March 23, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) - I was shocked by the eugenic one-sided pro-euthanasia program that was aired by Global television last Saturday (March 17, 2012) night at 7 pm. The show, aired on the station’s “16x9 program,” entitled Taking Mercy, featured Robert Latimer, Annette Corriveau, and pro-euthanasia ethicist Arthur Schaefer.
The program offered a live blog for people to make comments about the show.
Latimer was convicted of second degree murder in the 1993 death of his daughter Tracy, and served 10 years in prison. When interviewed, Latimer suggested that he would do it again. Tracy lived with cerebral palsy.
The 16 x 9 story omits significant facts in its attempt to sympathetically re-write the history of the Latimer case. Latimer was offered a permanent care space for Tracy, but turned the offer down because he had already decided to kill her. The show ignores the fact that Tracy went to school, loved music, and was well aware of her surroundings. The show omitted the fact that the Supreme Court of Canada unanimously decided that Latimer should serve the mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in jail for second degree murder.
The story of Annette Corriveau, the mother of two adult children Janet and Jeffrey who have significant disabilities, was also featured. Coriveau wants her adult children with disabilities euthanized. Janet and Jeffery appear to be well-cared for by the institution that they permanently reside in. It was disconcerting to watch a program where a mother was vocally advocating to have her children’s lives ended.
Has our society forgotten its history? Have we forgotten how eugenic attitudes led to the destruction of the lives of thousands of people with disabilities?
To learn more, visit the websites of the United States Holocaust Museum and the Holocaust Education & Archive Research Team, which shows that the propaganda portrayed in the 16 x 9 program supports the same eugenic ideas and goals that the eugenic movement in the late 19th and early 20th century promoted, ideas that led to the Nazi Euthanasia Program.
Many people believe that the Nazi Euthanasia Program was based on the unique evil ideology of the Nazi Party of Germany. However, the eugenic ideology was a socially and politically successful movement that existed throughout Europe and North America beginning in the nineteenth century. Books such as “The Right to Death” (1895), promoted by the eugenics movement, led to the writing of “The Permission to Destroy Life Unworthy of Life” (1920) by Karl Binding and Alfred Hoche. This book justified the killing of people who were incurably sick, feeble minded, retarded, deformed, etc. This book became the handbook for the eugenic movement in Germany.
The eugenic movement emphasized the appearance of people with disabilities to suggest that certain traits were less human. It is sad that Annette Corriveau emphasized the change in the appearance of her children related to their medical condition (“bushy eyebrows”).
The Nazi euthanasia program was launched in 1939 after Adolf Hitler received a letter from Richard Kretschmar, the father of an infant (referred to as “Case K” or the ‘Knauer child’). Historians now know that the child was Gerhard Herbert Kretschmar.
The letter stated that Gerhard was born on February 20, 1939, that he was blind, had one leg and part of one arm was missing and was described as “an idiot”. Hitler sent his personal physician, Karl Brant, to visit the child in a hospital in Leipzig. Brant testified at the Nurembourg trial that he had been instructed that if the letter from the father was correct that the physicians at the hospital would be told that euthanasia could be carried out - in Hitler’s name. Gerhard was euthanized on July 25, 1939.
History proves that the German T4 euthanasia program began with a parent’s request for euthanasia and in the end resulted in the deaths of 200,000 to 275,000 people with disabilities.
It is a fact that the technique of gassing large numbers of people to death was developed in the psychiatric hospitals for euthanasia and then later installed in the death camps to kill millions of people.
The eugenic euthanasia program that began in 1939 was based on the same propaganda portrayed in the 16 x 9 Global television that justified euthanasia for two adults with disabilities, and to re-write the history the Latimer case.
It takes one bad case to make a bad law. It takes one bad law to change a culture.
Once a culture decides that there are some lives that are not worth living and decides to kill those people, then everything changes.
The question we ask in society changes from, “Is it right for one person to be given the right to kill another?” to “When is it right for one person to be given the right to kill another?”
This is a eugenic ideology that can only lead to the destruction of many lives which are deemed life unworthy of life. I say NEVER AGAIN.