ADF International

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When disability becomes a death sentence

– MEPs condemn ‘mercy killing’ in other countries, but are turning a blind eye to European abortion laws.

-The Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities has identified antenatal screening policies as potentially discriminatory against unborn persons with disabilities.

European Union (3.5.2018) – MEPs condemn ‘mercy killing’ in other countries, but are turning a blind eye to European abortion laws that discriminate against foetuses on the grounds of disability, writes Alice Neffe.

Alice Neffe is Legal Counsel for ADF International

Last month, the European Parliament condemned “mercy killing”, a practice in Uganda whereby parents of disabled children kill or “allow them to die” by denying them medical attention because of the belief that these children are better off dead than living with a painful and incurable disability. The resolution strongly condemns what it describes as the “unjustifiable and inhumane killing of children and new-borns with disabilities.”

It therefore calls upon the Commission and Member States to support all stakeholders in Uganda in the formulation and implementation of policies addressing the needs and rights of persons with disabilities, “based on non-discrimination and social inclusion, and equal access to healthcare and other social services.” With this resolution, the European Parliament positioned itself as a defender of the most vulnerable in our societies, such as children with disabilities. However, its failure to prevent acts ending the lives of children with disabilities, because of their disability, right here in Europe undermines its overseas proclamations.


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