On the ethics and consequences of Project Prevention: When sterilization becomes a treatment option

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2 Responses

  1. Keri says:

    Also of concern here is the safety of long term sterilization/contraception. Some of these options result in side-effects that cause permanent sterilization, put women at greater risk for ectopic pregnancies, cause long term menstruation, and more. It seems that there are many other options, aside from risky long term sterilization/contraception.

    I wonder has Ms. Harris, or any of her staff, undergone the procedures? Would they make this choice for themselves if they wanted a long term sterilization/contraception option? And if they would not, why do they offer it to others?


  2. Nick Weeks says:

    I’ve seen at close hand the damage that can be wrought on the offspring of serious junkies. My partner was born HIV+, to junkie parents, was an IV drug user from age 10, spent the first 18 years of his life in-and-out of care and young offender institutions. He himself had fathered three children by the age of 17, none of whom is he ever allowed to see by Social Service (and he finds that extremely difficult and hurtful).

    In the 14 months since he turned 18, he’s put himself through re-hab, and is now stable on prescribed methadone with only a very occasional pipe of anything naughty. He has a place to stay (Council bedsit), has rebuilt his relationship with his mother (who is now also “clean”) and step-siblings. He has a (fairly) stable relationship with me (as much pseudo-parental as anything – we’re not lovers, though definitely “partners”) and hopefully a space to allow him to enjoy the last of the childhood he has not generally had, while supporting him in becoming a useful adult. He’s currently negotiating for a full re-build of his teeth (destroyed by smoking crack and a street-homeless diet), and with starting college in September. If the recently-diagnosed TB doesn’t kill him this year, he has a bright life ahead of him.

    So I can understand the feeling that it’s better for junkies not to have kids. But permanent sterilisation is not the answer – it’s a gross and disturbing invasion of the rights of people who are usually not in a sound mental state to make such decisions. This “Charity” should be investigated, and no reputable medical practitioner should accept any referral for sterilisation from them – and should be “struck off” if they do so.

    ‘scuse the long rambling post … difficult to be calm about this with the lad asleep on my bed two feet away as I type this.

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