Harlequin fetus refers to an extremly rare genetic disorder that affects the formation of skin. Skin is ridged cracked and hardened, forming plates. Since these plates cannot flex deep cracks form allowing infection to penetrate the skin immediatly upon birth. The disorder distorts the facial features and constricts the digits. Harlequin fetuses are either stillborn or die very soon after birth.
Mothers with a family history of the disease are screened during the early months of pregnancy, pregnancies affected by it are terminated.
Genetic disorders, such as Harlequin Fetus, that affect the way we look have and will always evoke fear and revulsion, it's written into our DNA along with the rest of our reflexes and instincts.
We do not, however have to provoke this ourselves by turning images of the effects of genetic disorders into freak shows.
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