Lives Worth Living has uncovered a series of bizarre and horrifying pro-euthanasia comments on a prominent polling website which describe children with disability as burdens, a waste of resources and "not even human".
An online debate.org poll which asked whether parents should be able to euthanize disabled children "that complicate their lives" has provided a disturbing window into the views of some in the pro-euthanasia community towards about disability.
Debate.org describes itself as a free online community where "intelligent minds from around the world" come to debate online and read the opinions of others. The poll saw 61% indicate that they believe that parents should be able to euthanize children with a disability despite not specifying which disabilities or how they complicate lives.
Disturbingly many of the comments were targeted towards children with intellectual and cognitive disability, such as children with autism and Downs Syndrome.
Speaking about children with disability one commentator said there was "no purpose for them really. They spend their lives suffering, and causing everyone around them to suffer and spend their lives taking care of them, and for what reason? The mentally defective can't begin to fathom gratitude towards the people making an effort for it, because it has no intellectual thought. It's a burden for someone to live that way as well as a burden to society. There really is no purpose in keeping them alive."
While another said people with disability "don't offer anything to society, they are a massive burden on their caregivers, they are incapable of supporting themselves and their very existence is unsustainable. The time and resources allocated to raising them is pointless, as there is no chance they will breed or really be anything more than a burden on society without plausible justification".
One commentator even described people as disability as not even human claiming that our "very existence is a spit in the face of the marvellous achievement and identity of the human race" claiming "Just because they wear the face of a human doesn't mean they are therefore equal in value; we seemingly have no trouble killing animals whereas there's a stigma against the killing of human life, this is especially true if the human being experience life living as one."
This commentator also compared people with disability to pets. Pro-euthanasia campaigner Peter Singer also notoriously compared the value of animals to the value of people with disability.
In a telling development dozens of highly offensive comments like this were not challenged or responded to by other pro-euthanasia commentators in interactive debate.org threads.
According to Lives Worth Living Convenor Craig Wallace, "these comments are really worrying. Euthanasia campaigners often talk in terms that we can all relate to - about mercy, relief from pain and personal rights. However there is clearly a darker side stemming from hatred and prejudice towards us and a view that children with disability are a disposable inconvenience. It's especially worrying to see attitudes about people with an intellectual disability which belong in the dark ages with so little understanding about the lives and contributions people with Autism or Downs Syndrome make.
The push for child euthanasia is gaining steam following it's legalisation in Belgium last year. According to Craig, "Legalised euthanasia should be unthinkable while we have these attitudes. Disability advocates throughout the Western world need to see euthanasia as inimical to everything we stand for and unite against it".
The controversial poll can be found at http://www.debate.org/opinions/should-parents-have-the-right-to-euthanize-their-kids-if-they-have-disabilities-that-complicate-their-lives