Tuesday, 19 October 2010

Drug addiction and hope

There was a news story in the UK 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’

This has created quite a storm. Drugscope, a leading UK 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.

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 – Camp Hope. 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?

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.

2 comments:

mp said...

Its one of those 'the road to hell is paved with good intentions' examples. They don't want drug addicted babies to be a burden on society but in effect they dictate what society should look like. History has shown that movements selecting one type of person over another lead to tragedy.

Finchers Consulting said...

I agree. Somwehting that starts with a very sad individual story could lead to devastating human and social repercussions.

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