Performing rightsBMJ 1996; 312 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.312.7043.1427a (Published 01 June 1996) Cite this as: BMJ 1996;312:1427
- Douglas Carnall
Termination of pregnancy after screening for potential birth defects is widely accepted though controversial. Breaking the Mould is billed as an exploration of the quicksands of eugenics, but anyone seeking intellectual sustenance on this difficult ethical problem will be disappointed. Instead, the play generates an altogether more powerful sensation: an in-your-face reminder that the decision to screen for and abort fetuses with Down's syndrome involves, literally, a loss to humanity. Most of the eight learning-disabled performers of Strathcona Theatre Company have Down's syndrome and would therefore be considered candidates for termination. That they are here, and performing, is eloquent argument for alternative attitudes to disability.
In the play two “defectives” escape from a futuristic ghetto and are pursued by a genetically programmed hunter. At the end they choose freedom rather than return to the society that oppresses them, and fry on a …