[Q: Is Dwarfist a word?]
A recent survey of 190 clinics offering Prenatal Genetic Diagnosis, or PGD, found that in 3% of cases, PGD was used to select embryos with a particular genetic anomaly, not without. Those cases were either for deaf parents or when one or both parents had dwarfism. Both are genetic differences that have developed rather distinct, complex cultures, histories and identities that parents are not willing to just erase with a test.
Fascinating question, and I have to say, I think they're onto something. The ethical issues and potential eugenicist monkey business that PGD opens up are still too uncharted to make a definitive judgment, and the idea of proactive ordering up of genetic characteristics [vs the avoidance of serious or terminal genetic defects] seems tricky at best. But all health issues being equal, in a society that values and encourages 6-foot blondes at the expense of 3-foot brunettes, the problem to be solved is not the short people.
Wanting Babies Like Themselves, Some Parents Choose Genetic Defects [nyt]
Clearly I need some new material: 9/06: You down with PGD? No wait-and-see?