It's no secret that people with Huntington's Disease (HD) have to deal with a lot of stigma and misconceptions. But what's not talked about enough is the dangerous train of thought that's developed in some corners of the HD community - the idea that people with HD should not have children to prevent the disease from being passed on.
This type of thinking is not only factually incorrect, but it also smacks of the use of eugenics by the Nazi regime. The Nazis believed in the idea of a "master race," and sought to eliminate those they deemed "unfit" through forced sterilization and murder. The United States had similar eugenic policies, with forced sterilization laws in many states and the infamous Tuskegee syphilis experiment.
The consequences of eugenic policies are clear - they lead to a society that values some lives over others, and that sees certain groups of people as less deserving of basic human rights. The idea that people with HD should not have children perpetuates this dangerous way of thinking.
Not only does this idea promote a narrow-minded view of who deserves to have children, but it's also not rooted in scientific fact. HD is caused by a genetic mutation, which means that there's a 50/50 chance that a child of someone with HD will inherit the disease-causing gene. But this also means that there's a 50/50 chance that a child won't inherit the gene, and won't develop the disease.
The HD community should be focused on providing support and resources for those who are dealing with the disease - not on perpetuating harmful and factually incorrect ideas about who should be allowed to have children. We should be working to improve access to genetic counseling and testing, and to help people make informed decisions about their reproductive health.
It's important to recognize that the ideas behind eugenics have a long and harmful history, and that we must be vigilant in fighting against them. Let's work together to create a society that values all lives, and that provides support and resources for those who are dealing with HD and other genetic diseases.