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zophos
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Voluntary Sterilization, Backdoor Eugenics
Feb 25th, 2013 at 2:35pm
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Awhile ago I read an article about a US-based charity that pays drug addicts to volunteer to have themselves sterilized.  I've been meaning to get some opinions on it.

This particular article is about that charity's expansion into the UK: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-11545519

And here is the charity's Wikipedia entry: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Project_Prevention

While critics accuse that such an endeavor exploits drug addicts, since they will do just about anything for money, I don't find this aspect of the program problematic at all.  Even if we agree that a drug addict's state of mind is compromised, who else should be making decisions for them?  Surely not a government social worker - for while a drug user might be somewhat removed from reality, the state is even more removed from an individual's reality.  Thus, while imperfect, there is no one who can better make decisions for a drug addict than the addict himself.

This program also saves a great deal of resources for society - the community will not have to care for the abandoned or physically and emotionally damaged children of drug addicts.  And as someone who is pro-life, I find sterilization to be a welcome solution to the abortion epidemic.  But regardless of one's position on abortion, the ease and financial savings of sterilization (to both the individual and to society) alone make it superior to abortion.

Which got me thinking - why stop at drug addicts?  I would never, never advocate forced sterilization of any person.  But is ethically acceptable to offer free sterilization to recipients of government welfare who freely choose to undergo the procedure?

What if I took it a step further - what if we were to make sterilization a condition of receiving certain welfare "bonuses" - specifically, welfare related to childcare?  Does this amount to backdoor eugenics?  Is it still voluntary at this point?
  

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Zimobog
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Re: Voluntary Sterilization, Backdoor Eugenics
Reply #1 - Feb 25th, 2013 at 3:24pm
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I say let it ride. If it is voluntary there isn't anything wrong with it. Cries of "explotation" only come with buyer's remorse.

"I never would of paid 10 dollars for that sandwich" I say while standing in my kitchen surrounded by food. But at the time of the voluntary exchange for the sandwich, I decided not to defer consumption at the price of $10.

The transaction is every bit as irreversable. But is it the fault of the sandwich shop for dangling such a tasty sandwich in front of me when I was hungry?
  

I'm sure it is, Mr. Lefty Pants. I'll take your word for it.
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Re: Voluntary Sterilization, Backdoor Eugenics
Reply #2 - Feb 25th, 2013 at 4:05pm
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This is where it gets weird because is it 'OK' for individuals to voluntarily take experimental drugs to see what the side effects are? They say it's 'OK' because you sign an agreement and knowing that there may be some side effects that could hurt you. To me, still doesn't make logical sense and neither does someone who voluntarily gets sterilized, drug addict or not, should be frowned upon.

It's a voluntary system, no one is forcing anyone into having the procedure done, no reason to fight against it. Now if the drug addicts were forced into it, I could absolutely see a reason why to fight against it, or even if it wasn't working and there was fraud being committed. Same circumstances work for those who voluntarily take unknown drugs that could reek havoc on your body are fine to do this, same should go for the drug addicts.
  
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