Reproduction & the Mentally Disabled?

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Griffmo
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Reproduction & the Mentally Disabled?

Postby Griffmo » Thu Nov 05, 2009 8:56 pm UTC

Today while relaxing at my local library (my normal hang out spot) a group of extremely mentally disabled women came in and started looking for books on pregnancy. It wasn't until then I realized they were all far along pregnant. My first reaction was "Dear gods that's awful! How can this be allowed?" I then realized I sounded a bit like a Nazi thinking like that, but after a long while of considering it I still can't come to a conclusion. How do you feel about severely mentally disabled people becoming pregnant and having kids? It's been bothering me all day, so I'm genuinely curious.

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Re: Reproduction & the Mentally Disabled?

Postby Goplat » Thu Nov 05, 2009 9:29 pm UTC

It should absolutely be illegal. It's a simple fact that there are far more DNA sequences that result in an improperly functioning brain than a properly functioning one. If the "bad" sequences aren't selected out, random mutations will eventually result in a uniform distribution - the vast vast majority of people will not be functional enough to contribute to society, and civilization will collapse. It's not Nazism to recognize this. The Nazi approach was mandatory euthanasia; it's not necessary to do that.

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Re: Reproduction & the Mentally Disabled?

Postby Azrael » Thu Nov 05, 2009 9:35 pm UTC

Although not a representation of all mental disabilities, down syndrome is one of the 3 largest causes* and it is not passed hereditary from one sufferer to their offspring. So forbidding reproduction would have no effect towards reducing the rate of occurrence.

*The other two being fetal alcohol syndrome (obviously not hereditary) and Fragile X which can be. Overall, only 5% (Also here under Genetics) of mental disabilities are thought to be caused by heredity. Anyhow, it is estimated (sources above) that 3% of the population is mentally disabled. And only 5% of that is hereditary. So that's 0.15% of the population with hereditary mental disabilities.

Remember, genetic != hereditary.

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Re: Reproduction & the Mentally Disabled?

Postby TheGrammarBolshevik » Thu Nov 05, 2009 10:08 pm UTC

Goplat wrote:It should absolutely be illegal. It's a simple fact that there are far more DNA sequences that result in an improperly functioning brain than a properly functioning one. If the "bad" sequences aren't selected out, random mutations will eventually result in a uniform distribution - the vast vast majority of people will not be functional enough to contribute to society, and civilization will collapse. It's not Nazism to recognize this. The Nazi approach was mandatory euthanasia; it's not necessary to do that.

I don't think that Godwinning is a valid argument, but limiting people's right to reproduce for the greater good is the very definition of eugenics. And, yes, the Nazis did indeed enforce compulsory sterilization — on 400,000 individuals, according to Wikipedia and its source. If your goal is to not be like the Nazis, then any sort of eugenics is not a good plan.

And, whatever the Nazis thought about it, I reject the notion that society should control reproduction for its own good. A reaction like "Dear gods that's awful! How can this be allowed?"* seems founded on the notion that people with psychological disorders should simply be prevented from existing — that society's wishes and self-perception of its needs outweigh their very right to life. That decision should never go beyond the concerns of parents.

*Griffmo: I don't fault you for thinking this as a gut reaction. My objection is to this sentiment deliberately advanced as an argument for eugenics.
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Re: Reproduction & the Mentally Disabled?

Postby Griffmo » Thu Nov 05, 2009 10:21 pm UTC

I still don't see how bringing another mentally disabled child, one which will not only live a (most likely) miserable, lonely existance, but one which the parent can't take care of. Not only can't the parent take care of it, the child couldn't take care of itself and government funding would just be dumped into taking care of him/her, thus the cycle repeats. I dunno, I feel bad for saying it, but it does strike me as a problem
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Re: Reproduction & the Mentally Disabled?

Postby Azrael » Thu Nov 05, 2009 10:33 pm UTC

Griffmo wrote:I still don't see how bringing another mentally disabled child ...

Heredity does not work that way.

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Re: Reproduction & the Mentally Disabled?

Postby (╯°□°)╯︵ ┻━┻ » Thu Nov 05, 2009 10:37 pm UTC

Oh az, I was going to say that but didn't want to incur your wrath. That'll teach me.

@griffmo
But as Azrael just cited, mental retardation and mental handicaps are usually not hereditary. SO assuming that mentally disabled people can raise a child, which makes plenty of sense to me considering they do other things like hold down jobs and contribute to society, I see no reason why they should be prevented or discouraged from doing so.
We don't try to keep HIV positive people from having children, I think their rate of passing on HIV is something like 2%. We do not prevent people who are manic depressive from having children, and that seems to run in my family at least, I don't know if it's really hereditary or not. Anyway plenty of unintelligent, neglectful and evil people have children and there's no test they have to pass in order to do so. Mentally disabled people should have just as much control over their reproduction as they can handle. Considering that many of them have caretakers, I doubt that their reproduction would be unsupervised entirely.
You have also just equated being mentally disabled with miserable, lonely existence and I'm fairly certain that this is untrue.
If a mentally disabled person has like, no quality of life, I have a suspicion that there wouldn't have been the gradual movement in our society to provide more services and support to keep people with mental disabilities out of institutions.
Bottom line- you don't need arms to be a mom. Sure, it makes picking up the baby hard, but nobody's going to stop you from being a mom. If someone can take care of him or herself, they ought to have the opportunity to reproduce if they so choose.
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Re: Reproduction & the Mentally Disabled?

Postby sinc » Thu Nov 05, 2009 10:39 pm UTC

TheGrammarBolshevik wrote:And, whatever the Nazis thought about it, I reject the notion that society should control reproduction for its own good. A reaction like "Dear gods that's awful! How can this be allowed?"* seems founded on the notion that people with psychological disorders should simply be prevented from existing — that society's wishes and self-perception of its needs outweigh their very right to life. That decision should never go beyond the concerns of parents.


right to life? Dont you mean, privillage to live in this case? I do not think someone who is mentally challenged would fare well by himself. Much less of a chance than the average person, anyway. I think that we can all agree that the fate of mentally challenged depends on people around them who might or might not help them? personally, i would not help him (but maybe im just an extremely cruel person :roll: )
therefore, i am taking away his privillage to live (at least from me) because i do not think he has or ever will benefit society. he is not an elder (who i am already pissed at for their costly medical needs) and he will not take any part in advancing the human race.

generally, mental deseise or not, nobody should be able to be in a society, community, or country that they do not benifit or help in some way (excluding retired and the elderly who have worked previously in their lives) I most certainly would hire an average person over a disabled person any day, due to the fact that the average person will probably do his job better without any extra explanations or complaining. Why must we treat people who are in fact, NOT equal to us, as our equals?
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Re: Reproduction & the Mentally Disabled?

Postby TheGrammarBolshevik » Thu Nov 05, 2009 10:40 pm UTC

Griffmo wrote:I still don't see how bringing another mentally disabled child, one which will not only live a (most likely) miserable, lonely existance, but one which the parent can't take care of. Not only can't the parent take care of it, the child couldn't take care of itself and government funding would just be dumped into taking care of him/her, thus the cycle repeats. I dunno, I feel bad for saying it, but it does strike me as a problem

You could also say the same thing about poor people, but it's pretty important to civil liberties to understand that welfare programs do not allow the government to buy the people that it serves. That logic seems to come into play when you talk about a person's right to exist in terms of hir costs and benefits to taxpayers.

I'm also skeptical of the idea that people with psychological disorders live (mostly) miserable, lonely lives, especially when judged against the varying life experiences of people without psychological disorders rather than subjectively, in a vacuum. Even if you cite this, loneliness can't be treated as an immutable problem for lonely people. They would no doubt be less lonely if we, among other things, considered them more as people than as tax expenditures.
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Re: Reproduction & the Mentally Disabled?

Postby Azrael » Thu Nov 05, 2009 10:49 pm UTC

sinc wrote:right to life? Dont you mean, privillage to live in this case?

They are people, therefore they have a right to life. That is very simple.

Your personal and subjective feelings are exactly that -- personal and subjective. They do not override basic human rights, regardless of how ardently you disagree with them.

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Re: Reproduction & the Mentally Disabled?

Postby sinc » Thu Nov 05, 2009 10:54 pm UTC

Azrael wrote:
sinc wrote:right to life? Dont you mean, privillage to live in this case?

They are people, therefore they have a right to life. That is very simple.

Your personal and subjective feelings are exactly that -- personal and subjective. They do not override basic human rights.

yes, they are human... but....

what i meant by privilege, is that if we dont help them, they wont have a chance at success, or for the most part, a life that isn't miserable, and therefore, we control most of their lives, to a certain extent, similar to how a parent controls the "privileges" of their child ... do you think that this is true?

please excuse my faulty wording.
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Re: Reproduction & the Mentally Disabled?

Postby TheGrammarBolshevik » Thu Nov 05, 2009 10:55 pm UTC

So parents have the right to kill their children? Or does everybody have the right to kill everybody, since we all depend on each other for survival?
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Re: Reproduction & the Mentally Disabled?

Postby Izawwlgood » Thu Nov 05, 2009 11:01 pm UTC

I did a bit of reading around, and out of curiosity, what evidence is there that autism isn't hereditary? I've seen sentiments both ways on wikipedia and general interwebs.

That's a total aside. The notion that the autistic should be limited in their life decisions (reproduction, driving, etc) is ludicrous; I have no reason to believe that an autistic individual is inherently a worse parent for it.
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Re: Reproduction & the Mentally Disabled?

Postby Azrael » Thu Nov 05, 2009 11:05 pm UTC

sinc wrote: ... do you think that this is true?
No.

1) I vehemently disagree with you using 'miserable' as a blanket with which to condemn the lives of the mentally disabled. Sure, some are. But the same is true of everyone else.
2) I can't help but notice that the poor, physically disabled and chronically sick (among scores of others) also don't meet your criteria for being part of society. So before this tangent regarding your subjective beliefs toward society gets any longer, I'm going to remind you that it's waaaay the heck off topic.

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Re: Reproduction & the Mentally Disabled?

Postby Pez Dispens3r » Thu Nov 05, 2009 11:13 pm UTC

TheGrammarBolshevik wrote:limiting people's right to reproduce for the greater good is the very definition of eugenics.
TheGrammarBolshevik wrote:If your goal is to not be like the Nazis, then any sort of eugenics is not a good plan.

I know I'm taking these statements out of context, but I just wanted to address them rather than your argument (your argument is completely fine). Eugenics is not synonymous with the Nazi goal of racial superiority (or was it "let's make everyone who isn't blonde a scapegoat"? I forget), and it isn't about limiting people's rights. That's just one very severe variety of state-enforced eugenics: eugenics is more often about understanding hereditary diseases; educating the public about them; and advising couples whether or not to have children based on their genes.

When employed to combat serious hereditary diseases, such as Huntington's, eugenics is still very valid, and doesn't deserve to be forever equated with the time it was amateurishly used for a nonsensical purpose.
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Re: Reproduction & the Mentally Disabled?

Postby stevey_frac » Thu Nov 05, 2009 11:18 pm UTC

Human life is precious. I don't care what you think about the relative quality of life. I guarantee there is many a happy mentally challenged individual. And those that are not happy, by virtue of their being human, reserve the right to be unhappy.

As an aside, many of your arguments about the mentally challenged, can be applied to any group. IE: If we were to cut off all support/trade/communication/social services with those of dutch decent, they would probably be just as miserable, and many would find it difficult to live full and meaningful lives.
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Re: Reproduction & the Mentally Disabled?

Postby Azrael » Thu Nov 05, 2009 11:28 pm UTC

It would be nice if we could just stop talking about nazis entirely.

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Re: Reproduction & the Mentally Disabled?

Postby Sharlos » Fri Nov 06, 2009 12:02 am UTC

I don't think it's a problem so long as they will be capable of caring for their child, or if they can't manage that on their own, that they have the support to help them with a child. But that's and early opinion, I haven't considered what impact having a mentally disabled parent might have on someone assuming they were being cared for.

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Re: Reproduction & the Mentally Disabled?

Postby Jennym » Fri Nov 06, 2009 12:21 am UTC

For christ's sake, of course mentally handicapped people should have the right to reproduce. Where's the problem in that? The prejudice featured here makes me fucking cringe. Griffmo, give me one good reason why you yourself wouldn't want to see mentally handicapped people reproduce?

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Re: Reproduction & the Mentally Disabled?

Postby podbaydoor » Fri Nov 06, 2009 12:28 am UTC

My mom has been saddled at various times with teaching the mentally disabled offspring of mentally disabled parents - she was a special ed teacher for a long time. With all the non-mentally disabled parents producing mentally disabled children already, I really don't think it's necessary for mentally disabled persons to add to that pool. (And at least in all the cases she encountered, the mentally disabled parents were not able to take care of the child and it was usually the grandparents or some other guardian taking up that duty.)
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Re: Reproduction & the Mentally Disabled?

Postby TheGrammarBolshevik » Fri Nov 06, 2009 12:36 am UTC

podbaydoor wrote:With all the non-mentally disabled parents producing mentally disabled children already, I really don't think it's necessary for mentally disabled persons to add to that pool.

It's not necessary for people to reproduce, period. Banning all reproduction would take a great load off of teachers' backs indeed, not to mention anyone else who provides services to children or adults.

But lack of necessity just means that you shouldn't mandate something. It's a very poor reason to ban it.
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Re: Reproduction & the Mentally Disabled?

Postby Pez Dispens3r » Fri Nov 06, 2009 12:59 am UTC

podbaydoor wrote:(And at least in all the cases she encountered, the mentally disabled parents were not able to take care of the child and it was usually the grandparents or some other guardian taking up that duty.)

If there were several decent peer-reviewed studies out there confirming this (and I haven't looked either way) then I'd agree with podbaydoor. I do understand that it's not necessarily about the mental disability being "passed on", but about whether the mentally disabled can be functional parents. I mean, if I became a full-blown alcoholic, and couldn't function properly, I wouldn't have kids. Whether this is something you can mandate or not is a tricky issue, but it helps to remember that neglect is the worst form of child abuse. That is, it causes more deaths than physical, emotional, and sexual abuse, and it's rather confronting to see the brain scans of neglect survivors compared to that of an un-neglected child of the same age.
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Re: Reproduction & the Mentally Disabled?

Postby Azrael » Fri Nov 06, 2009 1:30 am UTC

Pez Dispens3r wrote:I mean, if I became a full-blown alcoholic, and couldn't function properly, I wouldn't have kids.
But you'd still be allowed to. There are mechanisms for removing children from incapable parents. There are no society-level mechanisms for disallowing people who are incapable (for any given definition thereof) of caring for their children from having them in the first place. So you'd need a really compelling reason to single this group out.

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Re: Reproduction & the Mentally Disabled?

Postby Pez Dispens3r » Fri Nov 06, 2009 1:58 am UTC

Azrael wrote:
Pez Dispens3r wrote:I mean, if I became a full-blown alcoholic, and couldn't function properly, I wouldn't have kids.
But you'd still be allowed to. There are mechanisms for removing children from incapable parents. There are no society-level mechanisms for disallowing people who are incapable (for any given definition thereof) of caring for their children from having them in the first place. So you'd need a really compelling reason to single this group out.
Pez Dispens3r wrote:Whether this is something you can mandate or not is a tricky issue

Essentially, I agree with you. If we don't disallow some people reproducing we shouldn't disallow anyone, but I can still be opposed to people having children they can't properly care for (of course, I recognise your mileage will vary as far as what constitutes "properly care for", but I start with "not neglecting or otherwise abusing the child" in my definition). Partly because, when it comes down to it, the mechanisms for removing children from incapable parents are absolute shit. You've got to do a lot of blatantly wrong shit to get a child taken from you, and by then the child is so emotionally unstable (and usually physically violent) no foster parent wants to take them, so they get passed around inside the system until they're old enough to disappear. I'm not for disallowing, but I am for people being seriously discouraged (if there's hard evidence mentally disabled people make bad parents).
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Re: Reproduction & the Mentally Disabled?

Postby WaterToFire » Fri Nov 06, 2009 3:08 am UTC

Of course it makes no sense to ban reproduction for a group based on the possibility of the offspring having a sucky life. But what do you folks think about mandatory gene counseling and screening against genotypes likely to cause severe disorders (for everyone, not just mentally disabled people)?

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Re: Reproduction & the Mentally Disabled?

Postby Carnildo » Fri Nov 06, 2009 3:45 am UTC

Back to the original question, to me it boils down to two points:
1) Will the child be properly cared for?
2) Is the child likely to be able to function in society?
If the answer to both is "yes", then yes, a mentally-disabled person should be allowed to reproduce. Incidentally, I think the same two questions should be applied to anyone who wants to reproduce.

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Re: Reproduction & the Mentally Disabled?

Postby Izawwlgood » Fri Nov 06, 2009 5:53 am UTC

Could anyone provide information as to the relative likelihood of an autistic individual having autistic children? Based on what I've read it seems an autistic parent is more likely to have an autistic child then a non-autistic parent.

This does not, just to point out, provide reason to believe that autistic individuals should be barred from having children biologically.
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Re: Reproduction & the Mentally Disabled?

Postby folkhero » Fri Nov 06, 2009 7:57 am UTC

Just a question for those who would ban reproduction of whomever: how do you enforce it? Forced sterilization of those that fit you criteria? Forced abortions (or infanticide if the state doesn't find out until that point) to those that fit your criteria? Fines or jail-time to the parents? I'm sure that would improve the child's quality of life. Those all seem like monstrous options to me. Is there some other option I'm not thinking of?
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Re: Reproduction & the Mentally Disabled?

Postby Goplat » Fri Nov 06, 2009 8:18 am UTC

folkhero wrote:Just a question for those who would ban reproduction of whomever: how do you enforce it? Forced sterilization of those that fit you criteria? Forced abortions (or infanticide if the state doesn't find out until that point) to those that fit your criteria? Fines or jail-time to the parents? I'm sure that would improve the child's quality of life. Those all seem like monstrous options to me. Is there some other option I'm not thinking of?

They don't seem monstrous at all to me, except infanticide, but I really doubt that the state not finding out until birth would happen enough to make it necessary.
You know what's really going to be monstrous? When Communist China takes over the world because the countries that could have stopped it got saturated with non-productive people and underwent complete economic collapse.

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Re: Reproduction & the Mentally Disabled?

Postby dedalus » Fri Nov 06, 2009 9:06 am UTC

Goplat wrote:
folkhero wrote:Just a question for those who would ban reproduction of whomever: how do you enforce it? Forced sterilization of those that fit you criteria? Forced abortions (or infanticide if the state doesn't find out until that point) to those that fit your criteria? Fines or jail-time to the parents? I'm sure that would improve the child's quality of life. Those all seem like monstrous options to me. Is there some other option I'm not thinking of?

They don't seem monstrous at all to me, except infanticide, but I really doubt that the state not finding out until birth would happen enough to make it necessary.
You know what's really going to be monstrous? When Communist China takes over the world because the countries that could have stopped it got saturated with non-productive people and underwent complete economic collapse.

You're kidding right? I'm pretty sure that the group of 'people who are mentally/genetically disabled who have kids that are mentally/genetically disabled such that they're unable to work' is pretty damned small, definitely not on the scale to effect productivity more then alcohol-induced days off or preventable deaths removing 'productive' people, and on top of that it's not like preventing people from reproducing replaces the would-be kids with other people.
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Re: Reproduction & the Mentally Disabled?

Postby Zamfir » Fri Nov 06, 2009 11:17 am UTC

Goplat wrote:You know what's really going to be monstrous? When Communist China takes over the world because the countries that could have stopped it got saturated with non-productive people and underwent complete economic collapse.

Just to make sure, you are aware that communist China isn't actually a monstrous country to live in? The Russians love their children too, you know.

As for the original topic, it's a question that is troublesome to approach with too rigid principles. There really are people who cannot in any sense take care of children, and who are really not able to grasp what having a child entails. Some get children anyway, by accident often, and this than usually turns into a grave extra burden for the parents or other caretakers. I have understood that this really is genuine, regularly occuring problem.

In a situation where the raising of the child is without doubt going to be a task for others than the metally disabled parents, it seems fair to have those others (again, usually the grandparents) decide on the pregnancy, and it seems to me OK if they give for example anticonception pills to their daughter even if their daughter does not understand what that means.

But the OP talks about people who are fully aware that they are pregnant, what it means, who want to have children, who are preparing themselves for that. That's very different case. It still seems best if they make their choices in cooperation with supervisors or caretakers, but if they want children themselves, if they are clearly aware of the responsibilities, and and are to some good degree capable of taking care of the child, even if only under supervision, I have trouble seeing how you could forbid that.

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Re: Reproduction & the Mentally Disabled?

Postby (╯°□°)╯︵ ┻━┻ » Fri Nov 06, 2009 1:04 pm UTC

sinc wrote:
Azrael wrote:
sinc wrote:right to life? Dont you mean, privillage to live in this case?

They are people, therefore they have a right to life. That is very simple.

Your personal and subjective feelings are exactly that -- personal and subjective. They do not override basic human rights.

yes, they are human... but....

I'm pretty sure when it comes to humans you don't get a but. There is no, "Well yes they're human but that doesn't mean I have to respect them like they're really people" cause uh, they are really people.
With faces and everything. And opinions. And things that they want.
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You simply cannot tell me that there is criteria that the mentally disabled fill what would indicate that they aren't worth the flesh that they're made of.
We do not even consider everyone in a coma as worth unplugging, there would be no justification for a caveat against the mentally disabled.

having a basic respect for human life, the simple understanding that everyone else has just as much of a right to what they want as you do, is, well... basic.
procreation is not restricted and this, of all things, is no reason to start. I would start somewhere closer to women with a history of killing children, or summat.
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Re: Reproduction & the Mentally Disabled?

Postby kinigget » Fri Nov 06, 2009 5:20 pm UTC

All right, I've noticed something here. People seem to have been equating "mentally disabled" with such illnesses as Downs syndrome and others that have the same kind of effects.

Guess what.

There is a whole range of mental disabilities, Autism spectrum is only a part of that range, and most of them are not nearly as debilitating as the low-functioning Autism disorders.

And just for the record: I have an autism spectrum condition: Aspergers Syndrome, and yes, I was diagnosed professionally, I didn't decide I had it because I was starved for attention, but that's a debate for another time.
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Re: Reproduction & the Mentally Disabled?

Postby gmalivuk » Fri Nov 06, 2009 5:35 pm UTC

folkhero wrote:Just a question for those who would ban reproduction of whomever: how do you enforce it? Forced sterilization of those that fit you criteria? Forced abortions (or infanticide if the state doesn't find out until that point) to those that fit your criteria? Fines or jail-time to the parents? I'm sure that would improve the child's quality of life. Those all seem like monstrous options to me. Is there some other option I'm not thinking of?

Yeah, this is the crux of it for me.

I readily admit to believing that some people shouldn't ever reproduce, for any number of reasons. But I can think of no remotely ethical way to make that into an official mandate. And unless someone can actually provide any suggestions on this front, I really don't see much point in even worrying about who you happen to think should or shouldn't have kids.
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Re: Reproduction & the Mentally Disabled?

Postby The Great Hippo » Fri Nov 06, 2009 5:40 pm UTC

gmalivuk wrote:Yeah, this is the crux of it for me.

I readily admit to believing that some people shouldn't ever reproduce, for any number of reasons. But I can think of no remotely ethical way to make that into an official mandate. And unless someone can actually provide any suggestions on this front, I really don't see much point in even worrying about who you happen to think should or shouldn't have kids.
I'm hoping that we'll reach a point of technological infrastructure in the near future where we'll be able to install simple, non-intrusive, easily deactivatable (by the owner) forms of contraception into everyone at a very young age. Reproducing would therefore always be a choice, and it would be an active one - you would have to say "I want to have a child" and press a button in order to have kids (or "I want to take the risk of having a child" and never have the piece of technology installed - or keep the button pressed).

This would fix the problem pretty simply, on all fronts. Of course, it's technology that doesn't exist yet, so it doesn't address the problem (and there are a few moral concerns - such as the fact that we'd have to perform surgery on children - but in a lot of ways I'd parse it in the same way we parse vaccinations).

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Re: Reproduction & the Mentally Disabled?

Postby bigglesworth » Fri Nov 06, 2009 5:42 pm UTC

This is one place where the "nanotechnology will fix everything!" crowd might have a point, Hippo. Nano-mite that eats released eggs until you tell it to stop.
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Re: Reproduction & the Mentally Disabled?

Postby The Great Hippo » Fri Nov 06, 2009 5:48 pm UTC

bigglesworth wrote:This is one place where the "nanotechnology will fix everything!" crowd might have a point, Hippo. Nano-mite that eats released eggs until you tell it to stop.
Or sperm (double redundancy) - and I like that solution, because it's very inobtrusive (doesn't even involve surgery, just an injection, and it can be coupled with other injections we already give children). Of course, this is still a non-solution for the situation we face now, but it's definitely something I'd love to see. And it solves the issue of those with mental disabilities rather elegantly: Those who want children can, and those who don't won't.

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Re: Reproduction & the Mentally Disabled?

Postby sinc » Fri Nov 06, 2009 11:14 pm UTC

The Great Hippo wrote:
bigglesworth wrote:This is one place where the "nanotechnology will fix everything!" crowd might have a point, Hippo. Nano-mite that eats released eggs until you tell it to stop.
Or sperm (double redundancy) - and I like that solution, because it's very inobtrusive (doesn't even involve surgery, just an injection, and it can be coupled with other injections we already give children). Of course, this is still a non-solution for the situation we face now, but it's definitely something I'd love to see. And it solves the issue of those with mental disabilities rather elegantly: Those who want children can, and those who don't won't.



I fully agree, the only thing that worries me about that would be perhaps extremely religious people saying that we are knowingly destroying life... not that i share that viewpoint ( i would be happy to receive nanobots if i could have sex without the fear of unplanned preagnancy)
But yeah, nanobots (probabably for the eggs, there are a lot of sperm that would have to be eaten XD... but then again, im not a science guy (not yet anyway...) so destroying a lot of sperm might actually be pretty easy with future technology.

I also Agree with your idea that there are some people should not reproduce... It might seem immoral, but it would certainly be just a little weight off society's shoulders
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Re: Reproduction & the Mentally Disabled?

Postby The Great Hippo » Fri Nov 06, 2009 11:29 pm UTC

sinc wrote:I also Agree with your idea that there are some people should not reproduce... It might seem immoral, but it would certainly be just a little weight off society's shoulders
Rather, it would be more accurate to say that the people who should not reproduce are the people who are uninterested in reproduction. Either because of choice ("I don't want children") or ignorance ("I don't even understand what children are or where they come from"). By making pregnancy 'opt-in', we turn reproductive rights into something you have to ask to receive - and so long as 'asking' is as simple as pressing a button, I think that this is a good thing.

There are some deeply troubling ramifications if it's more complex than pushing a button, though. Such measures could easily be turned toward an aggressive eugenics program by making it harder and harder to have such nano-machines turned off. A situation like this would make it very easy to deny people the right to have children.

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Re: Reproduction & the Mentally Disabled?

Postby sinc » Fri Nov 06, 2009 11:47 pm UTC

The Great Hippo wrote:
sinc wrote:I also Agree with your idea that there are some people should not reproduce... It might seem immoral, but it would certainly be just a little weight off society's shoulders
Rather, it would be more accurate to say that the people who should not reproduce are the people who are uninterested in reproduction. Either because of choice ("I don't want children") or ignorance ("I don't even understand what children are or where they come from"). By making pregnancy 'opt-in', we turn reproductive rights into something you have to ask to receive - and so long as 'asking' is as simple as pressing a button, I think that this is a good thing.

There are some deeply troubling ramifications if it's more complex than pushing a button, though. Such measures could easily be turned toward an aggressive eugenics program by making it harder and harder to have such nano-machines turned off. A situation like this would make it very easy to deny people the right to have children.



i actually agree! whos to say our national enemies can't take control of the system and make it permanently "on" for all of us? we'd really be screwed. well, i guess we could detonate mini EMPs near our privates (nervous laugh)
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