DAA News Network

Russia: Uproar at journalist’s call to kill disabled babies

Posted 17/2-10 at 17.21

Russia: Uproar at journalist's call to kill disabled babies Aleksandr Nikonov, a journalist writing for the tabloid Speed-Info, has had an article published entitled, "Finish Them Off, So They Don't Suffer". He argues that parents should have the right to euthanise disabled newborns. In terms that echo those used by Peter Singer, the Australian bioethicist, he calls "postnatal abortion" an act of mercy.

Mothers of disabled children have got together to protest these views. One said, , "The opinion expressed by the author is not unique; statistics show that one-fourth of Russians share similar views. Complete strangers come up to me in the street and tell me that I'm depraved and deserve my fate. Doctors and social workers refuse to do their jobs, just because my child is severely disabled."

The Russian Union of Journalists has ruled that his article bordered on extremism and asked "Speed-Info" to publish a rebuttal by two of the mothers.

Despite the grief caused to disabled people and their families, Nikonov's article has already had the unintended positive effect of prompting a rare discussion on the plight of disabled people in Russia.



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