Human Exceptionalism

War Against the Weak

My headline is the title of a must-read book about the eugenics movement by Edwin Black entitled War Against the Weak. Well, it’s ba-aa-aak! A pernicious new eugenics that is arising and already lashing out at the helpless and most vulnerable among us on several fronts, as it also threatens a regimen of human enhancement and genetic engineering that would instill discrimination and obliterate the equality of life ethic in which we are each deemed to have equal moral worth. Should that happen, the ideal of universal human rights would be shattered on the rocks of history.

As with the first eugenics, medicine is a major front of this ongoing war against the weak. The latest battle is over the life of a disabled baby born in Samoa. From the story:

A badly deformed Samoan baby denied entry to New Zealand for surgery has been offered hope by an Adelaide church. The South Pacific Islands Community Christian Church in Adelaide plans to bring the girl to Australia for treatment.

When Miracletina Nanai–known as Baby Miracle–was born in a Samoan village about four months ago, doctors initially told her parents not to feed her because she wouldn’t live. But after food was smuggled into the hospital for her she survived against the odds and is now home in the care of her parents…

New Zealand medical experts who reviewed Baby Miracle’s case said at the time that the prognosis was “extremely poor” and the girl was expected to die. “I do not think that any intervention could be offered by New Zealand that would change the long-term prognosis for Miracle,” said Dr Rosemary Marks of Auckland’s Starship hospital.

Samoa’s deputy prime minister, Misa Telefoni, attacked New Zealand authorities for refusing to grant Baby Miracle a visa. “The false perception the Nanai family and their supporters received, that if they raised $100,000, they get a medical permit for Aotearoa (New Zealand), is inexcusable,” he said in a newspaper column.

Think about the arrogance and the loathing of people with disabilities–and perhaps racism–on display here. This is not even a feeding tube case. Telling the parents not to feed the child was akin to urging that the baby be exposed on a hill to die as they once did with disabled babies in Rome. The child had to be snuck food! The doctors were wrong about the initial prognosis and yet, the child is still being rejected as a patient by medical professionals as a life not worth living.

The warning signs are everywhere. A new eugenics is arising and because it refuses to acknowledge the equal moral worth of all of us, if it prevails, in the end none of us will be safe.

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