. To continue our shared ministries we had to secretly work through an English priest who had contacts in the area. Gradually everything fell apart. It was worth the doing, but be aware that you may face an uphill battle, especially in the Global South.

Posted by: Tom Downs on Friday, 19 January 2018 at 9:58pm GMT

"It’s difficult to say [to people with Down’s syndrome] that we will continue to value you if people like you are going to disappear."

There are good moral and ethical arguments about abortion in the face of conditions which are manageable. For clarity, my wife and I declined all ante-natal Downs testing for both of her pregnancies: by sheer happenstance, we had each independently been influenced by powerful campaigners for the rights of people with Downs when we were in our separate teens.

This isn't true for Downs, but for many genetic conditions there is now accurate pre-conception screening which will give a good picture for prospecticve parents as to whether they are at risk. Tay-Sachs disease, for example, which is strongly heritable, has been hugely reduced in incidence, and same is starting to apply to Musclar Dystrophy. Note: this isn't about abortion, but about pre-conception counselling, but the effect on the Tay-Sachs community is the same.
Should people at risk of having a child with Tay-Sachs be encouraged to conceive, or perhaps forbidden from knowing their risk, in order to make currently-living Tay Sachs sufferers feel more ?

Although it's more about non-invasive post-conception testing, this is a very nuanced article: http://genomemag.com/the-ghettoization-of-genetic-disease/ . Whether genetic testing is pre- or post-conception affects the moral argument about abortion, but doesn't affect the impact on the incidence of the condition being tested for. Should people who can avoid having a child with a massively life-altering condition instead take a chance, on the grounds that not having a child with the condition isolates already existing people with that condition? That strikes me as a very dubious argument: it's basically asking people to take for for the team, but for a team they aren't currently a member of.

Posted by: Interested Observer on Saturday, 20 January 2018 at 9:26am GMT

I think it probably does make a difference to a group of people whether you're saying "we recognise your condition makes things harder and we'd like our children not to have to deal with that" vs "we think your condition makes your life worse than death so we'll kill our child rather than see them born with your condition".

Posted by: Jo on Saturday, 20 January 2018 at 9:52am GMT
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