There was a news story in the
yesterday http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-11545519 regarding a 38 year old drug addict who has been paid £200 by an American Charity, Project Prevention, to undergo a vasectomy. The motive behind this move is ‘to prevent babies being physically and mentally damaged by drugs during pregnancy’ UK
This has created quite a storm. Drugscope, a leading
charity states ‘Project Prevention is exploitative, ethically dubious and morally questionable’. Speaking on the BBC, Harry Shapiro from Drugscope advised that ‘there are many routes into addiction and many routes out’ He went on to comment that one of the routes to a healthier life away from drugs was through stable relationships and the responsibility and joy that children can bring. UK
This got me thinking about hope. Is Project Prevention taking hope away from the addicts that they seek to sterilise? Are they endorsing these vulnerable people’s fears that they may never recover and lead a ‘normal’ life? Would this then become a self-fulfilling prophecy?
Worldwide, we have been captivated by the inspirational story of the Chilean miners’ rescue. It is no coincidence that the hub of the rescue mission was called Campamento Esperanza –
. Where would these miners be now without the hope that kept the rescuers searching? And what about the hope of survival that kept these entombed souls positive and alive? Camp Hope
To quote Shakespeare – ‘The miserable have no other medicine but only hope’
Hope is often our strongest weapon in times of difficulty and stress. And hope is one of medicine’s most powerful tools. So let’s not write people off before their time. If a diagnosis is terminal, it doesn’t mean you are going to die tomorrow. If you are a drug addict today it doesn’t mean you can’t be on the path to recovery next week.