An American charity is proposing to sterilise drug addicts in the United Kingdom.
The programme’s objectives (American site) are:
The main objective of Project Prevention is public awareness to the problem of addicts/alcoholics exposing their unborn child to drugs during pregnancy.
Project Prevention seeks to reduce the burden of this social problem on taxpayers, trim down social worker caseloads, and alleviate from our clients the burden of having children that will potentially be taken away.
Unlike incarceration, Project Prevention extremely cost effective and does not punish the participants.
We seek and welcome alliances with all sectors of our communities including drug treatment programs, hospitals, social service departments, among others, and have established such contacts throughout the United States [and now in some areas of the United Kingdom.]
Project Prevention does not have the resources to combat the national problems of poverty, housing, nutrition, education and rehabilitation services. Those resources we do have are spent to PREVENT a problem for $300 [£200 in the UK] rather than paying millions after it happens in cost to care for a potentially damaged child.
Sterilization in the past – a warning from history.
We should remember that Sir Winston Churchill (as Secretary of State for the Home Department) introduced a bill that included forced sterilization, however the clause in question was not included, largely due to a campaign by G K Chesterton, in the Mental Deficiency Act 1913 (3 &4 Geo.5 c.28).
Nazi Germany brought in compulsory strerilisation for people suffering from genetic blindness, hereditary deafness, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder (formerly known as manic depression), epilepsy, congenital feeblemindedness, Huntingdons’ disease, and alcoholism. Presumably they would have included drug addicts had they thought it were a problem. This law was enacted on 14 July 1933, only six months after Adolf Hitler became Chancellor. Also on this day, Germany was proclaimed a one-party state, and cancelled all naturalizations between November 9, 1918, and January 30, 1933, affecting mainly East European Jews.
Project Prevention’s scheme – right now
The proposed scheme here in the United Kingdom leaves me asking some serious questions:
- Do the people that they are asking to be sterilised have the mental capacity to make that decision at the time that they make it?
- How is the sterilisation performed, and by whom? – Are the doctors licensed to perform this in the UK?
A spokesman for the British Medical Association has said:
As with all requests for treatment, doctors need to be confident that the individual has the capacity to make the specific decision at the time the decision is required.
The BMA’s ethics committee also believes that doctors should inform patients of the benefits of reversible contraception so that the patients have more reproductive choices in the future.
from BBC News
I know that it is not good for children to be born as drug addicts. However, I am far from convinced that sterilization is the way forward. We must educate people, and we must treat people for their addictions.
Sterilising The Addicts is on Inside Out London, East Midlands, West, and Wales on 18 October on BBC One at 1930 BST and in Scotland as BBC Scotland Investigates: Addicts – No Children Allowed. Those living in the rest of the UK can watch via the BBC iPlayer following transmission.