Turning us into enemies of the State

Turning us into enemies of the State

Hot on the heels on a recent bill that would send government agents to your home or hospital bed after your baby is born comes another proposal before the Minnesota legislature that would document all “defective” children in a database, says the Citizen’s Council on Health Care.

[This morning], there will be a hearing on a bill to fund a statewide birth defects surveillance system to identify, track and gather data on any child considered to have a birth defect.

Reporting to the state is required. The system will also collect data from the medical records of the mother, and possibly the father, as well as other data sources. No parent consent is required.

Gee, what reason could they have to collect such information, especially as it violates the privacy of individual citizens? Are we heading back toward the days when the state decreed that all “defectives” should be sterilized to prevent them from passing their bad genes on to another generation? At what point do we stop and realize that we are no longer living in a democracy but that an oppressive ideology is being forced upon us?

That’s the question asked by Rod Dreher in a post on a California bill that would require Catholic nursing homes to allow euthanasia. He recalls the famed First Things symposium on the “End of Democracy,” and wonders if that’s coming soon.

I do wonder at what point the “culture of death” will have progressed so far into law (either by judicial fiat or democratically) that morally responsible people will in some significant sense have to become enemies of the government. The Holocaust didn’t happen all at once, and it wasn’t imposed on the German people. It involved a gradual process of desensitizing them to the sanctity of life, and getting them to slowly but steadily accept the concept of “life unworthy of life.” For the German Cardinal Clemens von Galen, that day came in 1941, when he delivered a stunning speech denouncing the Nazi government’s forced euthanasia program. For the Lutheran pastor-martyr Dietrich Bonhoeffer, that came earlier, in the 1930s, when he returned to Germany and organized church resistance to the Nazi program.

Also see the response from a conservative Catholic friend of Rod who gives an example of a courageous speech he’d like to hear a Catholic bishop make.

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Written by
Domenico Bettinelli
5 comments
  • Seriously, why? To what purpose? I assume they’ve got some innocuous-sounding reason for this, such as wanting to have the info for research purposes….but if that is the case, then they have to mandate info on all, really, because you have to contrast it against those who don’t have whichever defects.

    And at what point would this info become database-eligible? While the child is yet unborn? That would really make me wonder, then.

  • You know, I have been saying this would happen since I was twelve.

    I got a “B” in a graduate English class (fall 2000), because when this old codger in my class was expressing his fear of Bush winning “and overturning crucial constitutional principles like _Roe v. Wade_,” I pointed out the facts on _Roe_ and said that growing up as a person with a genetic disorder under legalized abortion was like being a Jew in Nazi Germany, and I knew it was only a matter of time before the Democrats would try to kill or sterilize me.

    Glad I don’t live in Minnesota, but having moved to South Carolina for a nice conservative Southern state, I’m shocked at the bureaucracy.

  • It is possible that the purpose of the database is to document the need for services for disabled children.  It is also possible that the database will be used to identify preventable disabilities and to target prevention efforts.  Before anyone gets their knickers in a knot: prevention could mean promoting folic acid intake to prevent the development of spina bifida (if incidence is higher in some areas than others or among some demographic groups that would be a clue as to where efforts need to be increased) or to identify environmental hazards that are leading to an “outbreak” of birth defects (herbicides and other chemicals used in farming come to mind).

    Data is collected via the birth certificate on every child born in the US.  This includes information about the mother including month of first OB appointment, use of tobacco during pregnancy, etc.

    We can’t be pro-life and at the same time give the state no information that would be useful in documenting the need for services among children with special needs.  This data can be used to lobby for more resources to served children and families.

  • It would be one thing if it were anonymous aggregated data, but why would they need to collect individual information? And it’s not so much this particular project as it is the ever-increasing imposition into privacy by more and bigger databases? Will you have any privacy left once all this information starts to get connected?

  • The Bard says:

    And thus I clothe my naked villainy
    With old odd ends, stol’n forth of holy writ;
    And seem a saint, when most I play the devil.

    Hillary says:

    It’s for the children.

    Maureen says:

    It is possible that the purpose of the database is to document the need for services for disabled children.

    It is possible that the purpose of the database is to start a eugenics program a la Nazi era extermination. Oh, wait, that has already begun here in America for the unborn.

    It is also possible that the database will be used to identify preventable disabilities and to target prevention efforts.

    It is also possible that the databse will be used to prevent disabled children from surviving the womb which is so clearly illustrated in a George Will article from Newsweek http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/16720750/site/newsweek/. In the comment section http://will.talk.newsweek.com/default.asp?item=446146#comments you will hear first person testimony on the strong coercion for the abortion of defective babies by medical “professionals.” It’s gruesome news and it’s true.

    Before anyone gets their knickers in a knot: prevention could mean promoting folic acid intake to prevent the development of spina bifida…

    Some knickers, Maureen, especially yours, are worth getting tied into a knot. Most babies identified as having spina bifida are prevented from being born via abortion. Identification of birth defects in modern America is tantamount to a death sentence.

    We can’t be pro-life and at the same time give the state no information that would be useful in documenting the need for services among children with special needs.

     
    Oh yes we can! What the hell business is it of the state to know our medical conditions? That’s the purview of the medical field.

    This data can be used to lobby for more resources to serve children and families.

    This data can be used to lobby for more resources to kill unborn defective children. It’s dangerous to give power to the wolf lurking at our doors. Better to starve the wolf- no, better to hunt it down and kill it. Death to bureaucratic overreach.

    Is it a good thing for you to be an apologist for the state?

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