Ethical Issues with Project Prevention

Topics: Drug addiction, Addiction, Heroin Pages: 9 (3338 words) Published: December 27, 2010
Project Prevention Offers Sterilisation To The Drug Addicts International Corporate Responsibility
November 26, 2010

Charity offers UK drug addicts £200 to be sterilised.
Drug addicts across the UK are being offered money to be sterilised by Project Prevention-an American charity.
Charity is offering £200 to any drug user in London, Bristol, Leicester and parts of Wales 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. The move has been criticised by some drug charities that work with addicts. Project Prevention founder Barbara Harris admitted her methods amounted to be ‘bribery’, saying that it was the only way to stop babies being physically and mentally damaged by drugs during pregnancy. Drug treatment charity Addaction estimates one million children in the UK are living with parents who abuse drugs. Pregnant addicts can pass on the dependency to the unborn child, leading to organ and brain damage. Barbara Harris set up her charity in North Carolina after adopting the children of a crack addict (“BBC news”, 2010). Damage to children:

Mrs. Harris said: “ The birth mother of my children obviously dabbled in all drugs and alcohol- she literally had a baby every year for eight years. I get very angry about the damage that drugs do to these children”. Charity has already paid to 3500 addicts across the U.S. to be sterilised, now visiting parts of the UK to encourage users to undergo the surgery for cash. John, 38, is the first in the UK to accept the money to have a Vasectomy after being involved in drugs since he was 12. He said: “ It was something that I’d been thinking for a long time. I won’t be able to support a kid; I can just about manage to support myself”. Simon Antrobus, chief executive of Addaction said: “No one wanted to see children brought up in a drug-using environment but no place for Project Prevention in the UK. It exploits people who are addicted to drugs and alcohol at probably the lowest point in their lives”. The Reverend Robert Black, of Victory Outreach, which works with former addicts in east London, said he thought Project Prevention's aims were "very devious" (“BBC news”, 2010).

Reversible Contraception:
Maria Cripps, team leader at Islington's Dovetail service which is part of Cranstoun Drug Services, said: "I think Barbara uses some very extreme examples to get her point across. It might work in America but Great Britain is a very different country." But Reverend Martin Blakebrough, director of Camden's Kaleidoscope Project in north London, said sterilisation was "worth considering" if it was right for the individual. A spokesperson at the British Medical Association said: "The BMA's ethics committee does not have a view on the charity Project Prevention. "As with all requests for treatment, doctors need to be confident that the individual has the capacity to make the specific decision at the time the decision is required. "The BMA's ethics committee also believes that doctors should inform patients of the benefits of reversible contraception so that the patients have more reproductive choices in the future" (“BBC news,” 2010). Over view of Project Prevention charity:

Barbara Harris adopted four of eight children to a crack-addicted woman in Los Angeles. After spending a lot of time watching her children fight through withdrawal, she decided to do something. Mrs. Harris wanted the California legislature to pass a bill that would have it mandatory that after giving birth to a drug addicted baby the birth mother use long-term birth control. However, the bill couldn’t pass which left Mrs. Harris with two options. 1. Do Nothing, and 2. Do Something. Doing nothing was not an option for her so she chosen another option, and the Project Prevention was formed in 1997 (“Project prevention”, 2010). Objectives of Project Prevention:

Main objective of...

References: BBC News London, (October 17, 2010). Charity offers UK drug addicts £200 to be sterilised. Retrieved from
Telegraph. (2010, October 19). Drug addict sterilised for cash but can Barbara Harris save our babies? Retrieved from
University Of Oxford. (2010, October 21). Practical ethics. Retrieved from
Discovery National International. (2010). Home and health. Retrieved from
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