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Human rights and inhumane wrongs

Posted in Attitudes to disability, Ethics, Termination by Matt at WelcometoIllinois on January 7, 2009

Every child has the right to be born healthy but do unhealthy children have a right to be born?

That is the question raised by this news story on NDTV.com that covers the claim by B Subhashan Reddy, Human Rights Commission chairperson in the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh, that it is time for a legislation to prosecute parents for knowingly giving birth to an unhealthy child:

“If either or both parents are HIV positive, or have communicable diseases like TB or leprosy or genes related to Down’s Syndrome, dyslexia, they should not produce a child. Even muscular dystrophy, why should they produce an unhealthy child?”

You can watch a video of the news report here.

While Reddy does not state directly that parents of potentially unhealthy children be required to terminate the pregnancy the inference is clear – as is the suggestion that when it comes to human rights, unhealthy babies do not necessarily qualify.

The report includes responses from those that believe that “neither the government nor any law can decide if a child should be born or not”.

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