Today’s EU Directive on Euthanasia

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The EU Directive published today on the right to die places the EU Commission on a direct collision course with the Council of Europe, which is still, in its European Convention on Human Rights, rather sold on the outdated notion of humans having a so-called “right to life” (Article 2).

The right to life is incorporated into UK law by the Human Rights Act 1998.  Because today’s Directive has direct applicability, the right to die established in today’s Directive is directly incorporated into UK law, with immediate effect, by the European Communities Act 1972.  This is an Act, which, as the late Master of the Rolls Lord Denning observed, Parliament may not have the freedom to repeal that it imagined it would have, when it passed the Act, even if UKIP gets elected to power.

As from today, therefore, without Parliament having to lift a legislative finger to implement the EU provision, the new British right to die now sits uncomfortably alongside the old British right to stay alive.

In many cases, the right to choose, of the patient himself, in this case to choose whether to stay alive or to be killed, will doubtless govern which of the two conflicting rights trumps the other.  However, in the cases of patients lacking the mental capacity to tell us whether they want to live or to die, some very interesting test cases are doubtless in the offing.

When the individual whose life is at stake lacks the mental capacity to decide for himself, who will decide for him, and on what basis? What if their family members do not agree?  For example, in the case of an unhappy or indifferent senior citizen with dementia, what happens if his son wants him dead, but his daughter wants him alive?  Or, in the case of a child too young to express verbally an informed choice as to whether he would prefer to be killed, or allowed to continue his life for its natural course, what if the mother wants the child dead, but the father wants the child alive?  Which relative’s wishes trump those of the other relative, in such difficult cases, and on what basis?

Happily, the Directive does make some small effort to address these difficult questions, in the brief section towards the end, on “safeguards”.  However, the safeguards seem to have been drafted primarily with elderly candidates for euthanasia in mind.  (Doubtless this is because the economic ill-effects were uppermost in the minds of the EU Commissioners when drafting the safeguards, of denying the right to die to unproductive senile baby boomers whose children are fed up with them losing control of their bowels at home.)

But equality is a well-established doctrine of modern European jurisprudence, reflected both in the cutting edge wisdom of the EU, and the antiquated vestigial impact of the anachronistic Convention of yesteryear.  And one well-recognised “protected characteristic” (to borrow a phrase from the Equality Act 2010) of today’s equality ethos is age.  Age Equality demands that the involuntary euthanasia safeguards promulgated in the Directive should be applied equally to granny, who has lost her mental capacity, and to junior, when junior is still only a baby, and who has thus not yet developed his or her own mental capacity, or (at least) the ability to communicate his preferences.

In the famous Factortame test case, the House of Lords considered the effect of the European Communities Act 1972 upon the later Merchant Shipping Act 1988.  The court drove a cart and horse through the doctrine of the Legislative Supremacy of the Queen in Parliament.  The court simply “disapplied” the later Act, as though Parliament had never even bothered to pass the Merchant Shipping Act in the first place.  The entire Merchant Shipping Act became a nullity.  It was as good as repealed, by our highest court, which knew that it and the rest of us were subservient to the EU, and which reminded Parliament in no uncertain terms that so was Parliament, and retrospectively to boot.

If the safeguards in today’s euthanasia Directive, drafted with those near the natural ends of their lives in mind, are applied evenly to those at the beginning of their lives, our new Supreme Court will need to deploy considerable sophistry, in order to avoid disapplying the Abortion Act 1967, by applying the same reasoning as prevailed in the House of Lords in Factortame.

The profitability of the killing industry overall won’t be affected, because what will be lost on the roundabouts will likely be gained on the swings, so-to-speak.  The British Pregnancy Advisory Service and others have the option of diversifying, to save their businesses from bankruptcy, and perhaps even to cash in on the latest change big time. Fewer customers, but much bigger ones, would be carried through their doors.  They could charge the relatives more for each unit of human death service delivered than they have been getting away with charging per capita for the greater number of little ones killed hitherto.

But what about the climate?  In which direction will the calorific yield move, of the sum total of the corpses that fuel the crematoria that nowadays heat our hospitals?   The yield will certainly increase in the short term, as the new law is tested in the courts.  But long-term?  It’s hard to say.  On the one hand, as abortionists love to remind us (as though this was remotely relevant to the ethics of their industry), many of their victims are really quite small when they meet their untimely ends.  But on the other hand, an awful lot of the little ones euthanased have gone up the chimney since the Abortion Act 1967, Roe v Wade, etc.  Eight million or so in the UK the last time I checked, and about seven times that number in the USA.   I will leave to others the task of calculating the net effect upon anthropogenic climate change of today’s surprising change in the law.  Will the change increase or reduce the affect upon the climate wrought by the carbon footprint of humanity’s killing and incineration of its unwanted members?

This is a year that is likely to be remembered in British legal history for many generations.  If the lawyers are on their toes, today’s EU Directive will enrich their beleaguered professions, lead to a resolution of the pension crisis in about twenty five years time, and in the mean time save many a father from the grief of losing a son or daughter to the widespread euthanasia of the very young, at the whim of his son or daughter’s mother.  This change will save more innocent lives amongst the young and small, than the guilty and the innocent lives of the large and aged it destroys put together.  Provided, that is, that the benefits of the euthanasia safeguards, drafted for the benefit of the old, and hidden near the end of the EU Resolutionare extended to the young, in the name of Age Equality.

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Filed under April fool!, Human Rights, Law, Pro-life, Satire and humour

Why foster carers, but not natural parents?

In the House of Lords recently, there was an amendment drafted, and maybe moved, to the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill, that would have protected would-be foster carers from being denied the opportunity to foster other people’s looked-after children, because the would-be foster carers held dissident opinions about “same sex marriage”.

Amazingly, it seems that none of the peers has thought of a much more serious related issue.  None of them have suggested an amendment to protect real parents from having their children taken off them, because the parents hold dissident views about “same sex marriage”.

For a recent example of this actually happening, you only need to read the following guest post to this blog, by “Gagged Dad”, who will have to conceal his real name, unless and until (please God) a brave Parliamentarian takes off Gagged Dad’s “gag” for him, by mentioning him by name, and his plight, on an occasion of Parliamentary Privilege.  (I have his contact details.)

Two year-old’s contact stopped with “homophobic” dad

By tabling amendments that address the likelihood of discrimination in employment against foster carers and school teachers – a purge of all such dissidents from these professions is almost inevitable if the Bill is passed, the Lords have shown that they have at least woken up to the fact that some people have an agenda of limiting the access of those with traditional opinions about “same sex marriage” to children.  But not one of the peers has had the gumption yet, to work out the worst of where this agenda is heading, not just ultimately, but in the here and now, even before the legislation is passed (if, God forbid, it is ever passed).  Not just preventing those with certain beliefs having access to other people’s children.  Also preventing such people from having access to their own children.

Put simply, the threat to parents, from social workers and the secret family courts, whom none may criticise publicly using his real name on peril of imprisonment for contempt of court, is nowadays stark.  Abandon your beliefs about marriage being what you thought it was, or we will take your children off you and give them to strangers, who won’t necessarily be a couple, one of each sex, like their real mum and dad.  Or, if you are (for example) a father (like Gagged Dad), who disagrees with “same sex marriage”, and your children live with their mother, kiss them goodbye, because we will make sure you never see them again.  We will take them off their mother too, if she doesn’t do what we want her to do (i.e. stopping them from seeing you), or if she doesn’t think what we want her to think.

The solution is simple.  Amend the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill, to add an amendment to the Children Act, that protects  natural families from being dismantled as a punishment for dissidence about “same sex marriage” on the part of either or both parents.  (Either that, or to vote down the entire Bill, because no such protection is included.)

Over a hundred members of the House of Lords have accepted invitations to follow this blog, or at least their staff who monitor their email have, on their behalf.  It remains to be seen whether any of them bother to try to do anything, to curtail this interference with family life, and to stop it spreading.

See also:  B*ggers CAN be choosers!

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Filed under Homophobic, Human Rights, Law, Political

Lots in a name

You and me me baby ain’t nothing but mammals.  So let’s do it like they do on the Discovery Channel.” [Bloodhound Gang]

It should humble us to remind ourselves what we are.  Biologically speaking, humans are animals, who reproduce sexually, by mating.  Some say that that is all we are.  Even those who say we are more than this, admit that we are, at least, this.

Many other species have instincts that determine the mating behaviours used in their sexual reproduction.  These behaviours cover a wide range.

Mating behaviours found in species that reproduce sexually include those which involve parents never knowingly meeting one another or their offspring.  A female lays unfertilised eggs and goes on her way.  Later, a male passes by, notices the eggs (or not as the case may be), and casually fertilises them, before going on his way.  Some time later, the eggs hatch, and the offspring fend for themselves thereafter.

Other species instinctively form life-long pair bonds to do their breeding, with both parents sharing quite intense and long-lasting, offspring-rearing responsibilities.

We humans have less instinct, and more reason, than other animals.  We therefore have choices to make, as to which of the wide variety of reproductive sexual behaviours observed in the animal kingdom we wish to practise ourselves.  We have even had the ingenuity to invent some new reproductive behaviours of our own .

In the past, governments have felt entitled (and perhaps even obliged) to encourage certain choices over others.  Governments have taken into account that some of our sexual reproductive behaviours would be disfavoured by natural selection, if they were instinctive rather than chosen, because they harm children.   One of the longest-lasting and most widespread of governmental encouragements of one particular reproductive lifestyle in preference to another, has been “marriage” as still found in most post-Christian societies, and indeed elsewhere in the world.

So, referencing back to biology, that is what marriage is.  The view of marriage of a secular anthropologist is that is a social convention, encouraging us to mate and raise our young like swans, not like salmon do.

Same sex domestic partnerships aren’t equivalent to the traditional marriages that they mimic.   To maintain a linguistic distinction between the real thing and the mimicry, wouldn’t therefore be to belittle the mimicry, as something other than “equal” to marriage.   Still less would maintaining the distinction amount to moralising.  The linguistic distinction doesn’t speak explicitly about sex acts; neither the mating that begets children and consummates marriages; nor the parodies of the mating act with which those who mimic marriage’s domesticity with others of their own sex amuse themselves.   It was a previous and recent British government that introduced this linguistic distinction in the first place, when it invented “civil partnerships” as, in effect, same sex marriages by a different name.  Why did some Labour MPs who had voted to introduce that linguistic distinction in the first place, recently repent of their former decision, and vote to abolish the linguistic distinction that they had proudly helped to introduce themselves in the first place?

Some (myself included) have toyed with the idea that governments should get out of the marriage business altogether.   Sad though it would be to witness the passing of an era that had lasted so long that nobody can rightly remember when it began.  Since many governments (our own included) appear to have forgotten what marriage is, perhaps those governments at least, should get out of the marriage business, and leave it to the multiple cultures of our multi-cultural society, to define marriage for themselves, all of us differently, however we wish.  Would that really be to make the diverse cultures too “equal”?

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Filed under Homophobic, Human Rights, Law, Political

Transoriented erasure

Who gets the better deal?  Transgendered people, or transoriented people?

Today, not for the first time, I read a comment complaining that people who are transgendered face problems of non-acceptance.  It reminded me of the non-acceptance experienced by people who are, or who want to become, transoriented.

Transgendered people and transoriented people both experience non-acceptance, and for the same basic reason.

Transgendered people are (for example) male, but want to be accepted in future as female (or vice versa).  In some cases, trangendered people have had their bodies changed, so that they resemble more their acquired gender, and less their birth gender.  Transgendered people experience rejection on the part of people with strong, fixed beliefs.  Beliefs that it is impossible for a man really to change himself, or be changed, into a woman (or vice versa).

Transoriented people (as I am defining the term here) have a similar tale to tell.  They have experienced (for example) same sex attraction, but have decided that they want in future to be people who are attracted to the opposite sex (or vice versa).  They want other people to accept them as they are, complete with their desire to change, or that fact of their having already changed, their “sexual orientation” (so-to-speak).  But, unlike transgendered people, they have changed their minds rather than their bodies, so that their behaviour resembles more that of their acquired sexual orientation than the sexual orientation with which they have formerly identified.  Transoriented people often experience rejection on the part of people with strong, fixed beliefs too.  Beliefs, in this case, that it isn’t possible for somebody who has in the past said that he has had a homosexual orientation really to change into somebody who now has a heterosexual orientation to all practical intents and purposes.

Which do you think is the more unkind? Being transgendered and finding oneself shunned or insulted by people who don’t believe that changing one’s gender by changing one’s body is possible?  Or being transoriented, and finding oneself shunned or insulted by different people, who don’t believe that changing one’s sexual orientation by changing one’s mind is possible?

Despite the obvious parallels between the plight of both transgendered people and the transoriented people, health professionals seem willing to offer transgendered people and transoriented people completely different “help” (if one can call what they offer “help”, in either case).

During the past few years, I think that I have discerned an increase in the tolerance shown to transgendered people.  Those who say that they have changed their gender by changing their bodies are more accepted than they were.  During the same period, I have noticed an increased intolerance shown towards transoriented people.  Those who say that they have changed their sexual orientation by changing their minds are disliked more than ever.

Bus

Click on the picture to access the link

Transport For London banned an advertisement recently, which they had accepted an order to display, on the sides of London buses.  All the banned advert did, was to remind the public politely, that transoriented people exist, and are proud, and suggested that any members of the public with a bad attitude towards transoriented people should “get over it”.   What was so controversial about that?  Yet some of the verbal abuse directed at transoriented people during the discussion that followed in various web places was a sight to behold.

I wonder how the sizes of the trangendered and transoriented populations compare.  Even more, I wonder why transgendered people are better accepted than the transoriented people.  Changing one’s mind isn’t as drastic as changing one’s body, but it seems to be far less socially acceptable.  Why is there such a double standard?

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Filed under Homophobic, Human Rights, Satire and humour

The homophobic manifesto

Web search for "We shall sodomize your sons" to find other copies of this rather famous essay.A counterblast to Michael Swift’s famous essay

The Gay Revolutionary

published in Gay Community News, 15-21 Feb. 1987

You will probably enjoy this more, if you read Swift’s original essay first, re-published here, by Jesuits.

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BigBroJohn

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This essay is an outré oasis of sanity, a triumphant, benign fantasy, an eruption of inner love, joy and peace, on how the oppressed desperately dream of a world where nobody is persecuted for “thought crimes”, not even homophobic people.

We who are homophobic shall rectify your miseducation of our sons about sodomy (I hope before you get around to sodomising too many more of them).  Our sons are the pride and joy of our under-valued masculinity, of our noble dreams and lasting truths.  We shall rescue them from you in our schools, in our dormitories, in our gymnasiums, in our locker rooms, in our sports arenas, in our seminaries, in our youth groups … (etc) … wherever men are with men together.  Our sons shall be educated and free and make their own fully-informed lifestyle choices.  Many of them will (or so many of us hope), show by their lives that they remain cast in the image of God, no less. They may well come to crave and to adore Him.

All laws banning homophobia will be revoked. Instead, legislation shall be enforced which upholds our freedom of thought and expression.

All homophobic people must stand together as brothers; we must be united artistically, philosophically, socially, politically and financially. We will triumph only when we present a common face to our illiberal, intolerant and spiteful persecutors.

If you dare to cry bigot or homophobe at us, we will giggle at you, because we know in our hearts that we are free men, entitled to think any thoughts, express any ideas, we wish.

We shall write poems of the love of men for freedom; we shall stage plays in which man openly expresses his beliefs to man and nothing bad happens to him at all; we shall make films about the virtue of heroic men which will complement the cheap, superficial, sentimental, insipid, juvenile, pro-gay propaganda presently all-too prevalent on our cinema and television screens, even the broadcasts of our televised Parliament.  We shall sculpt statues of whatever those of us gifted in sculpture feel like sculpting (and will generously allow you to do the same).  The museums of the world will be filled with anything and everything that the museum management consider worthy to occupy exhibit space.

Our writers and artists, and yours, will write and make whatever they damn well want, and we will strive to protect their artistic freedom, and yours, because we’re not mean or hateful, just homophobic.  We will fight tooth and nail against the present persecution of homophobic people through usage of the devices of wit and ridicule, devices which we do not need to be “skilled” in employing like you, when ridiculing such an easy target as your spoilt-brat intolerance.

We will embarrass the homophobic people who have traded principle for a small measure of power, behaving as intolerant zealots, out of fear of the gay lobby.  People will be surprised and amused when they find that their presidents and their sons, their industrialists, senators, mayors, civic leaders etc, are hypocritically playing safe, by outwardly posing as politically correct, whilst secretly being just as homophobic as the rest of us.  Homophobic people are everywhere; we have no need or desire to infiltwate your ranks.  Be careful when you speak ill of homophobic people because we are always among you; we may be sitting across the desk from you; we may be sleeping in a bed near you, but hopefully not too near.

There will be a return to good old British compromise. We are probably not all middle-class weaklings, but what matter if we were? We are not all highly intelligent, still less “the natural aristocrats of the human race”, though at least we aren’t doing anything as unnatural as you advocate.  We don’t hunger for power like you, only for our lost freedom.  Steely-minded liberals or libertarians, even those of us who happen to be homophobic people, never settle for less than liberty. Those who oppose our right to our opinion will be therefore be patronised, and frowned at, and sued if they keep on causing us trouble.

We shall not need vast private armies to defeat you; reason alone will do the trick.  Homophobic people as a demographic group don’t typically want to conquer the world themselves, because most of us don’t want anybody to conquer the world, least of all your lot.  Your rhetorical “warriors” who you said were “inspired by and banded together by” homosexual vice and dishonour were not “born gay”, they were born losers.  You will one day be as dead as is every one of those ancient Greek soldiers of your perverse fantasy.

The family unit – admittedly occasionally the spawning ground of lies, betrayals, mediocrity, hypocrisy and violence, but far more often of truth, loyalty, excellence, sincerity and love – will surely survive your tantrums.  The family unit, which seldom  “dampens imagination” as you claim, nor “curbs free will”, will therefore never be eliminated, I predict.  (Perfect boys will be conceived and grown in the genetic laboratory, you say?  My my, you really meant what you said about your essay being a “madness”, didn’t you?  Bonded together in communal setting, under the control and instruction of homosexual savants?  Over our dead bodies!)

All churches who condemn you will probably thrive, and win over the likes of us who are not presently church-goers at all.  (Churches that condemn us will not be as successful.)  Different homophobic people have different gods, or none.  We have nothing against handsome young men, even though we will never worship them.  Some of us are handsome young men themselves.  It’s just that they are homophobic handsome young men.  (So, if you say that one of us has a beautiful body, don’t expect him to hold it against you, darling.)

As a matter of fact, we quite like beauty, both moral and aesthetic, ourselves.  (That is exactly the reason why many of us are the homophobic people we are in the first place.)  We do not expect realistically to be able to annihilate all that is ugly and vulgar and banal, and nor should you.  We don’t necessarily agree with one another in the first place, as to what things are ugly or vulgar or banal, apart from homosexuality, about which we do agree.  We don’t even expect to “annihilate” homosexuality, just to be free to disapprove of it.   We are alienated from present day middle-class pro-gay conventions, but we remain free to think our own thoughts privately, guided, for example, by the dictates of pure conscience and aesthetic sense.  And we intend to emancipate ourselves from your slavery, becoming free once again to express our homophobic thoughts, without fear of reprisals.  For us, too young to learn about your vile habits is what we consider many of our own sons still to be.

We are not expecting an exquisite society to emerge.  We can barely imagine a worse government, for any society “exquisite” or otherwise, than one composed entirely of gay poets.  (Well, not on this earth.  Perhaps the planet Uranus?)  Any man contaminated with homosexual lust will be barred from talking on and on and on about it endlessly, posing as a “victim”, boring the pants off the rest of us.  We will do our best to ignore all males who insist on remaining stupidly homosexual.  We are homophobic people.   That’s what we do.  That’s who we are.  That’s how we want to stay.

We shall expect history to continue being rewritten, by all sorts of people, as it always has been.  But we will challenge homosexualist lies and distortions.  A few of us might (occasionally) portray the homophobia of the great leaders and thinkers who have shaped the world.  We will certainly protest whenever academics are fired, for setting out to demonstrate that homophobia is inextricably linked with intelligence and imagination, or that homosexuality isn’t, or anything of the kind.

We shall probably be victorious eventually, but, unlike you, we are not fuelled by “ferocious bitterness”.  We are merely weary of being persecuted and maligned.  We have been bombarded with your dumbed-down, politically correct diatribes and insults for too many decades, perfectly able to see from the outset the absence of joined-up thinking from your propaganda.  We too are capable of firing guns and manning the barricades of the ultimate counter-revolution.  But why should we have to use guns, when we have reason and good old-fashioned liberal/libertarian values on our side?

Tremble, pro-gay swine.  We who are proud to be homophobic people intend to rip off your masks, and show you for what you are, to the whole world.  Our day will come.  One day, we will no longer lose our jobs, or our children, our liberty, or our lives, because of your disapproval of our disapproval of your craving for our feigned approval, at any cost to our consciences, of your favoured vice.

And please don’t even think of sodomising either of my sons, or I’ll scratch your ugly eyes out, duckie.

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Filed under Homophobic, Satire and humour

Two year-old’s contact stopped with “homophobic” dad

Guest post by “Gagged Dad”, whose real name must be kept secret, for legal reasons

SadGagged

When the police at last cleared me of the false allegation that I had hit my two year-old son, I expected to be allowed to see him again straight away.  I had been a part of his life since birth. I had been seeing him three times a week until almost two months ago, when all contact was abruptly stopped.  I miss him, and he must be missing me.

The social worker said that the alleged assault, for which I had documentary proof of an alibi that would have proved my innocence if the police prosecuted me, wasn’t an “insurmountable” problem.  But she had developed other “concerns”, about (if I remember the phrase correctly) my “parenting style”, because of my “beliefs”.  (She had presumably found out that I used to take my son to church every Sunday. He loved it.)

I asked her to explain. What beliefs?

She responded by asking me a weird question.  What if, when my my son was 14, he told me that he was “gay” and that he had a “boyfriend” and I was “violently opposed” to this?  She wanted to know what I would do, in this hypothetical situation.  How would I react to this announcement?   Presumably she anticipated that I would react “violently”, judging by the way she had worded her hypothetical question.  I reminded her that my son was only two.

She then asked me how I would react if one of my grown-up daughters one day told me that she had had an abortion.

I later learnt that social services had decided not to “promote contact.”  I missed his third birthday.  I don’t know whether I will ever see my little boy again.  If he can no longer have contact with me, who will take him to visit his three sisters and brother, or his aunts and uncles, or his nephews and nieces who are closer to his own age?  Who will take him to church?

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Filed under Guest posts, Human Rights

Shopping for medical opinions

This blog post

UKHR

Touch the image to read the gist in brief

Bipolar patient has capacity to decide to terminate pregnancy

about this judgment of the Court of Protection

SB (A Patient; Capacity To Consent To Termination), Re [2013] EWHC 1417 (COP) (21 May 2013)

has set me thinking.

BigBroJohn

. . .

A tense, life-or-death, courtroom drama

Pitched against her own legal team, the mental patient, Mrs SB, had two psychiatrists, her mother, her father, her husband (presumably the baby’s father) and the NHS hospital in which she was sectioned, along with their various solicitors and barristers, all agreeing that she was “not thinking straight”.

WeighBabyHer baby was not legally represented in court.  As the nice judge said, “the foetus has no independent rights which fall to be weighed or considered by me at all in these proceedings”. 

Present (though hardly as a disinterested, mere spectator), was the enterprising would-be sub-contractor who had put in a last-minute bid to do the job, less than a week before the mother reached 24 weeks pregnant, and the baby’s life would have become untouchable.   “A doctor employed by a well known body”, is how the judge described this potential beneficiary of the judge’s own hard day’s work, when the abortionist put in his own “hard day at the orifice”.

money_love_scale

The abortion industry’s income, and love for humanity, have to weighed jolly carefully in the scales of justice nowadays

At 23 and a bit weeks, the foetus could perhaps be delivered alive, and would stand a chance of surviving.  The slower the wheels of justice ground, the better the foetus’ chances of making it.  But the court wasn’t “Thinking outside the botch” today.   Nothing but death would suffice, for some reason.  That was what was stipulated in the abortionist’s – er – contract.

The case would therefore need to be decided quickly.  There was robust justice to be done.  The judge didn’t start delivering his judgment until 8 o’clock in the evening.  What a hero.  Tomorrow might have been too late.  They still had to find a second doctor to sign the death warrant, and time was running out.   What if not even the “well-known body” could come up with a second signatory, who knew how to “weigh” stuff that “fell to be considered”?

Here is the gist of the UK Human Rights blog post’s summary of the court’s judgment:

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CourtOfProtectionThe patient … was a 37 year old highly intelligent graduate… 8 years she presented with symptoms … of bi-polar disorder. She had been detained … at various times … These proceedings were issued … because the mother concerned was “very strongly” requesting a termination … It was clear from the patient’s own evidence that she herself did want a baby at the time that she conceived it.  But after the first trimester had elapsed, in April, she started to show signs of her disorder and there was a “total reversal” in her attitude towards the baby …

MrJusticeHolmanThe judge was prepared to take the unusual step of differing from the view of the psychiatrists that she would bitterly regret the termination. …  The decision, with its risks of consequent regret, was one that the patient should be at liberty to take.  The judge fully appreciated her situation, including the fact that she was currently compulsorily detained. … the Court … the judge has to consider whether the reasons for a decision are rational.  This does not mean that they have to be good reasons, nor does the court have to agree with the patient’s decision…

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A victory for the rights of mental patients

The good news is that the lady with “paranoia”, which the doctors said was the entire reason for her change of heart towards her baby, won the right to choose something, even though it wasn’t the right to choose whether to be in a mental hospital or not, which might have been more useful.  And the abortionist was given his (shall we say?) weighty reason to grin like a Cheshire cat all the way home.  So, the foetus’ will not have died in vain, if that is what did happen to him or her.  His sacrifice has struck a blow in the long struggle for equality of mental patients.

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But why this case?

CartBeforeTheHorseDidn’t bringing this case, in this situation as it was, when the objective was to protect the patient’s mental health from Post-Abortion Syndrome kicking in as soon as her Bipolar Disorder got better, amount to putting the cart before the horse, so to speak?

AbortionOnDemandThe question before the court was whether the patient had mental capacity to “request” an abortion.  If we had abortion on demand in the UK, whether an abortion had been “requested” would be an important question, since any mother who requested an abortion, would be likely to have an abortion, just because she had requested it.   But, under UK law, the patient having requested abortion is an irrelevant consideration.  The patient’s request is not one of the tests to apply, under the Abortion Act, in determining whether an abortion would not after all be a criminal offence.  First, the question has to be answered by doctors, whether there are medical grounds for abortion.  Then the question has to be asked whether the mother consents to the abortion procedure.  The Abortion Act doesn’t mention “requesting” at all.

UnwantedChildAs evidence of the patient’s capacity to make the irrelevant “request”, the patient showed that she had a rational reason for requesting an abortion, namely not wanting to bring up her unborn child herself after he or she had been born.  But this was not a reason that two doctors “acting in good faith” could possibly take into consideration, when both forming one of the necessary medical opinions set out in section 1(1) of the Abortion Act, the statutory criteria for medical abortions to be lawful.  In the UK, an abortion is not made legal merely by a mother not wanting to bring up her child, thank God.

To put the horse before the cart, as one should, the patient could have simply asked her two psychiatrists to form the opinion in good faith that (to quote the Act) “the continuance of the pregnancy would involve risk, greater than if the pregnancy were terminated, of injury to her mental health”.  (This was the ground for 97.9% of the legal abortions in England and Wales during 2011.)  Who better to ask?  If they formed that opinion in good faith, then, and only then, the only important mental capacity question would arise, the question as to whether the patient had mental capacity to consent herself to the abortion procedure itself.

(Exceptionally, I suppose, that there is an outside chance that she was one of the 2.1% of mothers who legally qualify for an abortion other than on the mental health grounds.  Had there been any reason to suppose this – and there seems not to be – I suppose that the question could have arisen then, as to whether she should have also been be attended by two other doctors, specialists in whatever far less common risk that continuation of the pregnancy posed to her physical health, whatever that might have been.)
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What is really going on here?

What this case seems to be about, is what I will call opinion shopping, an ethically dubious activity which I nevertheless suspect has become an everyday occurrence throughout the length and breadth of the land.  I would even go so far as to say that the word on the streets is that if woman goes to this rather than that “well known body”, then they might even MarieStopeshave stocks of forms ready-completed and pre-signed with the very opinion she wants to buy, on which her name can simply be penned in.

Mentally ill woman (or woman who is willing to play the “mental health card” deceitfully) wants abortion.  Psychiatrists (and who better to know?), say (or would say, if asked) that their medical opinion, formed in good faith, is that continuance of the pregnancy does not involve risk, greater than if the pregnancy were terminated, of injury to her mental health, perhaps even the very opposite.  But that is not what woman wants to hear.

SameDayAbortionsWoman wants instead to shop around for the opinion she wants to hear, amongst doctors known to be more enthusiastic than psychiatrists are likely to be about abortion, since psychiatrists see the ill-effects on mental health outcomes (or at least the lack of beneficial effects).  Woman wants to keep trying other pairs of doctors, until she finds a pair of doctors only too glad to pander to her wishes.   Doctors who are not psychiatrists, experts in predicting mental health outcomes.  Abortionists, who stand to gain financially from saying “in good faith” what psychiatrists might not be willing to say, in order to give a semblance of legality to about 97.9% of legal abortions, if the figures for England and Wales in 2011 are typical.

Woman wants to see if she can persuade one of these other pairs of doctors, less well-placed to comment on the risks to her mental health than her psychiatrists, to say that the opinion of psychiatrists is wrong.  She wants them to form “in good faith” the exact opposite of the opinion of the best qualified experts; namely that continuance of pregnancy DOES involve risk, greater than if the pregnancy were terminated, of injury to woman’s mental health.

That seems to be an opinion elicited “in good faith” easily enough from most abortionists, on the part of any mentally ill woman who wants an abortion, or any woman who merely pretends to be mentally ill to trick the abortionists into forming “in good faith” the opinions of which they need a steady stream anyway, just in order to provide 97.9% of the abortion industry’s income, and thus keep their jobs.

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See also the post “Giving evolution a helping hand“, on this blog, for more thoughts about “psychiatric” abortions that psychiatrists do or would oppose, but which abortionists gladly approve willy nilly, in the name of dubious better mental health outcomes for those who provide their bread and butter.

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