Monday, November 06, 2006

Further reading on disabled newborns.

The Guardian has further insight into the issue of euthanasia for disabled newborns.

Another thing you need to clarify with this issue, you're not supposed to be talking about cases wherein the disabilities are detectable during pregnancy. Those cases are different, and they fall in another debate. That is, aborting fetuses that have birth defects. The cases that you are supposed to be talking about are those that aren't detected during pregnancy or those detected during the third trimester, depending on which context you're going for (some countries allow abortions as long as they're before the third trimester). This might seem like a small and insignificant difference, but in a messy and/or high-level round, this can make or break your team. Not specifying these things only make it more possible for the debate to be more muddled up later and as most of you should know, you can't just "clarify" this in a point of information or in the next speaker.

In any case, the most striking point I found in the article above is this,

The UK Disabled People's Council yesterday rejected discussion of euthanasia for newborn babies. "It is not for medical professionals or indeed anyone else like families to determine whether someone else's quality of life will be good simply on the grounds of impairment or health condition," said its parliamentary worker, Simone Aspis.

Which is true. But then again, the question remains, who does? How do you qualify "quality of life"? That then becomes an issue in the debate that you need to settle. As opposition, it might be strategic to say something like that but you have to be able to answer it as well. If the parents are the determinant of quality of life, why are they so? This gets more and more complicated the further you go, but then again, that's what makes this an interesting debate.

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