Should drug addicted mothers be sterilized ?

Topics: Drug addiction, Addiction, Human rights Pages: 9 (2473 words) Published: April 24, 2014

Should Drug Addicted Mothers be Sterilized?

Sterilization is the surgical process after which a person can no longer reproduce. The process in permanent and irreversible. It is a choice for people but laws are considering to enforce it on the unfortunate group of drug-addicted mothers. The drug-addicted mothers are wholly held responsible for the Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS), a group of problems that a new born has to face because the mother was dependant on illegal or prescribed drugs. The baby becomes addicted with the mother, and is still dependent on drug at the time of birth. With an increase in the number of babies born addicted to drugs, the lawmakers considered forced sterilization upon drug-addicted mothers as the most effective solution to eradicate this issue forever. However, such a prospect is appalling as it violates human rights, contradicts established laws, legalizes the practice of eugenics, and is a very risky process. Giving birth is a woman’s inherent right and nobody can take this right away from her, whatever the circumstances. This is not just a general statement. The violation of inherent human rights and the protection of social groups in danger are two topics that are widely discussed repeatedly in the treaties of international laws of human rights. Why does a drug-addicted mother look up to these rights when she seeks for protection against violation of her rights? This is because she is promised the right to family, privacy, social security, the right to exercise her rights and her consent in any sort of decision that affects her. The declaration of these rights can be traced back to the international community, UN General Assembly, which vowed never to let an atrocity like the deathly Second World War arise again. This resulted in the documentation of Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which is a common standard of achievement for all nations and it secures the rights and dignity of the people in every nation. It is a general statement of humanity that guarantees the rights of every individual. For years, different minority groups, like homosexuals and transgenders, have used the articles mention in this document to strive for their rights. The increase in the number of drug-addicted mothers today has made this group a significant part of this world. The laws just cannot humiliate this group by enforcing sterilization upon it. In an effort to save themselves from such an inhumane act, drug-addicted mothers point out the basic fundamental rights granted to every individual in this world. The prominent articles of United Nations Charter that ethically and morally reject the idea of enforced sterilization are “Article 5 “No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment”, Article 7 “All are equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination to equal protection of the law. All are entitled to equal protection against any discrimination in violation of this Declaration and against any incitement to such discrimination”, Article 8 “Everyone has the right to an effective remedy by the competent national tribunals for acts violating the fundamental rights granted him by the constitution or by law”, Article 12 “No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to attacks upon his honor and reputation. Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks”, Article 16 “Men and women of full age, without any limitation due to race, nationality or religion, have the right to marry and to found a family. They are entitled to equal rights as to marriage, during marriage and at its dissolution. (3) The family is the natural and fundamental group unit of society and is entitled to protection by society and the State”, Article 22 “Everyone, as a member of society, has the right to social security and is entitled to realization, through national...

Cited: "Charter, United Nations, Chapter III: Organs." UN News Center. UN, n.d. Web. .
"Drug Addiction Not a Criminal Issue, Says Chief Medical Officer." Guardian News and Media, 19 Aug. 2013. Web. .
"Sterilization Abuse: A Task for the Women 's Movement." Sterilization Abuse: A Task for the Women 's Movement. N.p., n.d. Web. .
"UN Secretary-General: Drug Addiction a Disease, Not a Crime." RSS. N.p., n.d. Web. .
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