The disadvantage of youth

Can teenagers reasonably be held accountable for their actions? If their mothers drank alcohol during the first trimester, possibly even before they knew they were pregnant, they may be suffering from lifelong, irreversible cognitive impairment.

Truly humans are not all born equal. Keynote speaker Dr Malcolm McDonald at the Society’s lunchtime forum on 9 August 2018 explained the metabolic pathway by which our life trajectory may be set while we are still in the womb. This revelation offers an explanation for juvenile delinquency very different from moral failure – and solutions very different from incarceration. Foetal alcohol brain injury is “100% preventable”. See our Community Health page for Dr McDonald’s paper and notes of the presentations and discussion.