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Should addicts be encouraged to be sterilised?

00:10 UK time, Monday, 18 October 2010

Drug addicts in the UK are being offered money to be sterilised by an American charity, to stop babies being damaged by drugs during pregnancy. What is your view?

The US charity, Project Prevention, is offering to pay £200 to any drug user in London, Glasgow, Bristol, Leicester and parts of Wales who agrees to be operated on.

The first person in the UK to accept the cash is drug addict "John" from Leicester who says he "should never be a father".

But the move has been criticised by some drug charities who work with addicts. Simon Antrobus, chief executive of Addaction says: "It exploits very vulnerable people who are addicted to drugs and alcohol at probably the lowest point in their lives."

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Can this method succeed in the UK? Should drug addicts be persuaded in this way not to have children? Could the plan backfire? Could vulnerable addicts be exploited?

Thank you for your comments. This debate is now closed.

Comments

Page 1 of 9

  • Comment number 1.

    Should addicts be encouraged to be sterilised?

    This appears to me to be nothing more than exploitation so I would have to say no.

  • Comment number 2.

    Absolutely. The addiction is due to their problems or lifestyle choices and subjecting any child to this is nothing less than abuse.

  • Comment number 3.

    End your bloodline for £200 [Or a 2-day drug binge].

    It's scandalous. What kind of Charity would hand money to a drug addict, KNOWING what it will be spent on?

    What right does anyone have to pressure/persuade any other person into sterilisation?

    What will they think of next? £500 to violent criminals who have both arms removed?

  • Comment number 4.

    if we were to consider such a plan then it is for us to decide to do so, it is not appropriate for a foreign organisation to take that decision for us. Even if it was appropriate to steralise addicts then it would not be appropriate to give them money to buy more drugs in exchange. Someone who is addicted is not necessarily fit to make such a decision either.

  • Comment number 5.

    I don't agree with this at all, because it is just exploitation. If a drug addict chooses to get them selves sterilised then it's their choice, but if they are given financial incentive they are going to take it because they need money to pay for more drugs. Much better would be that they were given the opportunity to clean themselves up, and break the addiction. I just think it's sick that they would bribe someone in a unfavourable demographic of people to not have children. it's just wrong

  • Comment number 6.

    If these vulnerable people truly want to be sterilised, then the treatment should be availiable for free. This payment has a very real possibility of coercing them into something they would rather not do.

  • Comment number 7.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 8.

    This is a REALLY sick idea. It is exploiting people in a vulnerable state, giving them no incentive to come off of the substances. Dare I say it even encourages a lack of responsibility. What does this woman think these addicts are going to spend the money on?? What about if the addicts clean up & decide they made the wrong decision about getting sterilised? This is another step down the path of social engineering for ideological purposes......sadly that's what the UK is coming to.

  • Comment number 9.

    I agree with #1.

    Addicts may not always be addicted, may not always be bad parents, may not always produced 'damaged' offspring, and may not always be suckered into bad lifestyle choices because they look good at the time. If a US company (let's drop the charity misnomer) wants to dish out money then let it pay for the damage caused by economic collapse fall out.

  • Comment number 10.

    My personal opinion is that this is totally immoral. Plus I do not an American charity exporting hardline US policies to this country. I do not pretend to have any miracle solution to this problem.

  • Comment number 11.

    This just seems like the quick and dirty solution. It's also not right to segregate addicts from the rest of society, deeming them unworthy of ever having children.

    The real solution lies in helping these people to come off their addiction and to live normal lives like the rest of us. This is obviously a much more difficult and lengthy process than sterilisation but I think most will agree it is the moral choice.

  • Comment number 12.

    I would further add that I think the result of this yucky bribe is that the addict will spend the money on more drugs. Plus this gives the addict a message that he/she is less than human and the resulting increased depression will make any recovery from their addiction much harder. These are the reasons I think such a policy is to be deprecated.

  • Comment number 13.

    Interesting to see a Reverend under the Board of Directors of this 'project'

    Im not disputing that drugs, either legal or illegal, can damage a Child prior to birth...problem is; after illegal drugs, what next?

    The 5 or so million American teens/kids on ADHD pills? those on beta blockers? those who rely on pills to stop them suffering from migrains? Coffee drinkers? Alcoholics?

    The list could go on, and on. they all, after all, contain something that could be considered, or is considered a drug, and can potentially damage a Child prior to birth.

    Years ago any mention of such a policy would have been instantly labelled Eugenics/selective breeding, and shunned; quite worrying if this is how the world is 'going forward'

  • Comment number 14.

    The damage done by addiction to society and especially to children who might grow up physically and emotionally damaged (even if they go straight into the care system) surely justifies action like this, even if we have to hold our noses while doing it. In an imperfect world, we must not demand perfect solutions. A little bribery is only sensible. Of course, we should be doing other things too, like giving addicts free fixes in walk-in centres which might allow them (and their children) to lead more normal lives.

  • Comment number 15.

    I seem to remember a similar programme of sterilizing the undeserving and undesirables back in the 1930s.
    It did not end well.
    Does anyone have history lessons these days? You're supposed to learn from the mistakes, NOT repeat them.
    What a government .. from 1984 to 1933 in 6 months.

  • Comment number 16.

    Although i am completly against drug use/abuse, i think this is an disgusting way to go about this as offering vulnerable people money to give up there right to have children is in effect a form of ethnic clensing. The £200 they are giving to these people could easily be going to funds to help these people overcome there addictions and start families of there own free of drugs, or even help raise awareness of drug abuse to our children so future generations can't fall into this way of life.

  • Comment number 17.

    This is utterly repulsive, and the only thing I find even moderately encouraging is that I am not alone in that opinion. Yes, damage is done to children born to drug addicts, and alongside treatment and harm reduction projects long term contraceptive options should be discussed - hormone implants, for example. But to offer money to the vulnerable and the desperate to terminate any chance they have of having children in the future, a future which may be vastly different to the their current circumstances, is immoral, revolting and exploitative.

    As others have pointed out, drug addicts are not necessarily drug addicts for eternity, sterilisation comes with its own set of health risks and drawbacks, and an addict by definition has a poor sense of long term consequences - this project exploits the latter, ignores the rest and does absolutely nothing to help an addict to get clean; in fact it supplies the next hit.

    There are simply not enough words in the dictionary to express how repugnant I find this.

  • Comment number 18.

    The Mary Stopes clinic was originally set up to stop the "feckless proles" from over breeding, a fact often forgotten these days. Now they are main stream. This is just an extension of that concept.

  • Comment number 19.

    I totally agree with this, for the simple fact that it would save the NHS millions in treating the babies of these addicts (right into their problematic adulthood), and so it also prevents unnecessary suffering. The Police have lost this war on drugs, so things are only going to get worse. This could be a way of curtailing this growing problem for our next generation. Of course the addict will spend the money on more drugs! They should also hand out free condoms as well, to prevent STI's. Having been in hospital recently myself, I was shocked at how many patients are users - you cannot but help overhearing what folk say in these cramped wards.

  • Comment number 20.

    Its about time, if your so stupid to do drugs your too stupid to have kids!! The world is over populated as it is, we don't need any more idiots in the gene pool.

  • Comment number 21.

    I'd like to know about the funding of Project Prevention, it says it is seeking UK donations only, so who pays for the American arm?
    Is the US Government currently paying to have the UK sterilised?

    How long do you think it would be between when this is branded by the media to be "socially acceptable", and the introduction of enforced sterilisation on those convicted of drugs offences?
    How many racist police would then plant evidence of drugs-use on those they dislike?


    Don't expect Modern Fascism to look exactly like Nazi Fascism.
    Governments can't be the ones proposing it initially, it'd be too obvious, but if they allow someone else to get the ball rolling and try to whip up public support. One small ammendment later (Voluntary => Enforced), and guess where we are.

  • Comment number 22.

    I recommend #15 BornAgain Nihilist.

    Examples of what s/he is talking about may be found at #19, #20.

    Where would we be without some of the gut wrenching insight and pinsharp wit of ancestral drug users?


  • Comment number 23.

    To all those posters who think it is a horrid idea, I guess you have not worked with children born to addicted parents (or parents that continue to use drugs).

    It is a simple practical measure, many of these children are sadly not "normal" due to the damage done to their brains by the drugs. It has been estimated that typically each child can easily cost us, the taxpayers, over a million pound during their lifetime.

    No reasonable person whould have children while on drugs, so why should we (the rest of society) pick up the bill when these people behave in an irresponsible and immoral manner?

    I am not saying that help shouldn't be given to addicts, of course it should; but I am saying, addicts should not have children while they continue to be addicts. No one would support child abuse, but those who support addicts having children are supporting "parents" that cause brain damage to unborn children (let alone the damage done to the children growing up with parents that use drugs).

  • Comment number 24.

    Its a poor man's Eugenics. Sick thinking by any standard. The group should be prosecuted.

  • Comment number 25.

    After reading the BBC article, the question, and the comments posted here - it is apparent to me that most of you have not seen Project Prevention's site. Click the link and see what this site actually does before you write it off as a "Eugenic operation" or "U.S. conspiracy".

    As someone who suffered at the hands of alcohol and drug dependent parents, I support this group. Birth control should be a part of a drug treatment regime - because if you can't take care of yourself you can not take care of children. So I'm glad a non-profit organization is taking it upon themselves to offer birth control, and sterilization, to drug addicts.

    Most readers will probably find the "Statistics" tab on the Project Preventions site to be rather enlightening. For instance, there you find out that most people don't choose to be sterilized, and that all those have already have multiple children in the orphanage system.

  • Comment number 26.

    I think that the woman behind this really believes that she is doing the right thing but I think it is wrong. I have an 18 month old son who has a lovely little life.

    I was addicted to crack and heroin for 4 years, getting clean and sober in 2006. I was absolutely desperate for most of that time and if that woman was bribing people while I was in active addiction, I would have gone through with it purely to spend it on crack and heroin. Within 24 - 48 hours that money would have gone up in smoke, literally. And then I would be cursing myself for being so ridiculously stupid, and then I would think out how to get more money for more drugs. All my money was spent on drugs - every single penny.

    Now I have a great, fulfilling and successful life. I have a partner and a son who add tremendously to the joy in my life. If I had undergone that sterilisation, my son would not exist.

    What about all the others like me who break free from active addiction and go on to lead very normal and law-abiding lives? Should they be punished forever for being coerced into being sterilised? Addicts are not subhuman. They need our help to get on the straight and narrow, not money to buy more drugs.

    That lady and her "charity" should put the money into a fund to get serious users that have hit rock bottom into rehab and out living again. It would be money going to a much better use and human rights would not be violated in the process.

  • Comment number 27.

    To all those on the moral high ground here, I am wondering - how many of you have actually worked with children of addicts? As an inner city primary school teacher, I have. When you see the damage that is done to children through drug abuse, then prevention of unplanned pregnancy is paramount. Speak to the 7 year old girl that I did, who was locked in a room with 5 other young children for hours at a time at weekends, changing the dirty nappies of her baby brother and other little ones, while her parents and their friends took their hits. Or speak to my sister, a nurse in special baby care who sees the complication & suffering of babies born prematurely, addicted to methadone or heroin.
    I would never support forced sterilisation, but this is giving addicts the choice. I agree with 14. its not a perfect solution but I hope to see more of this.

  • Comment number 28.

    "It exploits very vulnerable people who are addicted to drugs and alcohol at probably the lowest point in their lives"
    Exactly- they ARE vulnerable addicts so can hardly look after themselves never mind a child! They SHOULD be sterilized. Also the state is already struggling with benefits!

  • Comment number 29.

    I would be favor of if it is the form of sterilization that is reversible
    and those who volunteer can get the procedure reversed once they get back on there feet and are clean for reasonable period of time.

  • Comment number 30.

    It may be true that £200 will go straight on drugs but that might save a burglary or a night's prostitution at the very least - which is where a majority of drug users will get the money to feed their addiction.

    I have mixed feelings about this. One part of me says that children born to addicted parents have virtually no prospects except a cruel start to life and no hope whatever mixed with the possibility that some drug users do get rehabilitated and do become useful members of society. Should those who do be denied the possibility of a family?

    However, starting a family is a highly responsible undertaking - never to be undertaken lightly.

    What I don't know is if a rehabilitated drug user still passes drug dependancy on to their offspring?

    Reversible sterilisation may therefore be a good option.

  • Comment number 31.

    Have any of you ever met a child who had been conceived while his/her parents were addicted to drugs or alcohol?? THOSE potential members of our society are the ones we should be thinking about. It's THEIR rights we should be focusing and debating on. Drug addicts might not always be fit to decide over being sterilized, so yes, the money gives them an attractive incentive to do so, because that means they are also not fit to have a child. They could potentially ruin two lives ( one innocent, with no choice given), instead of living with the consequences their own decisions have brought. What we do HAS consequences, people! Positive or negative; and in this case, taking away drug-addicted persons' ability to have a child is a positive consequence for society more than it is a negative.

  • Comment number 32.

    Well, this concept of stopping people one doesn’t like from breeding has been tried before.

    It was most notable in Germany of the 1930’s and 40’s.

    The world has already passed judgement on this concept.

  • Comment number 33.

    This was tried in 30s Germany - hardly suprising the US and UK want to emulate.

  • Comment number 34.

    I stopped drinking two years ago after years of alcohol abuse (a bottle of whisky a day). I am going to be a father in Febuary. I work full time, pay my taxes, volunteer my free time. To say people can't turn their lives around is wrong. Addiction is a hard hole to get out of, but myself and many others do it everyday, and taking away their natural purpose in life for a small bribe will only add to addicts guilt and self loathing.
    Horrid idea, typical Americans thinking cash is king.

  • Comment number 35.

    Why not extend this to people on benefits with more than two children.

  • Comment number 36.

    As a child of two former drug addicts I am disgusted by this 'charity' and the posts here supporting this scheme. Myself, brothers and sister are all productive members of society. I have never been in trouble with the police and I have no addiction issues. I am happily married and I have worked and paid taxes for almost twenty years serving this country, are you saying I shouldn't have existed? This is nothing short of eugenics, if we support this, where do you propose we draw the line? This isn't a stance from a moral high ground, this is my life you are debating here.

  • Comment number 37.

    It's an idea that has its attractions - the main one being fewer children having to grow up in the shadow of drug abusing parents. But...

    If simply see this as a way for an individual, who knows their life has gone wrong, volunteering NOT to have children they can't handle, then it's fine. But one would have to wonder how many 'volunteers' see it only as a way to buy the next hit - and how many "undo" operations the NHS is later going to have to fund.

    Also it sets a precedent, it's the first slice of the salami: At some stage someone else could say, 'well, we allowed drug users to be sterilised voluntarily, so why don't we allow people with dangerous driving records to volunteer for sterilisation too as an alternative to a prison sentence, so that they don't pass on their crazy driving genes?' So we'd have to watch out for the next slice(s) and be vigilant.

    I once lived a few doors along from some really heavy duty drunks who were totally unable to bring up their children and saw some of the resulting trauma and troubles those kids had. If this measure prevents kids who would have a life like that from ever being conceived, then I say bring it on - but let's be watchful about how it's used.

    Alan T

  • Comment number 38.

    That is a great Idea for Americans. (living in America)
    But not here PLEASE.
    I seem to remember the CIA doing something similar in women in PERU?

  • Comment number 39.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

  • Comment number 40.

    Yes. It seems a "no brainer" to me.

  • Comment number 41.

    She does offer reversible options as well as sterilisation, but that doesn't make such good headlines. Children born affected by drugs and alcohol have brain damage. For ever. You may not like her but lets look at the real problem and not the hype on this. It is too important to be dragged into headlines/soundbites. There are many thousands of children born, each year, here in the UK, who will be damaged for their whole lives.

    What is wrong with using contraception while you are using drugs and alcohol?

  • Comment number 42.

    In India in (I think) the 1970s, Indira Ghandi encouraged many poor to be sterilised. This was despised by the Western World as inhuman.

  • Comment number 43.

    Absolutely, nobody forced these people to start sticking needles in their arms, and I for one am fed up with pating for them and the damage they do to the rest of society and ultimately their kids. Its not exploitation its looking after the majority of law abiding society, if they and the do-gooders don't like it tough really.

    Why should modern society be bullied into thinking that behaving in an irresponsible and criminal way is acceptable? This is one way to tell these wasters enough is enough.

  • Comment number 44.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

  • Comment number 45.

    This idea seems to be working on the basis that addiction is genetic and therefore by stopping addicts from reproducing you will somehow eradicate addiction. There is absolutely no scientific eveidence to support this theory. There are 2 schools of thought. 1. genetic predisposition 2. enviromental. Nobody knows what causes addiction otherwise we would possibly be on our merry way to getting a cure. This seems a ridiculous answer which people seem far too willing to buy into which just akes it clear that addicts are seen as sub human and beyond help - why are people so opposed to any idea which is compassionate?
    I am a former heroin addict who has ben clean for 12 years and lead a productive and lawful life - I also have had children in my sobriety.

  • Comment number 46.

    I originally thought this was a terrible idea until I listened to the lady who started the charity last year on Radio 4. She made a very sensible argument that people with serious drug problems didn't have control of their lives and so don't use contraception and make very bad choices about sexual partners. The sterilisation didn't help them solve their own problems, but a least stopped them churning out babies who immediately went into a lifetime in the care system. However, we aren't the US. We don't have the attitude that those who fall through the cracks should be left in the gutter and I do think we should have far better treatment for addicts before they reach that point (whether it is cigarettes, alcohol or other drugs).

  • Comment number 47.

    Does include tobacco and alcohol addicts?

  • Comment number 48.

    Yep, do it.

  • Comment number 49.

    What a clever idea! How wonderful, just think of all the children who WON'T be born into a life a misery, illness, abuse, neglect, and then being bounced around foster and care homes for the rest of their lives. That is of course, if they are lucky enough not to be forced into prostitution to pay for their parent's habit, and don't think it doesn't happen.
    For once the American are spot on, and it's no surprise that us hand-wringing liberals are whining about "rights" of the addict to have babies. Really? What about the child? What about the right of the child to be born healthy, to loving, caring parents.


    Of course, I don't really have the right to comment, as I'm not the child of an addict, or an addict - maybe we should ask some people who were born to addicts, I reckon they'd be all for it.

  • Comment number 50.

    Parents who 'smack' their children should also be sterilised and the children taken into care.

  • Comment number 51.

    People who disagree with my point of view should also be sterilised.

  • Comment number 52.

    People who propose sterilisation as a solution should be sterilised.

  • Comment number 53.

    My opinion is that it is none of my business.

    It is up to the charity to decide how it spends the money that people have decided to give it, knowing its intentions. It is up to addicts to decide if they wish to take up the offer...

    If you don't like the idea, don't donate to that particular charity. Give your money to a charity that does something that you do agree with instead. Or get out there and support addicts to either kick their habit or live with it... whatever you think is best.

  • Comment number 54.

    Yes, sterilisation is a useful tool as addicts are incapable of bringing up children.

    However, having taken away their "right to breed", we should then leave addicts alone and legalise heroin.

  • Comment number 55.

    No. Whilst I fully support anyone who suggests that children should be removed from families where there is drug addiction, as happened to a relative of mine, I cannot agree with this scheme for so many reasons.
    Addicts will jump at the chance to get their next fixes paid for, so of course this will become popular amongst that community, but what happens when the 18-year-old druggie becomes clean, gets a good job, is in a stable relationship and has a lovely home, but wants to have kids? They have no hope of adopting or fostering because of their past, so that's that and all because of a decision made while under the influence of drugs and the pressure of Evangelists!
    Also, this smacks eerily of Eugenics to me, as practised in Germany in the 1930's and '40's, and surely we never want to go down that road again, FGS?
    Finally, I would rather see money being spent on addicts being rehabilitated than sterilised - with my relative, her child was taken from her and fostered by it's paternal grandparents, she was placed in a unit far from her old haunts where her withdrawal was managed with as little pain to her as possible, but with great success and she went on to marry and have two more children with a new partner, and has even built up a great relationship with her older offspring, now an adult - I doubt any of that would have been possible under this American scheme as she may well have been dead long ago instead!

  • Comment number 56.

    36. At 07:00am on 18 Oct 2010, Carolyne wrote:
    As a child of two former drug addicts I am disgusted by this 'charity' and the posts here supporting this scheme. Myself, brothers and sister are all productive members of society. I have never been in trouble with the police and I have no addiction issues. I am happily married and I have worked and paid taxes for almost twenty years serving this country, are you saying I shouldn't have existed? This is nothing short of eugenics, if we support this, where do you propose we draw the line? This isn't a stance from a moral high ground, this is my life you are debating here.

    ---------------------------------------------

    I'm certainly not saying you shouldn't have existed, but you are the child of FORMER addicts, which means they cleaned themselves up and made a decision to sort their lives out. What about the hopeless mother who puffs on a crack pipe whilst in labour, and creates a very ill, probably premature baby, who she will then neglect, or even sell for a hit? Your parents clearly didn't fall into this category, and when faced with a choice, because it is a choice, to get cash for sterilisation, probably wouldn't have taken it up.

  • Comment number 57.

    There are large numbers of children of addicts in the care system; removed form their parents because they were unable to look after them well.

    Some babies are born with heroin or methadone (from the mother) in their bloodstream; they suffer withdrawal symptoms shortly afterwards.

    Many addicts come from deeply damaged family backgrounds and consequently lack good parenting and life skills.
    Addiction isn't genetic; but studies have shown that addictions (drugs/alcohol) can be found across several generations in some families.

    There is no easy solution to drug addiction; those that think it simply a 'choice' really don't understand the nature of addiction.

    I'd give this project qualified support.

  • Comment number 58.

    I saw the article on this morning's Breakfast news. Maybe we should offer this obese (correct definition) American woman a free stomach stapling and then ask her to send the money she saves on food to some of the starving billions around the world.

  • Comment number 59.

    First sensible idea the Yanks have has in years, but is it not women who get pregnant not men !!

  • Comment number 60.

    Perhaps we should sterilize Americans who come up with ideas like this.

  • Comment number 61.

    47. At 07:26am on 18 Oct 2010, Ax0l0tl wrote:
    Does include tobacco and alcohol addicts?

    ==========================================================


    Tabacco doesn't change your personality and make you incapable.

  • Comment number 62.

    This project takes a very short-term view in my opinion. While people who are addicted to drugs or drink are at a very low part in their lives, that is not to say they will always be that way. What happens if they accept this offer through desperation, then in five years time, they completely turn their lives around? Then, if they wanted to have children, you have deprived them of the ability to do so.
    I honestly think education is the way forward. Maybe I am being naive as I can't say I know much about the subject, but it seems to me to be the old sledge hammer for the nut!

  • Comment number 63.

    Drug addicts could be detoxified, therefore, it is inhuman if they are sterilized to stop being babies. Encouraging them to undergo detoxification is the best way to help them start a new life. Emotion,love and hope always exist in each of us and the children is whatever they expected.

  • Comment number 64.

    50. At 07:29am on 18 Oct 2010, Ax0l0tl wrote:
    Parents who 'smack' their children should also be sterilised and the children taken into care.


    51. At 07:30am on 18 Oct 2010, Ax0l0tl wrote:
    People who disagree with my point of view should also be sterilised.

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    What about the poor as well?

  • Comment number 65.

    Also, what comes next - smokers? Drinkers? Can disabled people be trusted to bring up a child properly? Or those on low incomes? In that case, I know of at least one person who has always worked and paid taxes since she was 17 years old that wouldn't be here today - my daughter, as her father was disabled and not in a well-paid job so we were never well-off, we both smoked and liked a drink in moderation but we did the best we could and instilled in her a work ethic that she still has today in her 30's. She pays a huge amount of tax and NI and has never smoked herself, but if her father had been sterilised...............

    I rest my case.

  • Comment number 66.

    I wonder what the reaction in the U.S. would be if a British 'charity' pulled a stunt like this in the States?

  • Comment number 67.

    It’s all very well to say this is wrong because the people are vulnerable etc etc, but what about the children they will produce, what sort of life will they have. I think if all other measures to clean up this section of society have failed then sterilization is a good idea. It’s high time everyone took responsibility for there actions and stop relying on the state to bail them out. The welfare state is for people who fall on hard times, not for people to live there life on drugs and no work

  • Comment number 68.

    Absolutely. Alcoholics should also be included.

  • Comment number 69.

    Have you ever seen a baby born and going through drug or alcohol withdrawl?
    Have you ever seen a child suffering the after effects of drug additiction caused by its mother?
    Have you seen the terrible lives these kids are forced to live because their parents are addicts and put their drug use first?
    If you have seen this then you will know that serious junkies will never change and they will have sex and produce childen. These are not 'benefit' babies born for the money, these are accidents, unwanted children who will endure terrible upbringings and suffer the devestation of parental drug addiction. They will carry the guilt of their parents habbits and put up with neglect and abuse. If we can stop these children being born it will save a lot of heatache in the future.

    And yes I have seen and dealt with this first hand, so I do know what I am talking about,

  • Comment number 70.

    Lets ask ourselves why mrs Harris and her followers feel they can make this choice for so many unborn children. Why does she believe that these children have no right to be born?

    As her attitude toward these children is very unsettling, I question her ability to raise drug abused children and wonder why Social Services doesnt see the danger these children may be facing under her 'care'.

    Mr. Gettingeducated (no.25) informs us he is the result of drug addicted parents yet he chooses to continue to live his life.
    -Let everyone have this same choice.

  • Comment number 71.

    Of course they should, Mein Fuhrer!

  • Comment number 72.

    Making a life-altering decision whilst under the known influence of drugs seems to be a recipe for litigation when and if the addicts sober up.

  • Comment number 73.

    At 01:32am on 18 Oct 2010, Rob wrote:
    End your bloodline for £200 [Or a 2-day drug binge].

    It's scandalous. What kind of Charity would hand money to a drug addict, KNOWING what it will be spent on?

    ========================================

    I think it's called the DSS Rob

  • Comment number 74.

    This is nothing more than a thinly veiled attempt at eugenics. It is repulsive, exploitative, inhumane and belongs back in the 20th Century. Britain put an end to Nazi-style eugenics in 1945 and to allow it reach our shores is a dishonor to this country and what it stands for.

  • Comment number 75.

    Maybe where a qualified doctor has advised it on strictly medical criteria any person who is likely to pass on a life-threatening hereditary disease might be offered the option. But drug addiction does not meet this condition. If a person cannot say no to drugs, perhaps informed consent to sterilisation isn't possible either. Anyway, the lure of money to a junkie when her defences are low or where her partner sees ready money is an unreasonable pressure. This is not the same as persuading a person who is drunk to get a tattoo - this is eugenics. It also implies that the addict is a lost cause and may never recover. Sadly the trauma of suddenly realising that they will never have children might well give impetus to the downward spiral. How long before some red-neck starts to say 'why not make it compulsory? Why not sterilise people addicted to crime?' There is a smell of fundamentalism about this and it ought to be stopped!

  • Comment number 76.

    Having children is a huge responsibility and should be treated as such. Contraception is free. How about offering addicts £20 in supermarket vouchers for agreeing to go to a contraceptive clinic and take up one of the many options available? E.g. the coil - you fit it, forget about it, and take it out when you're ready to have children.

  • Comment number 77.

    Absolutely the right thing to do. Children born into a drug-using environment are at a major disadvantage before they have even had their first beating from these parasites.

  • Comment number 78.

    Should addicts be encouraged to be sterilised?

    Wow. Just wow.

    I can see an argument for forced treatment. I can even see the argument for forced contraception while addicted.

    But permanent sterilisation? Like its not possible to overcome addiction?

    Just goes to prove the old saying.

    'The American Christian Right is neither'.

  • Comment number 79.

    I am the child of a user and I completely agree with this charity's actions. The population growth rate is out of control and we have to start somewhere. Not everybody should have the privilege of giving birth in today's world, there are plenty of abandoned children that are in need of a good home already.

    #70 You can't make a choice when you don't yet exist, that is one major difference between prevention and euthanasia. You are arguing for the rights of an unfertilized egg and a sperm, aren't there more important things for you to be doing?

  • Comment number 80.

    If they are so concerned why dont they donate the money to REHAB clinics in the UK instead? Maybe a sterilisation program is most important and drugs the excuse.

  • Comment number 81.

    Next on the agenda:

    Sterilise the Homeless
    Sterilise the Handicapped
    Sterilise the Obese
    Sterilise the Subaverage Intelligent (i.e. those who adovocate sterilisation)
    Sterilise the aged 30+
    Sterilise the Unemployed
    Sterilise the Dwarves
    Sterilise those with Hereditary Abnormalities


    All of these have a more difficult time raising children, or have an implied increased risk deformity. If you're going to use the excuse for one, then the excuse applies to the whole range.

  • Comment number 82.

    This is an excellent idea. My parents have been fostering children for the local authority for the last twenty years and a significant proprotion of those children came from parents who were drug abusers or alcoholics. In a number of cases the children had been born either drug or alcohol dependant. I think that it is high time that we tried to put the children's interests first.

  • Comment number 83.

    This is on parr with ethnic cleansing by eugenics, Josef Mengele would be proud. So no!

  • Comment number 84.

    @ Post 73 by ClaudeBalls

    The DSS is an equal opportunity provider.
    It does not pretend to be a Charity.

  • Comment number 85.

    If this "charity" intentionally targets female drug addicts, why was it's first victim a male?

  • Comment number 86.

    We are already grossly over-populated.
    People who can't look after children adequately should not be allowed to have them, period, and if this bribe is necessary to persuade them, well, fine. £200 won't buy them much in the way of drugs anyway.
    I would also offer the same to anyone with more than two children who is on benefits, and to anyone who has already been convicted of a child abuse offence.

  • Comment number 87.

    The Bible says, "I knew you before I formed you in the womb". This sits in a strange juxtaposition with what is effectively social reconstructionism. The charity does not recognise the full implications of what it is advocating. Rehabilitation should always be the primary option but at the same time, those who commit crimes should be incarcerated or institutionalised for everyone's benefit, and afforded all opportunities for restoration and reformation. Sterilisation may be an option, but it should be free.

  • Comment number 88.

    Far too narrow a scope to this, it should include all the riff raff in this country. After all we need to keep the proll numbers down to a practical amount for wealth production, we can't let them breed like rabbits.

    However, it's a start, next we should be looking at enforced sterilisation for benefit scroungers.

  • Comment number 89.

    This just seems evil...

  • Comment number 90.

    A quote from the NHS information website:
    “If you feel anxious or uncomfortable about the procedure, or if you think you would suffer mentally from being sterile, then it is not the best type of contraception for you.”

    The last thing drug addicts want is a further decrease in feelings of self worth and the reduction in self esteem as this can only hinder their recovery. Addiction is an illness, would you promote sterilisation for any other group of sick people whose illness would make them less effective parents.

    Another point is that as HIV is more prevalent in the drug injecting community, you don’t want to do anything to discourage the use of condoms and yes, condoms are available free from the NHS.

  • Comment number 91.

    Sure. Steralise them - why not, they're already effectively dead. Drug addiction is simply slow suicide.

    In approx 15 mins I'll leave for work, I'll drive past a chemist roudn the corner from the needle exchange here. It's where the scagheads get their methadone. At 2 minutes to nine there'll be a queue of around a dozen weasel faced scrotes shivering, waiting for their State-funded fix. That's if they havent' already kicked the door in on a Sunday night,that's a regular occurance. What kind of life is it, where a getting through a long Sunday is some kind of herculean task? In this little town getting on for 1% of the adult population are drink or drug addicts; yet the govt says the greatest threat facing the UK is terrorism...

    Steralise them, castrate them, bulldoze them into landfill - I don't care. Anything that removes these morons who intentionall choose addiction has got to be good. But here's another thought - why don't we stop *paying* them to be addicts? Disability living allowance pays vastly more than the dole, and we actually class heroin addiction as a disability!

  • Comment number 92.

    72. At 08:12am on 18 Oct 2010, Trina wrote:
    Making a life-altering decision whilst under the known influence of drugs seems to be a recipe for litigation when and if the addicts sober up
    -----------------------------------------------
    Oooh I just knew this one would get trotted out! So, on that case an addict cannot have any medical proceedure whatsoever, because they are not in a fit state to consent.

  • Comment number 93.

    Who gave these people permission to come into the UK to practice their eugenics by bribery anyway?

  • Comment number 94.

    #32 and others - Compulsory eugenic sterilisation was law in the US in the 1920's and developed from eugenic voluntary sterilisation. The UK had a similar set of ideas fronted by Marie Stopes and others but never had state backing. Hitler took all of these ideas to their final solution. This seems to be a bad case of "here we go again"?

    Perhaps Project Prevention should google "Buck v Bell" and learn about what happened in the USA when the state took up this now discredited pseudo - science.

  • Comment number 95.

    What's the problem? Its their choice.....I would make it compulsory.

  • Comment number 96.

    Can anyone explain to me any benefit to a drug addict getting pregnant? Forget all the nonsense (I'd use a stronger word but the mods won't let me) about 'rights' and 'morals' because a child born to a heroin addict will be born undergoing cold turkey, will be seriously underweight, potentially could be born HIV+ etc. The child will be dependent on benefits at a time when the govt is axing benefits and far more likely to die of cot death or neglect than a child born to a 'clean' parent and as a result will be instantly on the 'at risk' register.

    This isn't the third Reich. The addicts aren't being forced to be sterilised. They're being offered a small bribe, thats all.

    Incidentally the guy on TV this morning said he was going to use his £200 to pay off his overdue rent. He was maybe even telling the truth.

  • Comment number 97.

    As outrageous as this concept is, it's worth looking at ways to control population growth. Many of us are interested in the idea of parental vetting! Now there's a topic many of us have discussed over tea & coffee... (but wouldn't dare to go public on...)

  • Comment number 98.

    They should be sterilised to stop them having children, but no way should they be paid, sterilisation should be statuatory.

  • Comment number 99.

    Its always about money.

    What if these addicts are teenagers or early 20 somethings who have no desire now to be parents but who may clean up their act & be good prospective parents later.

    I had no desire in my 20s to be a parent but now I'm 31 and really hope to be a parent soon.

    What an ethical dilemma which I'm sure will be discussed on HYS.

  • Comment number 100.

    Why stop at drug addicts ?

    Why not sterilise everyone who is on the dole ?

    Everyone who is not in the top tax bracket ?

    Everyone without a hereditary peerage ?

    This is tricky really because I actually do regard breeding as a privilege, not a right. Once you have established that, it's just a case of where you draw the line for breeders / non-breeders.

 

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