Speach on the value of human life to The Trustees of the Center for Human Values, Princeton University April 14, 1999

Disability activist, Justin Dart, condemns the appointment and ethics of Princeton's Bioethics professor, Dr. Peter Singer. Internet publication URL: www.independentliving.org/docs4/dart99a.html

Fact Sheet on Peter Singer from Not Dead Yet!

Other letters protesting the hiring of Peter Singer, by:

 


Dear Colleagues:

Princeton University's Center for Human Values recently employed Dr. Peter Singer as a professor of Bioethics. Dr. Singer states "Killing a disabled infant is not morally equivalent to killing a person. Very often it is not wrong at all."

In the context of Kervorkian's well publicized assertion that many people with disabilities are better off dead, I am horrified that the prestige of Princeton University is now supporting a man who advocates killing babies with disabilities. This message will go out through the media to pollute the thinking of every person, every family member, every government official, every medical person, every educator, every potential employer, who will make decisions impacting the lives of people with disabilities.

"Why should I sacrifice extra time or resources to support these semi-humans, many of whom are better off dead?"

Equally horrible, the prestige of Princeton will seem to condone the murder of babies with disabilities in the nations where this barbarian practice still exists.

My granddaughter, Dana Washington, was born with a seemingly hopeless medical situation. The doctors said, "she can not live. If she does live, she will not be fully human - let her go." Her parents insisted on Hail Mary procedures. Now she is an A student in high school, a cheerleader, a journalist, a ballerina, and a civil rights leader.

It is impossible to predict the miracles of science. It is impossible to justify any kind of science and utilitarianism that is not dedicated totally to the sacred value of the continuum of human life: individual, family, society, universe - starting always with the individual.

I respectfully implore the Trustees of the Center for Human Values to utilize its enormous prestige for the value of human life.

Justin Dart



This text is courtesy Justice For All. If you support their cause, please write to each of the following:

Princeton University President Harold Shapiro
Trustee Ex-Officio of Princeton University
Harold T. Shapiro, PH.D.,
President of Princeton University Phone: 609-258-6100
Fax: 609-258-1615
Address: One Nassau Hall Department:
Princeton, NJ. 08540
Office of the President
Email: hts@Princeton.EDU

 

Christine Todd Whitman, B.A.,
Princeton Trustee Ex-Officio
Governor of the State of New Jersey
125 West State Street
PO Box 001
Trenton, New Jersey 08625-0001
Phone: (609) 292-6000
TDD: (609) 777-1292
Send the Govenor electronic mail from the website:
http://www.state.nj.us/governor/govmail.htm

 

Princeton Trustee and Alumni
United States Democratic Presidential Candidate
Bill Bradley, M.A.,
Montclair, NJ
Bill Bradley for President
395 Pleasant Valley
Way West Orange, NJ 07052
973-731-2100
888-643-9799
senator@bradley.senate.gov

 

Princeton Trustee and Alumni
Tenn. Senator William H. Frist, M.D.,
Washington, DC
416 Russel Senate Office Building
United States Senate
Washington, D.C.
Phone number: 202/224-3344
TDD number: 202/224-1911
*Mailing Address: Senator Bill Frist
United States Senate
Washington, D.C. 20510-4205
senator_frist@frist.senate.gov

 

Republican United States Republican Presidential Candidate
Steve Forbes - (Bedminster, NJ)
Forbes 2000, Inc.
209 Madison Street
Alexandria, VA 22314
Toll Free
1-877-837-8383
webmaster@forbes2000.com

 


Please Sign the Petition Against the hiring of Peter Singer by email or by mail! This is what we need from you and MUST have in order to submit your signature to the Princeton Administration! We need:
- Your Name:
- Your Mailing Address: (to verify your signatures authenticity to the Administration
- And a brief statement saying (a sentence or two is fine) stating that you are Against the Hiring of Peter Singer.

Please use respectful language. PSAI reserves the right to remove any letter that uses inappropriate language. We fight with truth not slander. If you have already sent us an email and did not include all of this info. PLEASE re-send us a message. PSAIs email is princetonsai@hotmail.edu Please pass the address on to others and urge them to sign on also.

If you want to send us the above info. by mail with your signature you may mail us at

PSAI
c/o Christopher Benek
PO BOX 5204, SBN: 110, PTS
Princeton, NJ, 08543

Visit the web page! The page address is: http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Agora/2900/psai.html


 


from Steve Brown

I am writing to add my voice to those who have protested Princeton's hiring and defending of the ethical philosophies of Peter Singer. Claiming that Dr. Singer has a right to express his opinions is certainly justified and well within the bounds of intellectual freedom. However, hiring someone who publicly devalues some lives compared to others cannot be justified. It is the same kind of logic that alllowed Hitler to build his empire in Germany, Stalin to build his in the Soviet Union and Jack Kevorkian to get away with murder for years. That is exactly what the debate about assisted suicide revolves around. Some people have decided that disabled people are better off dead than alive. This is not new.

Disabled people have been killed since ancient times. The shameful history of the U.S. includes not only the debate over assisted suicide, but forced sterilization, and a eugenics movement which believes its leaders should decided whose lives are worth living. This is why people like myself protested against Kevorkian and protest against the appointment of Peter Singer to Princeton and protest Princeton's disingenuous argument that it is actually looking out for intellectual freedom at the expense of no one. If you think some lives are less valuable than others ask yourself this question: would you volunteer your life for the cause of someone else's belief that it does not have value? If your answer is no, you understand our position. If your answer is yes, fine, then volunteer for the assisted suicide treadmill you are supporting.

For more info:
Steven E. Brown, Founder, Institute on Disability Culture
2260 Sunrise Point Rd.
Las Cruces, NM 88011
USA
(505) 522-5225 (Voice/FAX/TDD)
stebrown@juno.com


 


from Rachel Hurst

Many of my colleagues in the disability movement have voiced their opinions. I would particularly like to support those views expressed by Justin Dart and Marca Bristo.

DAA is an international human rights information network. We disseminate information to and receive information on human rights from 160 countries. Increasingly there are policies, legislation and costs assessments in health care and medical treatment that are based on 'quality adjusted life years'. This has seriously increased the vulnerability of disabled people when trying to obtain treatments, when coming into this life and when going out of it. We are getting an increasing number of reports from all over the world of individuals who are being denied treatment on the grounds that they are disabled people and therefore their lives are not worth living or saving, of disabled people who are having 'do not resuscitate' notices on their notes, of people who are fully aware of what is happening being given medicines to hasten their death.

This measurement system justifies itself with the Singer arguments - that it is for the increase of happiness of others that such individuals should not be a financial or emotional drain on society.

In fact, both Singer and other supporters of 'quality adjusted life years' assessments are satisfying their own prejudices and are in direct opposition to the basic premise of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights that 'All Human Beings are born free and equal in Dignity and Rights'. The Universal Declaration was specifically written as the international response to the eugenics of Naziism - an effort to eradicate that attitude for ever. The Declaration was written by a society who had witnessed massive killings of innocent people and the attempted extinction of ethnic minorities. It was that experience that made society realise that every single life is worthwhile and that society should be organised to ensure that dignity and worth. What Singer and his supporters are advocating is eugenics - plain and simple. Who are we as members of the world society of human beings to say whose life is worthier to be lived than anothers? Who are we to assume that someone whose brain has deteriorated with Alzheimer's has not the right to live out their life to the best of their ability? Who are we to assume that someone who lives within a physically non-functioning body and perhaps with impaired intellectual functioning is not contributing to the sum of total happiness? The arrogance and inhumanity of someone saying that the rest of humanity would be better off if these individuals were dead should not be supported by the international community and it certainly should not be supported by a highly prestigious academic institution such as Princeton.

Of course an academic institution should ensure that all sides of an argument be put to its students, but that is quite different from employing a supporter of eugenics as a reputable member of the faculty of philosophy.

Rachel Hurst
Disability Awareness in Action
11 Belgrave Road,
London SW1V 1RB, UK
TEL: +44 171 834 0477 FAX: +44 171 821 9539
E-mail: DAA_ORG@compuserve.com

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