Sterilising junkies may seem harsh, but it does make sense [Link]
The Irish Independent
By Ian O'Doherty Friday February 18 2011
"So, there I am, sitting in a cab on the quays when trouble breaks out between a bunch of junkies on the pavement across the road. Nothing unusual there, of course."So in case you didn't get all that the first time, heroin users are junkies, feral worthless scumbags and vermin. O'Doherty "hates junkies more than anything else" and if they "...were to die tomorrow I would cheer."
"After all, anyone who spends any time in Dublin's city centre will see these feral, worthless scumbags getting up to mischief all the time -- but this bit of aggro was different."
"Let's get a few things straight -- I hate junkies more than anything else. I hate their greed, their stupidity, their constant sense of self pity, they way they can justify their behaviour, the damage they do to their own family and to others. If every junkie in this country were to die tomorrow I would cheer."
"That might seem a little on the harsh side but anyone who has ever seen a family member become a junkie will understand exactly where I am coming from."
"And, also, there is a distinction between an addict and a junkie. An addict is someone who has developed a habit that they're trying to shake. A junkie, on the other hand, is the one who breaks into his own brother's house and steals stuff; a junkie is the one who will rob you blind and sell valuables that you have worked and saved for and then sell it for a tenner bag of smack. They are worthless."
"So I was interested to see the initiative by Dublin doctor and addiction expert Dr Patrick Troy who wants to offer junkies €220 to be sterilised. It might seem harsh at first, but when you think about it the scheme makes perfect sense."
"And, as is often the case, there was more sympathy for them than for the victims of their crimes. But what's often lost in the haze of argument is that the biggest victims of these vermin are the kids themselves."
While these editorials spewing vitriolic attacks against people who use drugs have been less frequent in modern times, the views O'Doherty holds are sadly all too common. Although few people come out and say it so plainly, many people would happily round up all illicit drug users, sterilize them and take away their children. The War on (some) Drugs implicitly supports the notion that users of certain drugs are deviants deserving dehumanizing treatment. Sterilization has long been used as a weapon by campaigns against people scapegoated by those in power. It has a long history of being used by tyrannical regimes as part of eugenics campaigns and was one of the first laws passed by Hitler after taking control of Germany (Law for the Prevention of Hereditary Diseased Offspring). Although before Hitler eugenics was popular within the United States resulting in many state laws that permitted the forced sterilization of prostitutes, mental patients, criminals, addicts and other popular targets of scapegoating. Following World War Two coercion for forced sterilization has been recognized as a crime against humanity by the International Criminal Court.
O'Doherty would argue that since the individual is being paid and the sterilization is not mandatory it is not a crime. This claim is an obviously transparent attack on people who use drugs while superficially seeming like a viable public health measure. People who use illicit drugs are some of the most vulnerable segments of society. It's not hard to imagine our poor junkie brothers and sisters getting desperate enough to undergo sterilization in order to get some money and keep THE SICKNESS at bay at least a little longer. These programs take advantage of the prohibition-caused price inflation of illicit drugs to achieve a modern campaign of eugenics.
Sadly programs like this are also active within the Unites States. Project Prevention (formerly called Children Requiring a Caring Kommunity or by the not-so-subtle acronym CRACK) uses winning slogans like “Don’t let a pregnancy ruin your drug habit,” “Get birth control, get ca$h,” and “She has her daddy’s eyes…and her mommy’s heroin addiction" to promote their offer of $300 to women in exchange for implanting long-term birth control or undergoing sterilization. Super-bitch and Hitler wannabe Barbara Harris, the founder of Project Prevention, claims to care about the children of drug-dependent women but is more interested in continuing the global campaign to dehumanize people who use drugs. Prior to starting CRACK Harris campaigned to have California jail drug dependent mothers unless they agreed to implants or sterilization.
“We don’t allow dogs to breed...We spay them. We neuter them... We try to keep them from having unwanted puppies, and yet these women are literally having litters of children...It’s the truth—they don’t just have one and two babies, they have litters.” 
But wait it gets worse. Project Prevention hired British psychologist Chris Brand, a racist fuckwad who, according to Barry Yeoman writing in Mother Jones [Link], is a "self-proclaimed 'race realist,' claims that blacks are intellectually inferior to whites, and advocates taking a 'eugenic' approach to 'wanton and criminal females.'" Prior to joining Project Prevention Brand was fired from his tenured position at Edinburgh University. Interestingly while Brand thinks women who use drugs should be sterilized, he also believes that sex with children 12 and over should be legal. These are the thoughts of a man with a deeply perverse sense of morality. Sex with children? Good. Women who use drugs? Bad.
"Both the American Civil Liberties Union and Planned Parenthood say...and many bioethicists agree...Rewarding someone for having a surgical procedure, they note, violates a basic principle of medical ethics: Health care decisions should be made by patients, without any form of pressure,”'Thankfully due to the efforts of people like Stuart Sorenson, a mental health and addiction worker, a campaign in 2010 to shut down Project Prevention in the UK was successful. Sorenson says, “It’s not up to me to decide who has value. Any organization that thinks it’s OK to decide who has the right to live is arrogant in the extreme.” and “It’s essentially a form of eugenics dressed up in a thin veneer of compassion.”
“The greatest harm of Project Prevention is that they are a propaganda machine used against pregnant women to take away their civil and human rights.”
This has not stopped Project Prevention from waging its campaign against women who use drugs. After the outcry in the UK resulting in Project Prevention having to close up shop, they have set their sites on Kenya which is far less likely to organized resistance. The poverty in Kenya also works to their advantage, where the average per-capita GDP is about $300 the women can be bought off for only $40.
As the War on (some) Drugs becomes more and more untenable, these campaigns to exterminate people who use drugs are being seen for what they are. They may have been able to play on popular prejudices at the height of the "crack epidemic" but thankfully there are now organizations that call out O'Doherty on his hate-speech and open support of crimes against humanity.
Irish Press Ombudsman upholds complaint from coalition of drug services [Link]
"On 23 May 2011, the Press Ombudsman of Ireland upheld a complaint lodged by a coalition of national and international drug services against the Irish Independent, the country’s largest circulation broadsheet. The complaint was filed by the International Harm Reduction Association, the Irish Needle Exchange Forum and the CityWide Drugs Crisis Campaign, with the support of approximately thirty Irish drugs services and professionals."Quotes from Should Addicts Be Sterilized? by Jed Bickman [Link]
"However, the more serious claim was made under Principle 8 on ‘Prejudice’, which states: Newspapers and periodicals shall not publish material intended or likely to cause grave offence or stir up hatred against an individual or group on the basis of their race, religion, nationality, colour, ethnic origin, membership of the travelling community, gender, sexual orientation, marital status, disability, illness or age. In essence, the complainants were asking that the Press Ombudsman recognise people who use drugs as an identifiable group, entitled to protections against hate-type speech in the press. In particular, the complaints argued that because drug dependency is recognised as a chronic and relapsing disease by many authorities, including the World Health Organization and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, that O’Doherty’s column ‘is not only a hateful attack a vulnerable population with a recognised medical condition, it also ignores the well-established link between drug use and depression, mental illness, alcohol use and homelessness.’"
"The Press Ombudsman upheld the main element of the complaint, finding that the newspaper ‘breached Principle 8 (Prejudice) of the Code of Practice for Newspapers and Magazines because it was likely to cause grave offence to or stir up hatred against individuals or groups addicted to drugs on the basis of their illness.’"
"This was the first time that the Press Ombudsman in Ireland has found people who use drugs to be an identifiable group, entitled to protections against prejudicial reporting in the media. It may well be the first case of its kind internationally. According to the complainants, ‘We believe this to be the first time that drug users have been identified by a media watchdog as an identifiable group, entitled to protections against hate-type speech in the press. In this sense, we think the decision of the Press Ombudsman has international significance.’"