“If they overdose and kill themselves, it just removes them from the gene pool.”
State Senator Rob Schaaf, a family physician who argues that allowing the government to keep prescription records violates personal privacy. (Source: NYT; hat tip: @DavidJuurlink)
Published by Jason Schwartz
I have been an addiction professional and social worker since 1994. I started blogging in 2005 as the Clinical Director at Dawn Farm. I no longer work at Dawn Farm and am now the Director of Behavioral Medicine at a community hospital, and a lecturer at Eastern Michigan University’s School of Social Work.
Views expressed here are my own.
Keep in mind that the field, the contexts in which the field operates, and my views have changed over time.
View all posts by Jason Schwartz
6 thoughts on “A sentence to ponder”
Beyond cruel. And what parents of addicts have to listen to all the time.
I have chosen not to produce offspring because of the risk of mental health and addiction problems. So I have voluntarily removed my genes from the gene pool.
On the other hand, why do people have to die. Couldn’t we just offer them a vasectomy instead of 90 days in jail the next time they arrested for DUII (or whatever offense they commit).
I do not understand addicts who think it is alright to gamble with the health of a child because they want a baby. The mom and dad don’t suffer, it is the child that pays the freight on the mom and dad’s selfish desire to have a baby no matter what the risk.
I have no objection to you making a decision to not have children.
At the same time, I’m troubled by the implications of your comments. Should people with other heritable illnesses get sterilized? I also don’t accept that addiction or mental illness are untreatable and permanently disabling conditions.
I’m an addict who also had problems with mental illness and I have two wonderful kids. I hope they never suffer from either illness. I fear that choosing to opt of of this kind of life, for me, would have been a self-fulfilling prophecy of chronic disability. It would fit, for me, with my idea of recovery.
All the best to you.
How ignorant and indicative of, while we have made progress in society in our understanding addiction as a disease, there is still a long way to go.
My other thought is that I’m grateful that Bill or Dr. Bob didn’t die before they got sober. ‘Rremoving their genes from the gene pool’ would have gained society nothing; indeed the cost is incomprehensible!
State Representative Schaaf’s comment contains volumes of evil. If as a nation, we are unable to get better than this from an elected representative (and a physician no less!) we have slid a long way backward in our efforts to become a caring, compassionate, and ethical culture. This is nothing less than a backdoor entry to providing support for eugenics. It is very easy to cite multiple examples of the major contributions made by individuals with heritable diseases including addiction (2 in medicine for starters are Sigmund Freud, and William Halsted). That isn’t the issue. The issue is statements like Representative Schaaf’s should be (but won’t) widely publicized and condemned by people in positions of influence and power. Don’t argue about freedom of speech! He can say whatever he wants but then he has to take the heat for saying it.
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