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Sober Thread: Mentally Challenged and Procreation

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Juice, May 7, 2014.

  1. Juice

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    [​IMG]

    Focus: This picture came up on Reddit and it depicts a mother with mild Downs Syndrome, a father with disabilities, and a normal baby. It prompted an interesting discussion: Should people who are mildly mentally challenged have children? Given the stigma associated with it and what this kid is going to have to endure, I'd say no. But the a gain, there's plenty of families that are pretty fucked up without mental disabilities so where does the line get drawn?
     
  2. Nettdata

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    I say "yes".... let the retards breed; we need a new class of ditch diggers.
     
  3. xrayvision

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    This might just be me being stupid, but I thought because of the chromosomal abnormalities, they weren't able to procreate.

    I also thought that retarded people weren't able to give legit consent. Because if they could, that would open the door to a whole new world of depravity.
     
  4. The Village Idiot

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    While the question isn't phrased this way, ultimately, it is a question that Americans are facing right now on a grand scale. In fact, it may well be the biggest issue in our country.

    "What do we as a society owe to members of that society?"

    If your view of society is essentially 'every man for himself' then I don't know how you can come out any other way than 'people with disabilities get to do whatever they want, same as everyone else.' If no one is responsible for anyone other than their immediate family, I think most people would see that as fundamentally fair. There is an argument (even under that scheme) that 'it's not fair to bring someone into the world with those kind of challenges.' It's a fair argument, obviously it's going to be a much tougher road for people with disabilities. Life is tough enough, why start behind the 8-ball?

    If your view of society is a bit more expansive, such as America currently, you run into a real divide. As always, this issue comes down to money/resources.

    Realistically speaking, disabled children are going to require resources that are beyond the means of most families. Therefore, augmentation of these resources will be necessary through some form of aid programs/tax breaks/etc. If someone is wealthy enough to afford it on their own, you're back to the above argument. It doesn't affect you in any way.

    So ultimately, it comes down to whether or not you (as a taxpayer) are willing to subsidize the choices of others, even when those choices aren't choices you personally agree with or seem 'bad' - like in the above scenario.

    Personally, - and this is purely opinion - I don't feel right telling others what they should or should not do, assuming it doesn't hurt others. I've known many people with disabilities, and they seem happy to be alive, same as me. Just because their road is tougher, I don't get to say 'oh, too bad, so sad - you shouldn't be alive at all.' As such, my personal opinion is I don't mind subsidizing these choices by others. Supporting life, to me, seems like a worthy pursuit of any society. Would I necessarily procreate if I knew there was a high chance of a life altering disability? Probably not. I'm 'normal' and find life to be difficult on most days. But I'm not going to substitute my judgment for the judgment of others.

    In short, living in a society is going to cost you something, and this cost is one I am more than happy to bear. In the end, life is all you get, and I'm happy to pay a few bucks to help others that may need it. But as I said, that's purely opinion.
     
  5. Nettdata

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    If only there was some way to weed out the "members" of society that have no compunction of taking advantage of everyone else; that's my biggest issue.

    Other than that:
     

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  6. toddamus

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    Honestly, I'd rather have a person with downs syndrome have a kid than a schizophrenic. Schizophrenia is amazingly genetic, seems really irresponsible to pass that down to someone. We talk all the time about people with genetic diseases passing them down to kids, some psychiatric disorders follow a very predictable genetic pattern.
     
  7. katokoch

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    There's a family that goes to the church I used to in my hometown and they fall under this focus. The father seems normal, the mother has Down syndrome, and they have two kids. One kid has Down Syndrome but the other is just fine.

    I don't know if things are very different in their household but it appears they are doing just fine. At first I wondered about it, but every time I've seen them (in and out of church) the only thing you might consider out of the ordinary is the mom having Down Syndrome and you wouldn't pick her out of a crowd for that right away too.

    Ultimately I'd say they're doing a better job at parenting so far than any of the non-handicapped parents whose kids were sent to our house for emergency respite care... I can say that with confidence. Sure that won't fly in all cases but I have no qualms over the couple I know of.
     
  8. Nettdata

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    I believe in giving people the benefit of the doubt, so unless there's reason to say "no", let them.

    Preconceived notions around mental health are not valid reasons.
     
  9. Chellie

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    This debate was already held, eugenics ain't new. But let's just pretend that legislation went through that retards aren't permitted breed to reduce the chance of more retards. Do you start giving amniocentesis to every 'normal' pregnancy and abort them if they have an extra chromosome? Do you start saying people with family history of mental illness can't breed? There are genetic tests that can be done for some of those illnesses in the unborn as well. Where do you draw the line?
     
  10. Nettdata

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    They already made a documentary on just that:
     

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  11. toddamus

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    Pretty sure the Nazi's prevented mentally disabled people from procreating by castrating them. No reason to introduce a law that effectively decides who can and can't procreate.
     
  12. xrayvision

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    I don't see the point of what you just said, aside from what feels like an excuse to say 'retards' a lot. As much as people want to try, you can't legislate people wanting to have kids. But they can try to find laws surrounding birth control and abortion and whatnot. If they started to say that people with family history of mental illness couldn't procreate, I wouldn't fucking be here. In China, they had laws surrounding the amount of children a couple could have and the gender of the baby. The result was an overwhelming amount of males in their population and a huge generation gap.

    We aren't talking about eugenics to eliminate a portion of the population because genetic deformities can and will occur in a population based on probability and sometimes, external environmental factors.

    For the bolded portion...

    An amniocentesis is never the first test done in determining the probability of a genetically flawed fetus. There are simple blood tests that determine a percentage of likelihood that something might wrong. Then, they do a normal ultrasound to see if the fetus has any of the soft markers that might indicate something wrong at the chromosomal level. Nuchal thickness, stomach and intestine abnormalities, skull and brain deformities, and umbilical cord defects. Typically, after that takes place, they may or may not do an amnio. Amnio isn't done all willy nilly. Its only performed if there is a significant chance of something being wrong.
     
  13. CharlesJohnson

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    Christ. Imagine being the normal kid living in that circus. Mom is halfway responsible when My Little Pony isn't on, but dad is on disability because he got stressed at work and used his bare hands to get the French Fries out of the deep fryer. Your toddler brother is flinging his own shit mixed with the dog's shit, but the dog has been fed nothing but baked beans and chocolate for the past week and is dying. You learned out the hard way about hygiene when every kid in class beat the fuck out of you for being the stinky kid. The fridge is empty except for soda. All your parents' friends are more tards from "the home." They bug you constantly because you look like Chris Farley and they all smell like a drainage ditch. One of them gets scared at a passing helicopter, putting his fist through the wall to your bedroom. Your parents wake you up 3 a.m. on a school night because they thought they heard the ice cream truck and they need you to count out exact change. The change they give you is your old play money. Thursday is family game night. Dad cries when he loses so you just let him win... tic tac toe.

    Or it actually works out with some challenges because life isn't a Farrelly Brothers movie. Often. Usually.
     
  14. Juice

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    So Dixiebandits house?
     
  15. PIMPTRESS

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    Great. More retards reproducing. I'm sure there are worse parents out there so I won't go into any moral support of my acceptance. As long as they take care of their child and love it-awesome.

    I'd prefer to see this than something like Kesha holding a baby that fell outta her gash. Could you imagine?!
     
  16. Noland

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    No one is saying retards can't exist. I don't think anyone is advocating eugenics.

    The question is whether they can have children of their own which begs the question of whether or not they can be fit parents. Look at some of the non-retards that have children and some of the awful things they do and no one told them beforehand they couldn't have children. Let the Down's parents fuck away to their heart's content. At least they'll be kind.

    The right to have children, in the US anyway, is one of those Court created Constitutionally guaranteed rights that has the same level of freedom from governmental interference as the First Amendment protections (speech, press, religion assembly).

    I would be astounded if this question hasn't been raised in some family court somewhere, but I'm too lazy to spend time looking it up. It is, however, essentially impossible for a law to withstand the "prior restraint" test the Courts have put in place to protect freedom of speech, so I think this is pretty much an interesting intellectual discussion rather than a practical one.
     
  17. Misanthropic

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    No need to invoke the Nazi bogeyman. More than thirty states in the good ole U S of A, including Virgina into the 1970s, had eugenics programs, where they would sterilize the "mentally defective".

    As for sterility, mental capacity has nothing to do with the ability to procreate - folks with Down's syndrome can have children just like you or I, and the mental defficiencies aren't necessarily carried over into their children. I've known mentally disabled folks with normal children.
     
  18. FreeCorps

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    All I know is that if my younger brother ever had a child there is no way he'd ever be able to care for it. But as many have mentioned, we already have plenty of people having children who have no business doing so.
     
  19. Robbie Clark

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    And despite how shitty the adoption system is in the US, there are plenty of people willing to take the responsibility for caring for children from those not capable.
     
  20. Chellie

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    I was absolutely not saying the mentally challenged shouldn't exist. The definition of eugenics I was going off is (admittedly) straight from Wikipedia:

    Eugenics (/juːˈdʒɛnɪks/; from Greek eu, meaning "good/well", and -genēs, meaning "born") is the belief and practice of improving the genetic quality of the human population.[2][3] It is a social philosophy advocating the improvement of human genetic traits through the promotion of higher reproduction of people with desired traits (positive eugenics), and reduced reproduction of people with less-desired or undesired traits (negative eugenics).[4] - to me it seems like this is awfully similar to people who say 'no, the handicapped should not be able to have children.

    Judging from some rep I got, it seems my post somehow came across as me advocating that they shouldn't be allowed, which was absolutely not my intention, I don't think anyone has the right to make that decision for someone else. Unless they're from Florida. In which case, it's not because they're handicapped, it's because they're Floridians.