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Gordon's D-Zone Arcive (2006-2014)

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

INFERNAL INSTITUTIONS


I haven’t been following much of what was happening in the world lately. So, it was to my horror that I read about the inhumane treatment children and teenagers are receiving at the Judge Rotenberg Center (JRC). It seems that no one really finds a problem with having children being administered shock therapy. And the claims made by the institution that this treatment is essential to ‘control’ these children’s behavior smacks of a thwarted sense of ethics. Of course, to make things worse, I read that a prankster called the JRC to order the staff to administer electric shocks to two teenagers. The staff, without questioning this order, proceeded to do as instructed.


It’s when I read about these things that I realize that disabled people are still valued less than other people in society. Not only are the treatments going on at JRC unethical and immoral but they are an outright breach of human rights. Had the children been without impairments, would have there been no protests? In addition, I am struck by the fact that if I hadn’t been searching the net, I would have never heard of the appalling treatment the children and young adults sent to JRC are receiving. I believe that support and proper assistance to the children’s families was the only option that should have been considered. I am reminded of Ashley X once again here.


I really wonder how we can call ourselves ‘civilized’ if our children are submitted to torture
because they have impairments we are not able to provide support for. But perhaps, we are really as ‘civilized’ as the ancient Romans or the ancient Spartans who left their ‘unfit’ offspring to die by drowning them in the Tiber or on the foothills of Sparta. Then that would explain a lot. However, the terrible news goes on in Europe as I read a report of another institution – this time in the Czech republic – where disabled children (and adults) are kept for their whole life in ‘caged beds’. Literally, like caged animals – they are fed and seldom receive human contact … and all this in the heart of the European Union! This treatment, at least on paper, is now illegal – but regardless it is still practiced as evidenced by BBC undercover reports.


I haven’t seen anything on Euronews regarding these events. If they had featured on the news they may have done for a short while. I don’t want to belittle other news stories. Undeniably, news stories about the present state of Pakistan or Iraq merit news coverage. But to gloss over these serious breaches of human rights within the EU – with preference to what the latest Hollywood star is doing or whatever – is to me a display of silent approval – or at least passive acceptance of such a conduct.


I tend to see myself as belonging to the human race. I’m not patriotic or allied to a particular culture as such. But it hurts to see others who call themselves ‘civil’ or ‘democratic’ when these crimes against our children continue unchallenged and in silence.

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