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As a pro-Lifer, I am extremely disturbed by this news. Ann Widdecombe is right - why should two children of the same age and gestation should be treated differently on no other grounds than physical and mental ability? My partner, a doctor, is *very* pro-choice but even he was appalled by the cleft palate case.

I have often told faith groups - note I am a lapsed Christian - that voting Conservative is usually the best way of preserving life. What to say about Cameron now? He supports lowing the abortion limit but not if the child has a cleft palate? This is a confusing, muddled and immoral position to be in. Given Cameron's personal experiences, he should know better. I hope the pro-Life movement is able to change David’s mind.

This site has a very strong representation of the Christian Right. Probably all of them. I hope we are not going to go the way of the Republican Party.

These are issues of conscience, not of politics.

It seems to me that with modern technology these issues should be handled by referenda co-terminous with general or European elections. In this day and age there is no reason why we should rely on the flaky, influencable judgement of MPs to take these decisions, when it is so easy to devolve it down to ordinary votes. This would be part of Dave's localism agenda and stop us needing to take Party political judgements on issues where party politics are a minor consideration.

Until the disability exception is abolished we are effectively saying that the disabled are second class citizens. If a life is not worthy of being aborted at 21 weeks the same protection should apply to a 'disabled life'.

More anti-choice guff from the moralists.

Well done David Cameron for standing by your principles and for following the conservative values of allowing the individual to decide and not the state.

this could rearly hurt dc unless he fully complies with a no to abortion his rep will be danmaged. BUT i also think it is not wise to bing his personal life in as i think that ixls something wich he cares 100% about buut what i will say is as a disabled person i believew that the abortion law should be made tighter and on this we need to say that this sort of thing isa not acceptable.

I have some sympathy for your view Jonathan,the party really is irrelevant on questions such as this.
This really is an issue of conscience and David Cameron's is as valid,or not, as anybody else.
As the father of a healthy child I would not seek to force my views on anyone else particularly those who have had a different experience.

This is probably the most indefensible part of the "pro-choice manifesto"....

Why is there a limit at 24wks? Because anything past that is considered (by the law) to be either cruel or murder.

A baby after 24wks is treated like a baby that happens to be outside of the womb, which is treated like any living adult.

There is no logical distinction between DCs position and having "mercy mobs" going around killing people with Down Syndrome etc!

The idea that all pro-lifers are Bible-bashers is rather tiresome. I oppose abortion from a human rights PoV. The right to live is a fundamental human right, no?

Cameron is saying that a child without a disability should not be aborted after 21 weeks but a child with disability can be aborted.

This is discrimination. End of story.

Take these statements to see what I mean:

Cameron is saying that a child that is white should not be aborted after 21 weeks but a child that is black can be aborted.

Cameron is saying that a child that is Christian should not be aborted after 21 weeks but a child that is Jewish can be aborted.

Cameron is saying that a child that is straight should not be aborted after 21 weeks but a child that is gay can be aborted.

It also makes a mockery of "compassionate conservatism".

What shocks me about the abortion debate in not so much the cut off date for the abortion but the sheer number. Nearly 200000 babies are killed in this way every year and over 95% for "socail" reasons.

What we need to do here is to introduce measures to stop abortions. Counselling for instance. Every effort must be made to persuade the mother to keep the poor child.

So what if I am from the christian right? I am proud of the fact. We in the Conservative Party need to celebrate that fact!

A gay embryo. What a ridiculous concept.

Cameron has put his foot in it. His stance is simply unprincipled and discriminatory. This is when his lack of experience really shines through.

As for this not being something that politicians should have policies on. What utter piffle. What could be important than issues of life & death. For what other purpose do we elect MPs than to legislate on such issues?

Disabled babies should not be killed as an act of expediency. What sort of society have we become? All life is of equal value.

"A gay embryo. What a ridiculous concept" -not as silly as is sounds. I always ask gay men who are pro-abortion if they would still support it if scientists could find a gay gene. This is a question which even Peter Tatchell struggles to answer.

Sammy you're talking rubbish.

However if the Daily Mail quote is true David Cameron must change his mind.

A 39 week limit is absurd and obscene.
IT IS NOT LIBERAL TO MURDER DISABLED BABIES.

Unfortunately this is a matter that is not above party politics because whether abortion should be legal or not, and if so at what stage in its development a foetus can be aborted, is a matter that needs be supported by the law. A law made in a Sovereign Parliament by our politicians.

Mr Cameron simply cannot cop out of this matter altogether and he knows it. Without starting a long detailed ethical debate on the subject of abortion (there are plenty of good ethics books and journal articles that deal with this subject), at the end of the day it comes down to whether abortion on request should be permitted or not.

In my view, as a health care professional and bio-ethicist, consideration of when it is the best time to abort a foetus is an arbitrary and morally bankrupt position to take. Either support abortion and justify this position, or don’t support it and justify the rationale for not so doing.

Moralising without having to live with the consequences is easy. Long may you all be so lucky.

I simply cannot see the difference between aborting a 39-week 'fetus' and murdering a living human being, just because he or she is 'disabled' - a term which, in this case, presumably includes e.g. Lord Byron and David Starkey, both of whom were born club-footed.

At the risk of sounding sensationalist, I once had quite a distressing conversation with the best friend of a friend's girlfriend. She worked at a clinic where late-term abortions were carried out. Seriously, I think if most of the 'pro choice' people posting here really absorbed the details she described - the practicalities of 'terminating' a life that is, frankly, no more or less capable of independant survival than a full-term baby - they might stop to re-consider some of what they argue with such conviction.

David Cameron really needs to stop and think about the message this sends about how Conservatives value human life, as opposed to expediency, callousness and a serious amount of self-deception.

I find this angle very hard to take. I can understand (though I don´t agree) that many people think that human embryos are not people, and that it is therefore okay to abort them. But what is going on in the mind of someone that believes it okay to kill a near-term embryo with a minor disability, but not okay to kill an able-bodied embryo of the same age? Is it a person, or not? If it is a person, then why would its having a club foot mean it would be okay to kill it? If it isn´´t a person, why should we interfere with a woman´s control over the parasites that live inside her body (i.e. why shouldn´t even able-bodied non-person emrbyos be aborted)?

It doesn´t make any sense to me. I really don´t get it...

This is truly shocking, DC hasn't even proposed changing the definition of what is a "serious disability" to exclude minor problems that can be cured and/or have minor impact on life quality.

The law should see no difference between able and disabled people; all are meant to be equal under the law whether that means the limit is 20 weeks or whatever. Set a limit and it should apply to everyone, just as murder laws defend everyone.

We have a limit because after a certain time we see the baby as a living thing like the rest of us. A living thing like the rest of us gets the same legal protection as us. Why is "terminating" someone with a disability different to one without? What next, mercy killings for unsuspecting disabled people?

The no limit for the disabled is just a "get out" for strange people who want perfect families with problemless kids.

Who on Earth are these people who'd terminate their own child because of a disability?

I can't imagine this makes sense to anyone but those who have gone through the unfortunate experience.

So hands up, which of you pro-lifers have any first hand experience of being in this awful situation? What, no-one? Not even you at the back? No-one with the slightest scooby?

Now that surprises me.... not.

Spot on Andrew. It never ceases to amaze how pro-choice-leaning folk can so ably miss the wood (that it's about whether the baby is alive/human or not) for the trees (arguments about convenience and health).
I do hope the rest of the parliamentary party will understand the issue better than DC!

Thankyou for the above comment. It so ably showed what I was talking about!
Never mind the weakness of the assertion that pro-lifers have less experience of abortion (why do so many women have babies after their abortion because of their guilt ? and what about Nadine Dorries quoted abovewho had to take part in them?), it has nothing to do with the principles here!!
Suicide isn't "okay" because suicidal people are in a distressed state beforehand, is it?

Easy to moralise when you are [email protected]:15

Gone through *what* experience? And what was is it that you had in mind someone needed to have "gone through"? Do I need to have been an armed robber or a victim of armed robbery in order to have an opinion about whether armed robbery is right or whether exceptions to imprisonment for armed robbery make sense? No?

What about fraud? Do I need to have been a fraudster or have been defrauded in order to have a valid opinion about that? No? Why ever not?

How about drunken driving? Do I need to have done it or to have been a victim of it in order to have a valid opinion? No?

Well why, then, do you imagine that I need to have had an abortion or to have given birth to a child with club foot in order to have a valid opinion about abortion or the killing of disabled infants?

In my opinion, the views of those that have *not* been in virtually any criminal situation are typically of more value than those that have - because those that have been in these situations are liable to have their views about the general rule significantly coloured by their own particular experience, and hence be very badly placed to suggest a rule that can be usefully applied to situations other than their own.

So I´ll stick to having an opinion, without any apologies for doing so. What is *your* opinion, and what arguments would you use to defend it?

Should I take that as a 'no' then? Funny that. I would never have guessed.

Apologies daring to ask if those like yourself moralising here actually have any relevant experience of this issue other than their, oh so wonderful, personal opinion...

I don't believe for a moment that this is about making disabled people "second class citizens".

If a baby is found to have a severe disability, which would lead to a much reduced quality of life, surely this is jusification to abort the child if the parents feel it is right. If I were a prospective parent I would hate to think I'd brought something into the world that would live most of its life in suffering, and also impact the rest of my family. Don't forget, David speaks from experience.

Of course, there is the issue of what sort of disabilities warrant this course of action. The law should be changed if disabilites like club foot are indeed at the moment a "valid" reason.

Actually "Easy to moralise when you are clueless" - whoever you are - I'm registered disabled. Does this give me sufficient grounds (or "scooby" as you say) to discuss the matter?

How can an action be legally acceptable against one person but not against another? Why should near-term healthy babies be protected but not those with disabilities, when both would be protected equally after birth?

As Andrew said, "what is going on in the mind of someone that believes it okay to kill a near-term embryo with a minor disability, but not okay to kill an able-bodied embryo of the same age? Is it a person, or not? If it is a person, then why would its having a club foot mean it would be okay to kill it?"

If a baby is found to have a severe disability, which would lead to a much reduced quality of life, surely this is jusification to abort the child if the parents feel it is right. If I were a prospective parent I would hate to think I'd brought something into the world that would live most of its life in suffering, and also impact the rest of my family.

Why abort a 38-week fetus but not e.g. give a lethal injection to a one-year old with the same 'defect'? Or a ten-year old? Or a 30-year old? I just cannot see the logic here.

Also, as a parent, I am by no means sure that my child won't 'live most of its life in suffering' - and there are plenty of 'perfect' children out there whose problems - addiction, mental health issues, whatever - end up 'impacting all the family'. Grow up. Suffering and inconvenience - that's the sodding human condition, and murdering people who might inconvenience you is a pretty shoddy way of getting away from it.

Try to imagine the distress of caring for a child who, if you are lucky, may survive a few years. A large proportion of that time will be spent in hospital. None of it will be spent doing the fun things that a normal child can do. As a result of the stress, your marriage has a very high chance of failing, your other children will suffer permanently and immeasurably, and there’s a good chance that you’ll lose your income and financial stability. When it all ends you know that there was no joy of value in any of it. Now imagine that some moralising idiot is telling you that you're evil for wanting a way out.

If you’re so damned certain that this is a black and white issue, go add yourself to the list to adopt a child with category E disabilities.

Well Patricia, the debate gets very philosophical, and I don't really have strong opinions on it, I just gravitate towards that side.

Obviously once you get past the first years of life, conciousness becomes an issue so it is entirely different. But I agree, the difference between pre-birth and soon after birth are negligable and it's something my mind isn't made up on.

The point about life being full of suffering and inconvenience is true but you can't predict it- entirely different to being pregnant with a child that you know for sure will have a poor quality of life because of a serious disablity.

I hope people having this debate will stop using phrases like "grow up", there are so many different, valid opinions to have on this subject and most of us recognise that. Hardly a Juvenile position.

Try to imagine the distress of caring for a child who, if you are lucky, may survive a few years. A large proportion of that time will be spent in hospital. None of it will be spent doing the fun things that a normal child can do. As a result of the stress, your marriage has a very high chance of failing, your other children will suffer permanently and immeasurably, and there’s a good chance that you’ll lose your income and financial stability. When it all ends you know that there was no joy of value in any of it. Now imagine that some moralising idiot is telling you that you're evil for wanting a way out.

Who said you're evil? I think it's only human to, as you put it, 'want a way out'. But at the same time, I don't think it says much about our society if the only 'way out' entails killing someone just because he / she is causing inconvenience.

Imagine that your 'perfect' child turns out, aged 21, to have a serious drug addiction. Imagine that your 'perfect' partner has mental health issues and is more or less permanently depressed. Imagine that your 'perfect' brother, aged 18, was crippled in an accident and now has to have permanent, full-time care.

Would you really advocate killing all these people, just because caring about them hurts, is hard work, and might not actually have a 'joy of value' in any of it? Or is it only tiny babies who produce that reaction?

For the record, I don't think you're evil, and I don't think it's a black and white issue. But I do think that aborting a fetus at 38 weeks, for any reason whatsoever, is no different from murdering an hour-old baby for the same reason, and I'd really like to hear you defend the latter if you defend the former - or, indeed, just explain to me what the difference is.

Patricia, for me your last paragraph exemplifies just how little you understand about serious disabilities and their effect on the quality and dignity of human life.

Whether the Christian right choose to believe it or not, some of us that believe in abortion laws are motivated by compassion, not some sort of personal convenience.

"I don't believe for a moment that this is about making disabled people second class citizens".

So one group gets more legal protection than another, but that second group isn't second class somehow?

"If a baby is found to have a severe disability, which would lead to a much reduced quality of life, surely this is jusification to abort the child if the parents feel it is right."

How do you know it will have a bad life, and how do you measure life quality? Lots of severely disabled children have awful lives but that doesn't mean they don't have moments of quality as well, and it doesn't mean they'd rather not have ever been born.

What about other reasons for reduced quality of life, like alcoholic parents, low IQ, poverty? We can predict that just as sure as severe disability in some cases.

What if the parents feel 'it right' because they are just horrible people who don't want a non-perfect child that doesn't meet their expectations?

"If I were a prospective parent I would hate to think I'd brought something into the world that would live most of its life in suffering, and also impact the rest of my family. Don't forget, David speaks from experience."

Every life has suffering, you are looking at life very negatively and selfishly. It's all about how you would feel bad, "I would hate...", when it's not about you but about the baby. And any family member can have an impact on the rest, for bad or for good. If DC is speaking from experience, is he saying he'd rather Ivan not ever been born? I really don't want to think that.

"Obviously once you get past the first years of life, conciousness becomes an issue so it is entirely different. But I agree, the difference between pre-birth and soon after birth are negligable and it's something my mind isn't made up on."

I can't believe this. The difference is negligable and favours life. Are you saying that killing babies is ok, or at least less bad, than killing older people?

"Try to imagine the distress of caring for a child who, if you are lucky, may survive a few years..."

That's no grounds for infanticide.

Fair enough, Buckers - you've got me down as someone who knows nothing about 'serious disabilities and their effect on the quality and dignity of human life'. What do you want me to do? List every single abortion, birth of a less-than-'perfect' child, disabled person, or difficult personal circumstance of which I've had personal knowledge, just to validate my point of view?

No thanks. To Mr B, who is admirably polite, I'd say only that, returning for a moment to the actually issue of David Cameron's beliefs here, the last time I spoke to Prof Starkey (who was born with a club foot) his 'quality of life' seemed pretty amazing, so I'm just as glad that his mother didn't abort him.

And to everyone else - again, I am not saying that those of you who don't agree with me are evil. That would be mad. All I am saying is, please explain to me why killing a 38-fetus with, say, Downs, isn't just as morally culpable as killing a 45-year old with Downs?

I favour life, David, but not if life is not worth living. You may say life is worth living just for few moments of happiness, others may disagree.

There are hundreds of ifs and buts, and they can be asked to people of every opinion. I don't pretend to have all the answers- It's just the side I gravitate to.

"Others may disagree"
You have to be born in order to agree or disagree.

I'm glad that the debate so far is constructive, although I think it is obvious which side is more comfortable with logicalreasoning!

If I may editors-I'd like to paste in a post from the "Remembering The Ability In Disability" site:
"Hello Readers. You’re lucky to be getting this post, because when I read what I’m about to write, I felt like crying, screaming, or breaking my computer! Luckily for my computer, I chose to scream!

What’s the problem? David Cameron. Or rather his statement that he will agree to keep the law that allows abortions up to 39 weeks if an unborn child is diagnosed with a disability. Yet he has pledged to vote to reduce the abortion limit for healthy babies to 20 weeks from the current 24.

39 weeks. A ‘normal’ human pregnancy is 40 weeks long. By 39 weeks, you have a fully developed person.

Is he forgetting that premature babies can easily survive if they’re born at 36 weeks? So, a lot of children who are alive today, both disabled and able bodied, would have been literally murdered if they’d been ‘aborted’ at 39 weeks. Because by 39 weeks of pregnancy, they would have been up to three weeks old! And that was before modern science. Now, babies can survive if they’re born even earlier than 36 weeks. Isn’t that a very scary thought? It’s definitely a thought that makes me shiver.

The law to allow such late abortions of babies with disabilities would have had me screaming anyway. But what makes it even worse is that David Cameron and his wife have a severely disabled five year old son themselves. The Daily Mail article includes a family photo.

So if he wants to agree to kill disabled people, what does that say about his feelings for his own son? If the choice he wants to give to parents had been available to his wife five years ago, would he have kept his own child? What would have happened to his child if the English public wasn’t watching his every move? I could be totally wrong, and for his son’s sake, I really hope I am. But it does make me wonder that the father of a disabled child could say such things against disability to a whole country…

And he’s forgetting that most disabilities can’t be tested for in pregnancy anyway. Some of those that can be tested for can now, thank God, be cured during pregnancy if they’re caught early enough. This is absolutely wonderfully amazing, but unfortunately, it can’t help everyone. So what would happen if a disability wasn’t caught in pregnancy? Would he be so quick to back the murder of a disabled child after birth for the same reasons? I really hope not.

Someone I have just spoken to about this gave me the surprise of my life with her reaction. She is usually the most sensitive member of the mainstream I know, but she agrees with abortion. She says that disabled children don’t choose to be born with their disabilities.

That’s very true- I certainly didn’t. But now that I’m here, I’d much rather have the life I’ve got than no life at all. Luckily for me, I have parents who would not have made the choice, even if it had been available to them.

It is, apparently, a free country. So decide for yourselves, readers. Is the abortion of a disabled person at 39 weeks still abortion, or is it murder, or sensitivity? Whatever you decide, I have only one thing left to say to David Cameron. There is no way on Earth that he will ever get my vote. "

Patricia, can you leave your Daily Mail reasoning aside for one moment. A clubbed foot or a cleft pallete for that matter are not the kind of severe disabilities that diminish quality of life, and are not though as such by 99% of the population. The issue here is serious genetic disabilities.

I wouldnt deny that any legislation will have to make clear which disabilities permit late termination and which ones don't. But it's clear on which side of that distinction clubbed foots will be cast.

But Buckers, the whole reason I am mentioning club-foot disabilities is that this is one of the allegedly 'serious' disabilities included in the list for late terminations, of which David Cameron approves, and which he is going to support with his vote.

That isn't 'Daily Mail' reasoning - it is paying attention to the whole topic at issue here.

...the whole reason I am mentioning club-foot disabilities is that this is one of the allegedly 'serious' disabilities included in the list for late terminations

Is it? Which list are you refering to? The only reference I can find to a late abortion of that ilk was the cleft palate case.

is he actulrely saying what we think he is we need to think weather he is implying whAT WE THINK HEW IS

It disturbs me that Cameron has been singled out for treatment on this issue today.
This is a Bill which surely should qualify for a free vote in both Houses.

I only wonder what the un born child would say.

Abortion is almost ALWAYS wrong, and life should ALWAYS be given a chance.

This doesn't have to be a religious issue as the pro death left would have us believe, it comes down to moral values.

Shame on David Cameron. Abortion is not enough of an issue in this country - and it damn well should be, considering the tens of thousands of terminations that are taking place, and increasing each and every year.

I am so sick of people talking about the 'tragedy' of disability and the poor quality of life of disabled people.

I am disabled myself, I am a life long wheelchair user and, yes, life is not a 24 hour party, but then who's is? I resent the implication - supported by Mr Cameron - that because I had a medical condition at birth I am less worthy of life than my able-bodied neighbours.

What right does anyone else have to dictate what is or is not a good quality of life and to kill a person who fails the 'quality control' test?

Do we really want to live in a society that allows only perfect 'master race' babies to be born? I for one certainly do not.

This is not about the 'quality of life' of disabled people - as always it boils down to money and preserving the sensibilities of the electorate, who find confronting differences uncomfortable.

What about people who become disabled later in life - not least our armed service personnel - should they be murdered as well if they become a burden to society and offending to the eye? Or does their past life as a 'normal' 'healthy' person make them acceptable to the mostly able bodied society?

People who are not disabled - including parents of disabled children such as Mr Cameron - can have no idea what being disabled actually feels like (or how we feel when our most fundamental rights are denegrated and violated by the ignorant). God forbid that they ever become disabled because then they will see what disabled people encounter every day - widespread ignorance and prejudice disguised by political claims of equality and inclusiveness.

It is not being disabled that damages my quality of life, it is society's ignorance, reinforced by cowardly politicians who care only about their own jobs and apeasing the electorate. Shame on you Mr Cameron.

Well I hope after this storm that DC can see the force of my proposal to hand the whole matter over to a referendum.

Really the Disabled lobby just gets more and more up its own arse. They'll be telling us its the only way to live next. Disability is horrid, many disabilities are extremely horrid. It is always worse to be disabled than abled. Many disabled people can only live at all because the rest of us contribute shed loads of cash in taxes to make it possible.

There is no absolute right to life and there never has been. Killing Hitler in 1945 would have been an acceptable punishment. Killing him in 1933 would have been a moral good. Killing sheep and cows happens every day. No one thinks cancer cells have a right to life nor the appendix. The declaration of "life" in one particular cell from the moment of conception is a matter of dogma. It is impossible to argue against because it does not require proof in any sense, scientific or philosophical. It is so because, it is declared to be so. The only counter argument is that I do not accept the authority of the declaration. I do not.

David Cameron said "I want us to give this country a modern compassionate conservatism", that’s absolutely the kind of leader the Tories need someone endowed with a strong feeling of sympathy and humane concern.

Then we are told that the leader with an apparent heart of gold is saying from a heart of stone that he doesn't believe there is any need to change the despicable inhuman rule that allows disabled babies to be aborted as late as 39 weeks.

Death by such termination of pregnancy can be slow distressful suffocation, a death, one would not wish upon any creature let alone an innocent human being and so the scales fell from our eyes and we realise David Cameron is incapable of pity, void of compassion towards those babies forced to die a slow horrible death.

Patrick Mercer was asked if David Cameron had principle (moral or ethical standards) Mercer was adamant and would only say "He is the leader", and I think a cold-hearted leader that never gave a damn about the people or the morally repugnant death of babies killed only a few weeks before their birth.

This is ridiculous- clearly Cameron should be supporting this!

Maybe Im wrong here (please point it out if I am wrong here and Ill withdraw my comments) but wasnt Cameron specifically refering to minor disabilities? Most of the comments here are regarding serious disability, when I thought the comment by Cameron was about minor disability like cleft palate or hair lip.

Major disability is where the biggest arguments are but Camerons cock up was talking about abortion for those with minor physical disabilities, which to be frankly honest here, surgery can solve pretty easily.

I agree with the vast majority of comments here about Cameron. He is wrong here to have one rule for those who are disabled and another for those who arent. Its a perfectly conservative idea,to allow fair treatment under the law, equity. 39 weeks is ridiculously late to allow an abortion.

What I find disturbing is that my friend who is a mid-wife is now required to assist at abortions (not just necessary ones such as for ectopic pregnancies) if needed. She is morally opposed to abortion and used to be able to get out of it on these grounds. Thankfully she has not been asked to do one yet. She will hand in her notice rather than partake in an unnecessary abortion, so the NHS will lose a talented nurse and dissuade others from entering the profession.

Ruth: heaven forbid if the shoe was on the other foot and your line of argument was used by, let's say a muslim doctor who objected to performing some medical procedure on the NHS on the grounds of his faith. The outcry on ConHome and elsewhere would be something akin to earth shattering - and justifiably so.

[email protected]08:31

Would it? Would someone here object to a Jehovah's Witness refusing to participate in a blood transfusion? Or a devout Muslim refusing to assist in a sex reassignment operation? I wasn't aware that people here would object to such things...

Andrew, 'we' often object to such derelictions of duty on personal grounds, be they rooted in religious belief or on a whim. For an idea, see the following articles that have appeared in England's 4 leading conservative papers recently.

"Muslim pharmacist refuses to give morning after pill 'on religious grounds'"
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/articles/news/news.html?in_article_id=410303&in_page_id=1770

"Muslim medical students get picky"
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/health/article2603966.ece

"Muslim trainee Doctors are refusing to treat patients who suffer from sex diseases or illness caused by alcohol"
http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/article310867.ece

"If Muslim doctors are intolerant, let them go"
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/opinion/main.jhtml?xml=/opinion/2007/10/09/do0902.xml

Buckers,

These aren't ConservativeHome editorials. I have no problem with Muslims wanting to conduct themselves as medical practitioners in accordance with their religious beliefs. Indeed, I feel confident that the editorial team here would agree. After all, there was great disquiet on these pages at the proposal that people should be forced to assist in adoptions against their religious beliefs (cf the Catholic Adoption agencies row) - surely this would apply even more to medical procedures.

I'm pretty sure that Ruth must be wrong, though. Doctors are allowed to refuse to do abortions - surely the same must apply to midwives?

I wouldn't deny for a second that ConHome's editors would support your proposition as they seem more wedded to Christianity than conservative theory. Fair enough, but frankly they are not the same thing.

My point was that many conservatives that post here would object vociferously to Muslim Doctors refusing to carry out NHS treatments on religious grounds. It represents more social fragmentation, two standards of public healthcare and will logically lead to renewed calls for all sorts of minorities to demand special exemptions under the law itself, not just professional/public standards.

A midwife refusing to assist an abortion because she is "morally opposed" to it, is the same thing. If they feel that strongly, public service is not for them.

As the father of a little boy who suffered profound brain injuries, who sadly passed away four years ago, I find Mr cameron's views to be nothing short of monstrous.

There are several important points where Mr Cameron's argument is fallacious; - they are as follows.

* This position presumes that people with disabilities are lesser human beings with fewer human rights than the rest of us. Mr Cameron's view would mean effectively that these 'lesser human beings' could simply be 'put down.' What kind of 'master race' mentality is this?
* Although I agree that if it can be independently determined that a child is going to spend a life of pain and suffering, ocassionaly, this might be the correct solution, the question is, can we accurately detrmine this? Medical people have a nasty habit of making mistakes, that is how many childhood disability issues are caused, (Shall we terminate doctors who make these errors perhaps?), so are they to be relied upon to make an accurate judgement of a child's future? I think not.
* Quality of life is a subjective measure. What might seem to be an unacceptable quality of life to you or me, might have a completely different perspective from the point of view of the person whose life it is! Who is qualified to judge? - Certainly not I!
* Mr Cameron's proposal that disabled children could be aborted as late as thirty-nine weeks is simply monstrous and is tantamount to cold blooded murder.

All life is sacred. All people, no matter what difficulties they face, are valuable human beings. We cannot utilise our own subjective judgements to determine which people are allowed to survive and which people are not.

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