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A 10 year old child raped by her stepfather in Paraguay is being denied an abortion, despite the high risks involved in carrying the pregnancy to term

To make a 10-year-old give birth isn’t just horrifying – it’s life threatening
A child raped by her stepfather risks being violated all over again.
Would anyone in their right mind think it reasonable that a 10-year-old carry a pregnancy to term? This is not a thought experiment but the horrible story of a real child in Paraguay: raped by her stepfather and now denied an abortion.

According to Amnesty International – which is leading the charge to obtain an abortion for the child – the young girl’s condition became public when she went to the hospital complaining of stomach pain and was found to be 21 weeks pregnant.

“The physical and psychological impact of forcing this young girl to continue with an unwanted pregnancy is tantamount to torture”, Guadalupe Marengo, Americas Deputy Director at Amnesty International said in a statement. (In fact, the United Nations has declared lack of access to abortion at any age a form of torture.)

Paraguay has very strict laws on abortion – the procedure is only permitted when a person’s life is at risk. There are no exceptions for rape or incest.

Antonio Barrios, the Health Minister of Paraguay, said: “there is no indication that the health of the [girl] is at risk … therefore we are not, from any point of view, in favor of the termination of the pregnancy”.

There are so many levels of horror here it’s hard to know where to begin but this, perhaps, is the most baffling: in what universe is a 10-year-old delivering a child not a risk to her life?

Childbirth is a risky enterprise for a healthy grown woman – a woman of reproductive age in Paraguay for example, has a one in 310 chance of dying from from complications from labor. For a child, the risks are exponentially worse.

Children’s bodies are not meant to give birth. Dr Dalia Brahmi, the Director of Clinical Affairs at Ipas told me: “It is cruel to force a 10-year-old girl to carry her pregnancy to term”.

Dr Brahmi, who once worked at the World Health Organization in the Department of Reproductive Health and Research, told me: “very young adolescents [under 15 years old] have a high risk of eclampsia, infection, preterm birth and intrauterine growth restriction” compared to adult women.

The dangers are clear – and it takes a whole lot of magical thinking or straight up denial to think otherwise. Pregnancy for a child risks not only her emotional and mental health, but her physical health and possibly even her life.

Paraguay’s decision to remain the course has nothing to do with the actual risk to the child involved, but is all about their adherence to an antiquated, tortuous law that would rather see a child’s life at risk than admit their anti-abortion policies are too strict.

If those who would see this young girl give birth are truly pro-life, whose life are they concerned about? Because it’s certainly not the ten-year-old at the center of this story who is being forced to carry her rapist’s baby to term.

This anonymous young girl – this child – has already been violated by a member of her family. Must she be violated by her country as well


Chicopee landlord refuses to allow ramp for handicapped veteran

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Reposted fro an online story By Eva ZymarisCONNECT

Kevin O’Brien is currently forced to use stairs to access his Chicopee apartment. This makes it impossible to use his electrical wheel chair that the VA provided.
CHICOPEE, MA (WGGB/WSHM) –
A disabled veteran is in desperate need of a ramp to get in and out of his Chicopee apartment, but the property owner is putting up a fight.

The Northampton Veterans Affairs Medical Center has offered to install the ramp for Kevin O’Brien, but the property managers say it can’t be done.

According to the O’Brien family, the property management company said the ramp would detract too many parking spaces from the other tenants.

O’Brien joined the military when he was 17 years old. He was stationed at Barnes Air National Guard Base in Westfield when his military service was cut short after doctors found a malignant brain tumor.

“I was in the military for seven years, and I got brain cancer,” O’Brien said. “Now I have some issues walking and doing stuff.”

The Northampton Veterans Affairs Medical Center has offered to install a ramp for Kevin to help him get in and out of his apartment in Chicopee.

Right now, he uses a walker and a wheelchair to get around, which O’Brien said has been difficult.

The VA has also provided O’Brien with an electrical wheelchair that he hasn’t been able to use.

“The ramp is important because it’s hard to get the electric wheelchair up the stairs because they’re so heavy,” O’Brien said.

The O’Brien family said the owners of the property, Good Ol Daves, LLC, doesn’t want a ramp to be built.

“They feel they’re going to lose too many parking spaces,” said Betty O’Brien, Kevin O’Brien’s mother and full-time caregiver. “He’s been through so much already, and to have this on top of it. We’re not asking for them to pay for it, the VA is going to pay for it. We’re not asking for them to install it or maintain it, we’re just asking for permission to put it.”

Western Mass News reached out to the property owner and even visited the address listed on the deed.

We also left numerous messages with the property management company, Eagle Crest Property Management.

All questions went unanswered.

The O’Brien family said the ramp, which would be semi-permanent, could be built in a day and taken down in a day if O’Brien were to move


ADA ACCESS TO GOVERNMENT AND PUBLIC BUILDINGS IS THE LAW

Sign of a handicap accessible
ADA access to state and local government facilities–and to any facility “constructed by, on behalf of, or for the use of a public entity”–must follow the guidelines put forth in The 2010 ADA Standards for Accessible Design, an addition to The Federal Register by the U.S. Department of Justice.
If a government or public building was begun as new construction “on or after March 15, 2012, ” these 2010 ADA standards apply. The 1991 ADA accessibility mandates affect an earlier-built structure. However, if a public entity can “clearly demonstrate that it is structurally impracticable to meet these 2010 requirements,” it will not be forced to comply.
If managers of a government or public facility plan to alter it in ways that affect accessibility as defined in the 2010 ADA Standards, this altering must be accomplished so that “paths of travel” to these (changed) areas– and to “the restrooms, telephones and drinking fountains serving these (changed) areas”–are fully “usable by individuals with disabilities,” including those requiring wheelchairs.
The term “path of travel” means “a continuous, unobstructed way of pedestrian passage…(a means of) approach, entrance and exit.”
In addition, any section of said government or public facility that serves a “primary function” must be ADA-accessible per the 2010 guidelines. A “primary function” is any “major activity for which the facility is intended.” Sections that house a “primary function” include “dining areas or cafeterias, meeting rooms, conference centers and any offices,” where the day-to-day work of the facility is done.
Regarding building alterations to insure ADA access which might involve “structural impracticability,” the 2010 ADA Standards delineate “costs exceeding 20% of the cost of the alteration to primary function areas” as the cutoff. In these cases, expenditures can be counted if they provide “an accessible path of travel,” and include the costs of: 1) “widening doorways and installing ramps,” 2) adding “grab bars and accessible faucet controls, and enlarging toilet seats” in rest rooms, 3) repositioning telephones “to accessible heights; installing amplification devices and text telephones (TTYs),” and 4) lowering drinking fountains.
Contact us if you believe your rights under the Americans With Disabilities (ADA) Act have been violated because you have not been easily able to enter, make your way along “paths of travel” for, access the “primary function” areas of, or exit a government or public facility


Gun-toting Colorado teens pose for prom pics with Confederate flag as parents egg them on

The picture below is not some ratbag teens pulling a prom stunt, no this was a set up prom pic organised and cheered on by their parents! As long as this crap is glorified there will be another baltimore, there will be another ferguson, there will be many more trayvon martins and young men of color will continue to be over 80% of our incarcerated population.
As long a speople forget that this flag represents an army of traitors who turned on their neighbours and killed them over the right to own another human as one owns a dog, nothing will ever change.
To me this flag is as disgusting as the flag of isis or the swastika, I adopted this country and it gives me the advantage of being able to see both sides from outside. There is an old saying “when we know better we do better” the problem with the redneck confederate loving “south will rise again troglidytes is they know better but don’t give a fuck.
People say black lives matter, I say all lives matter but when I see these spawn of rednecks it really forces me to rethink that statement.
The story continues below

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Prom picture of Chaparral High School students in Parker, Colorado (Screen capture)

A prom picture featuring gun-toting teens holding a Confederate flag is stirring up controversy in Parker, Colorado, reports FOX31 Denver.

The controversial picture was taken before Chaparral High School’s prom on Saturday, in which a group of students, dressed in evening gowns and tuxes, pose with assault rifles and a Confederate flag.

After the picture was circulated on social media, many students and parents in the community were shocked.

“If you’re going to take a picture of a flag, you need to know what it stands for. You need to know that people are going to be offended by it,” said Mairenn Digeorge, a student at University of Colorado-Boulder, who saw the picture on her Facebook feed.

The mother of one of the students posing in the picture is among those who are offended. “When he got out there he was surprised that guns were brought out and the Confederate flag was brought out,” she said in an interview with FOX31 Denver where her anonymity was maintained for fear of her son’s safety. “There were other parents there fully supporting it and taking pictures.”

The student’s mother said she didn’t condone the behavior and that her son made a mistake. According to her, the picture was taken at a home in Elizabeth.

“I think in their immaturity they kind of think it is a cowboy thing, but to have parents feed into it and support it is really upsetting to me,” she said.

University of Colorado-Boulder ethnic studies professor Arturo Aldama issued a statement. “The image is pretty disturbing, especially if they have real assault rifles in their hands,” she said in the statement. “Not to mention, the Confederate flag and its legacy of white supremacy, Klan violence and the Jim Crow South.


16 year old beats disabled pensioner with a brick and walks free from court

Teen’s attack on disabled pensioner ‘spine chilling and despicable’

A 16-year old-boy has walked free from court with no conviction after pleading guilty to an unprovoked attack on a disabled pensioner which the sentencing judge described as spine chilling and despicable.

The teenager punched the then 47-year-old pensioner eleven times as his co-accused allegedly struck him 26 times with a house brick as the man sat on a public bench at the Beenleigh Market Place in the early hours of October 27 last year.

The victim suffers from Huntington’s Disease, a debilitating brain disorder which makes it difficult for him to speak, think and move.

Security footage of the incident was played to the Beenleigh District Court last Friday during the sentence hearing of the juvenile who was 15 at the time.
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FIRST ON SEVEN: CCTV footage of the attack which as been described as ‘spine chilling and despicable’. Source: Seven News
The attack at the shopping centre, south of Brisbane, lasted around two minutes during which the victim was repeatedly kicked and punched when he fell to the ground or tried to get away.

The footage shows the two teens appear with the then 18-year-old allegedly holding part of a house brick behind his back which he uses to repeatedly smash the man in the face.

The injured victim tries to get away but stumbles.

The then 15-year-old then becomes involved and according to court documents, punches him eleven times.
He repeatedly kicks the man in the face and head.

The 47-year-old is held by the shirt as he falls to the ground before being put allegedly put in a headlock as the younger offender continues to kick him.

The victim cannot defend himself and again tries to escape but is allegedly dragged back to the bench.
The youth then shapes up in a boxing stance, and again lashes out again at the victim.

The man was robbed of a small amount of tobacco and a lighter.

“Whilst the complainant was on the ground, the defendants (allegedly) repeatedly kicked him to his head and body…(name withheld) continued to assault the complainant. (He) kicked and punched the complainant to the face,’’ according to the prosecution’s Schedule of Facts released to Seven News.

After watching the footage, Judge Ian Dearden described the assault as appalling, despicable and cowardly and said it deeply distressed him.

“It really did send a chill up and down my spine,’’ he said.

He said it was literally only luck or the “grace of god” the victim didn’t suffer more serious injuries.
Police found the victim bloodied and bruised.

The 47-year-old suffered a four centimetre laceration to his head which had to be stapled as well as cuts and bruises to his face, neck, hands and legs.

His brother, who is also his carer, described the victim as “looking like a “prisoner of war” after the attack.

Seven News approached the victim but he was too distressed to comment.

The matter has been before the courts since last October.

Seven News has repeatedly applied for the footage under the former Newman government’s name and shame laws for recidivist juvenile offenders. Judge Dearden released the footage on condition Seven News not identify the teen offender, his alleged 18-year-old accomplice whose case is still before the courts and the victim.

Hardened police described the attack as sickening.

Court documents reveal when the teen was arrested the next day, he led police to the shoes he was wearing on the night of the offence and had cleaned them as they had the “victim’s blood on them”.

“(Name withheld) told police that he was intoxicated at the time and that ‘Alcohol got to me”….He said, ‘I feel bad as because of the victim’,’’ according to the documents. The teen refused to answer any further questions or be interviewed.

The teen’s defence barrister Rob East told the court his client was drunk and he thought the victim was drunk and did not know he had intellectual difficulties.

“The most cowardly aspect is the defendant must have known at that point in time that he was a beaten man,” Mr East said. The court also heard the teen claimed he met his alleged accomplice on the day of the attack.

However, a photograph posted on three different public Facebook accounts, including that of the offender and his alleged co-accused, show the two had met as early as September 29 – four weeks before the attack.

Since his release on conditional bail on January 29, the teen allegedly posted he was at a sports club and was going to finish his night off with a few drinks. At 10.11pm on March 27, the teen allegedly posted, “On it with the brothers feeling abit (sic) tipsy”.

IN sentencing the youth for the attack, Judge Dearden said he took into account the teen’s relatively minor criminal history, that he had already served 93 days detention and upon release on January 29, had completed three months of a conditional bail program and had not re-offended.

He said the teen’s plea of guilty indicated he had taken responsibility for his actions and was an expression of remorse.

“The circumstance of this offence…representing poorly and despicable behaviour…and this was a disgusting way to treat a gentleman….sitting and contemplating the world on a seat outside the Beenleigh Market Place,’’ he said.

For the offence of assault occasioning bodily harm while in company, Judge Dearden sentenced the teen to four months detention of which half had to be served in custody.

“For the benefit of anyone taking notes, the order of the court is a sentence of four months detention and the fact you have served the time in detention does not mean you walk out of here scott free,’’ Judge Dearden said.

For the offences of stealing the victim’s lighter and a separate drug charges of possession of a utensil, Judge Dearden ordered the youth serve 18-months probation under the supervision of Youth Justice.

In relation to whether a conviction should be recorded, Judge Dearden again took into account the teen’s age at the time offence, his “relatively minor” criminal history for five offences that resulted in reprimands, and he had no history of violence.

“No doubt a conviction, particularly for the offence of assault occasioning bodily harm while in company create significant difficulties for you in the future. You have already made substantial steps towards rehabilitation in my view, you should be committed to continue that rehabilitation process.

“….In my view the conduct…even as appalling conduct like this, as serious as it is, it is not conduct for which a conviction should be recorded at this stage…”, Judge Dearden said.

The teen, now 16-years-old, apologised to the Judge for his actions.
“Just like to say I’m sorry to the victim and the victim’s family and I’m ashamed of my actions,” he said from the dock.

Outside of court, the teen refused to answer questions from Seven News as to when he met his alleged accomplice and would not publicly apologise to his victim


Guide dog discrimination highest in Victoria; taxis, cafes refusing animals new survey finds

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PHOTO: Disability access advocate David Foran says he has experienced discrimination with his guide dog, Oliver, numerous times with taxis and at cafes in Melbourne. (ABC Local: Clare Rawlinson)

Victorian guide dogs and their handlers are facing the highest rates of discrimination in the nation, with taxis refusing or questioning right of access 46 per cent of the time.

A new Guide Dogs Victoria survey found two-thirds of guide dog handlers faced discrimination in the past year, including at shopping centres and cafes.

Legally, the only place guide dogs are not allowed is in operating theatres and at zoos.

Guide dog handler and disability access advocate David Foran said he had faced discrimination on several occasions when trying to catch taxis or a ride share with Uber.

You might book and a car comes to your home, then they see a dog and they just drive off.
David Foran, guide dog handler
“You might book and a car comes to your home, then they see a dog and they just drive off,” he said.

“Or you open the door and they have some excuse.”

He said the best way to ensure a taxi would not reject him and his guide dog, Oliver, was to use a taxi rank at a hotel.

“That’s one of the tricks you have to employ because it’s almost like there’s no escape there, which is a shame, but if you have to catch a cab, you have to catch a cab.”

Guide Dogs Victoria has been working with taxi drivers to provide dog mats and promote awareness of disability access rights.

“It’s not often about hostility, it’s just a lack of education,” Mr Foran said.

“I spoke to my Muslim taxi driver, and he said sometimes it’s a cultural barrier, and whenever there’s a cultural barrier there needs to be education.”

Chief executive of Guide Dogs Victoria, Karen Hayes said discrimination was causing some handlers to go without their dogs in public.

“Some have even thought twice about taking their guide dog with them, which puts them in danger,” she said.

But she said improvements were being made in the public transport sector as Victoria makes a gradual shift to 100 per cent disability-friendly tram services.

“Guide dogs enable people who are blind or vision impaired to live independently, which makes it even more vital that they can access not only public transport, but all areas,” Ms Hayes said


Service dogs save lives so before you unfund them ask yourself what do you do ?

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I know everyone thinks I have an ongoing love affair with my service dog zeus and well yes I do, But last night I asked Ella to make me an espresso and she was 10 feet away in the kitchen and that’s the last thing I remember until a while later ,in a fog I came to.

Ella tells me zeus ran to her barking then ran and jumped up on the bed and was licking my face and nudging me back to conciousness, and then turning and barking back to Ella he stayed with me until I came to.

In the past when my head was thrashing and hitting the brickwall zzeus without command crawled up and pushed his soft belly between my head and the wall.
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Many people harass service dog trainers and handlers, especially republican politicians saying”it’s a dog what can it possibly do? let’s slash funding for service dogs for veterans” and Just this weekend we were forcibly thrown out of a takeaway restaurant with the owners screaming about “the dog”.
Well to the doubters “may you live in interesting times” while you doubt and spew uneducated tripe and try to cut funding, I will remain safe and helped by my saviour zeus, a trained belgian malinois service dog whom without my quality of life would be zero.
Without zeus my wife who already does so much to make my life livable would have to do so much more for me to be safe when out and about.

Service dogs give freedom to the severely disabled, they allow severely disabled and autistic children to attend school and they give our heroes, our returned wounded warriors the ability to once again live life.
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Zeus and dogs like him whether pure bred or rescues it matters not are beautiful loving highly intelligent sentient beings that the univers has given us to make our lives livable and thank buddha every day fo him in my life. So next tiem you see us on a train or in a restaurant or a shopping mall remember smile wave but don’t touch and tell your politicians get their collective heads out of their asses and fund service dogs for veterans.


Blind man says Fraser Mexican restaurant asked him to leave service dog in car

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Nathan Schneck, taking his service dog Husker out for a walk on Sunday, was left totally blind following injuries sustained in an automobile accident in 2002. DAVE ANGELL — FOR THE MACOMB DAILY
Reposted from an online story By Mitch Hotts, The Macomb Daily

The manager of the Grand Azteca restaurant in Fraser says he did not fully understand federal law relating to service dogs when he told the Schnecks that other customers were complaining about a dog being inside the restaurant on Friday night. DAVE ANGELL — FOR THE MACOMB DAILY
A Fraser man who lost his sight in an automobile accident 13 years ago says he was stunned when a manager of an area Mexican restaurant asked him to remove his service dog because it made other customers uncomfortable.

Nathan Schneck and his wife, Stacy, had just placed their beverage order Friday night at the Grand Azteca when the manager approached their table and quietly asked them to place the golden retriever in the car due to concerns of other diners.

“At first, I was like ‘Are you kidding me?’ Schneck said Sunday at his home. “This is the first time something like this has happened to me. I was told it would, but I never expected it.”

Schneck, 38, carries a laminated identification card showing he went through 30 days of training with the dog, Husker, at the Leader Dogs for the Blind facility in Rochester. He’s only had the dog a few months.

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Husker was wearing his service harness and sat under the table, Schneck said.

He said he explained how private establishments that serve the public, such as a restaurant, are required under the federal Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) to allow service animals inside.

The ADA defines service animals as any guide dog trained to provide assistance to an individual with a disability.

Stacy Schneck, who works in human resources, said she has contacted the American Disability Act National Network, which could take up to 90 days to respond.

After trying to explain the law to the restaurant operators, Stacy Schneck said the couple decided to leave and have dinner at Warfield Grill.

“I felt attacked and uncomfortable. We have eaten there before with Husker and never had any trouble until now,” she said.

The manager of Grand Azteca acknowledges he asked the couple to keep the dog in the car, but adds he was only trying to keep other customers happy. Some expressed health concerns about having an animal in the restaurant, he said.

Ezequiel Ramos said he now fully understands the impact of the ADA law and will explain it to customers who may complain about service dogs in the future.

“I am very sorry over this, but now I will know what to tell people,” Ramos said. “I’m sorry I let (the Scnecks) down because they are good customers. I want to apologize to them myself.”

Ramos, who said Facebook postings by Schneck supporters have resulted in threats of violence, maintains he was trying to appease complaining customers. He hopes the couple will demonstrate forgiveness and come back — with their dog.

“We need every customer we can get,” he said.

Nathan Schneck said while he can forgive the restaurant, he has “mixed emotions” about returning. “I’m not trying to ruin anyone’s business, but for me personally, the damage has been done,” he said.

Since news of the incident broke, the couple has been overwhelmed by the public’s response — and not all of it good.

Some people in online postings had mean comments about the incident. But others, including people from as far away as California, have reached out to them online, and a number of neighborhood children dropped off handmade cards of support, including photos of other local dogs to cheer up Husker.

“We needed that,” Stacy Schneck said.


Hyderbadi pakistani takeaway kissena boulevard flushing queens the laws apply to you too

A little place in pakistan called hyderbad became famous a couple of years ago because seal team six dropped in with a belgian malinois code named geronimo, and left with the dead body of the most disgusting piece of human waste on the planet osama bin laden.

He was identified and now sleeps with the fishes, well I am not a racist person if he was white anglo saxon american becuase of 9/11 he would still be a disgusting excuse for a human. Now after the hulabaloo calmed down I never thought the word “hyderbad would ever cross my concience again till today that is.

Ella’s poppa adit lives in an elder care building near the corner of 45th rd and kissena boulevard in a mainly chinese and muslim neighbourhood, and to wit there are numerous indian, bangladeshi, and pakistani eateries both sit in and take out and one that advertised vegan and vegetarian was called “HYDERBADI TAKEAWAY FOOD” even though the food says indian it’s run by pakistanis.
shit

So on the way home we decided to pick up some samosa’s, as we rolled in a small lady behind the counter who could barely speak english screamed loudly “NO DOG NO DOG GET OUT WITH DOG” we calmed her down by pointing to zeus’s vest and after five minutes we ordered.
Then another woman came out and she screamed and we calmed her down, and then an adult male in his forties( all these people were pakistani) came in and started telling me “I DON’T CARE ABOUT DISABLED NO DOGS IN HERE ,SHOW ME WHERE IT SAYS SERVICE DOG?”( IN THREE PLACES ON HIS VEST AN INCH HIGH IN GLOW IN THE DARK LETTERING)
I pointed so then he started on the health department”NO DOGS HEALTH DEPARTMENT SAYS NO DOGS” Then I said we’ll call the cops they will tell you, so he started telling us to get out.He was abusive to Ella and I in the end we got a refund and left, Below is their grub hub ad, they left off the rude ignorant abuse with every order
https://www.grubhub.com/nyc/hyderabadi-biryani–chat/
I am sorry the people there all had to pass health department training, they all had to speak to lawyers to form a company, and yet when they are presented with federal documents printed on federal letterhead and the law after screaming in perfect english they then resort to claiming they didn’t understand and we must just get out because they say so?
Well I am sorry mr hyderbadi take away, your food might be from hyderbad but your selling it in the United states of America and we have laws if you don’t like them there is a cab licence somewhere waiting for you at least then we expect rude ignorant people!


Princeton professor calls for killing disabled infants under Obamacare

In a radio interview Sunday with Aaron Klein, broadcast on New York’s AM 970 The Answer and Philadelphia’s NewsTalk 990 AM, Princeton University ethics professor Peter Singer argued it is “reasonable” for government or private insurance companies to deny
World Net Daily
According to an article published Sunday by World Net Daily, a Princeton University professor has suggested that severely disabled infants be killed to cut health care costs and for moral reasons. In a radio interview Sunday with Aaron Klein, broadcast on New York’s AM 970 The Answer and Philadelphia’s NewsTalk 990 AM, Princeton University ethics professor Peter Singer argued it is “reasonable” for government or private insurance companies to deny treatment to severely disabled babies.

Several times during the interview Singer argued the health-care system under Obamacare should openly acknowledge health-care rationing and that the country should acknowledge the necessity of “intentionally ending the lives of severely disabled infants.” Singer also repeatedly referred to a disabled infant as “it” during the interview.

According the WND, Singer is well-known for his controversial views on abortion and infanticide. He essentially argues the right to life is related to a being’s capacity for intelligence and to hold life preferences, which in turn is directly related to a capacity to feel and comprehend pain and pleasure.

Singer told Klein rationing is already happening, saying doctors and hospitals routinely make decisions based on costs. Klein is the host of “Aaron Klein Investigative Radio,” a syndicated radio program that airs in several markets across the US. Klein is also a columnist at WND.

“It’s different in the U.S. system, in a way, because it doesn’t do this overtly; maybe it doesn’t do it as much,” Singer explained. “And the result is it spends about twice as much on health care as some other countries for very little extra benefit in terms of the outcome.”

During the interview Klein quoted from a section of Singer’s 1993 treatise “Practical Ethics,” titled “Taking Life: Humans.” In the section, Singer argued for the morality of “non-voluntary euthanasia” for human beings not capable of understanding the choice between life and death, including “severely disabled infants, and people who through accident, illness, or old age have permanently lost the capacity to understand the issue involved.”

Singer contends that the wrongness of killing a human being is not based on the fact that the individual is alive and human. Instead, Singer argues it is “characteristics like rationality, autonomy, and self-consciousness that make a difference.” When asked by Klein whether he envisions denying treatment to disabled infants to become more common in the US under the new health-care law, Singer replied: “It does happen. Not necessarily because of costs.”

“If an infant is born with a massive hemorrhage in the brain that means it will be so severely disabled that if the infant lives it will never even be able to recognize its mother, it won’t be able to interact with any other human being, it will just lie there in the bed and you could feed it but that’s all that will happen, doctors will turn off the respirator that is keeping that infant alive.”

“I don’t know whether they are influenced by reducing costs,” Singer continued. “Probably they are just influenced by the fact that this will be a terrible burden for the parents to look after, and there will be no quality of life for the child. So we are already taking steps that quite knowingly and intentionally are ending the lives of severely disabled infants. And I think we ought to be more open in recognizing that this happens.”

Klein then asked singer, “I know that it happens and it happens certainly if the family gives consent. But do you think in the future in order to ensure a more fair rationing of health-care and health-care costs, that it should actually be instituted more? The killing of severely disabled babies?”

Singer responded by saying the killing of infants would be “quite reasonable” if it saved money that can be used for better purposes. He contended that most people would say they don’t want their premiums to be higher “so that infants who can experience zero quality of life can have expensive treatments.”

Singer’s full response:

“I think if you had a health-care system in which governments were trying to say, “Look, there are some things that don’t provide enough benefits given the costs of those treatments. And if we didn’t do them we would be able to do a lot more good for other people who have better prospects, then yes.

I think it would be reasonable for governments to say, ‘This treatment is not going to be provided on the national health service if it’s a country with a national health service. Or in the United States on Medicare or Medicade.’

And I think it will be reasonable for insurance companies also to say, ‘You know, we won’t insure you for this or we won’t insure you for this unless you are prepared to pay an extra premium, or perhaps they have a fund with lower premiums for people who don’t want to insure against that.’

Because I think most people, when they think about that, would say that’s quite reasonable. You know, I don’t want my health insurance premiums to be higher so that infants who can experience zero quality of life can have expensive treatments.”


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