“Cleaning Up the Population”

 

Recently a disconcerting news event in New Hampshire went relatively unnoticed by the outside world, which–I suppose–is not all that surprising.  A freshman lawmaker, Martin Harty (age 92) resigned his short-lived position as a Representative after forcefully inserting his foot into his mouth.

Harty haphazardly spoke to a constituent, a board member of the Disability Rights Center, espousing the shipment of “defective people to Siberia to freeze.” By “defective people” he meant: “the mentally ill, the retarded, people with physical disabilities and drug addictions.”

Harty said in his own defense, “I was just kidding with her”…

Oops.

The most concerning part about this story was in the fallout. House Speaker William O’Brien nearly dismissed Harty’s comments: “While he has earned the right to say what he thinks, needs to appreciate that, as a representative, he will be held to a higher standard.”

Then, after Harty publicly announced his resignation, O’Brien said: “We both agreed that this is what is best for the House to move forward and focus on critical issues, like balancing our budget without raising taxes and giving voters an opportunity to pass a school funding amendment to ensure local control.”

Don’t get me wrong: We all do dumb things. We all make mistakes.

However, O’Brien made light of a comment that has horrible direct and indirect consequences; consequences that substantiate being considered “critical issues”. His comment cannot be absolved by resignation without being addressed. Discarding any group of people based upon their ability to be a productive part of society is not an idea that should be taken lightly. That mistake has already been made too many times.

For the value of a human life is not derived from the life lived, but instead from the One who has given life.

For the full article on this news topic check out this link.

 

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Cody Chambers
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Cody Chambers

Great follow-up to your “Parental Guidance” post. We need to think long and hard about how to use PGD technology. One of the basic principles of using screening tests is that there needs to be treatment for the disease in question. As of now, there is no treatment for Down Syndrome. Screening embryos for trisomy 21 only means the elimination of embryos, not their treatment.

For more on this, see Jennifer Lahl’s article at:
http://www.cbc-network.org/2011/05/the-higher-they-are-the-harder-they-fall/

And to see some of our discussion at TAMHSC on the subject:
https://tamhscbioethics.wordpress.com/category/disabilities/

Christopher Gary
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This is a good approach to what, for some, may be a controversial topic. Very well though out post. Man a figment of Gods imagination.