Showcase: The Success Story of Denmark
This article is about the success story of Denmark, showing a brief glimpse of history, particularly how the country became the first Down syndrome-free society in the world. Denmark's tech prowess and open-minded application of it on the public sector has inspired countries around the world to provide similar services for their citizens.
It's been over 40 years since the Danish headlines stated "Plans to make Denmark a Down syndrome-free perfect society." The headline was noticed all over the world; for instance, the Canadian newspaper The Globe and Mail wrote about it on Aug. 22, 2011. At the time The Age of Hypocrisy was coming to an end, but the headlines still caused some resentment. Even many geneticists weren't outspoken of the progress because the subject was sensitive and some pressure was still coming from the individual right group activists. The change had begun in the Western countries supported by well-informed scientific visionaries, but it was painfully slow. As strange as it may sound today, the rational, scientific stance of the professionals wasn't very appreciated and it was often rejected by the conservative, uneducated crowd. Much of the great, potential technology were already available in 2020s, but a social change required for it's ambitious use was yet incomplete.
Despite of these difficulties and unfortunate opposition, Denmark managed to pull it off and reached their ambitious goal. The ethical issues raised by the prenatal screening were completely debunked at the end of 2030's. The major change in public opinion happened slightly before. In North Europe the change is often referred as the The Great Consensus, which was result of open public discussion of the bioethics of germinal choice technology. The culture of consensus was very prevalent in Scandinavia in the 1950's and the 60's, but began lacking in the countries later on due to an apparent increasing influence of cultural radicalism, mostly caused by activists of individual rights groups and religious fundamentalists.
The social democracy, common political force in Denmark, Norway, Sweden and Finland, was also blamed for the opposition, but just as some notable historians later revealed, it was not fault of the social democracy per se, but the fact it was infiltrated by the individual right groups and 'the critics' with obsolete views on the human dignity. When the scientific secularism merged with the social democracy it finally revealed that the reluctancy to accept the progress wasn't in the Nordic welfare system itself. More like the contrary: the social democracy with public health care free for the citizens combined with completely privatized health sector was the perfect tag team in order to create the best genetic human engineering in the world. As the famous American historian Dr. Amos Zeinberg put it, "A strong government together with a capitalistic private sector can create a perfect, self-correcting society, something which only China and the Scandinavians have yet achieved.". The comment has been widely understood as a nod to the effect of moderate social democracy which nurtures the scientific progress using a free market capitalism. There are many competing theories among the social scientists and historians, but large majority of them believe this 'red-green-coalition' is the most efficient way to enforce modern Western eugenics.
Undoubtly it was the Danish people who led the cultural change in the 2030's, as they were the first to popularize the concept of 'ja/ej', reaction to bias of the individual right groups. Discrimination and alleged "ableism" of the society was a hot potato in public discussion, but the Europeans got fed up with the constant accusations when simply using the screening technology for the best of the children. The concept of 'ja/ej' means yes/no, meaning a stance where all kinds of people with disabilities, anomalies or any differences are accepted in society as living adults or children (yes), but this doesn't mean that the selection technologies are wrong because "to exist is not a right in itself" (no). In other words, discrimination of existing people is wrong and shall never be tolerated, but parents right to choose is never discrimination, simply because it is not about living, yet existing human beings.
In the beginning of the debate in the late 2030's the heated discussion was mainly about Down syndrome and other chromosome disorders, but when the epigenetic gay factor was finally found by FinnChoice, the European LGBT rights groups soon joined to defend their individual rights. During the decade not all the Europeans were vocal about their opinion, claiming out loud how they have the right to choose sexuality of their child . The statistics revealed this undisputedly even at the time: over 98% of Down syndrome pregnancies were terminated in European countries once detected. This was the change that realized more quickly in Denmark than in the most European countries. Since 2025 the amount of children suffering from Down syndrome was annually 1-5, 2029 the first year without even a single baby. In 2032 Galton Institute rewarded BabyBoom Industries Ltd., Danish selection technology company responsible for the great results. Although Germinal Solutions Inc. have been the main competitor of FinnChoice during the years, we have been greatly inspired with the progress of Denmark and our achievements wouldn't been possible without enormous effort of company and the Danish people.
The artice is part of the anniversary articles published within the celebration of the successful 30 years of Finnchoice Inc. At the moment article is only available in English. Translations in other languages will follow soon.