Age of Autism expresses concern over “acting in the best interests of the child”

27 Oct

A while back I stopped reading the blog “age of autism”. It’s repetitive, degrades people with disabilities and, in general, is applying 99% of their effort to counterproductive aims. My google news searches for “autism” are “autism -“ageofautism.com””. But, once in a while, something sneaks through. Such is the case today.

Consider the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). It’s an international agreement, up for ratification in the U.S.. From the U.N.’s FAQ on the Convention:

What are the principles of the Convention?

Article 3 sets out the General Principles that apply to the enjoyment of the rights of persons with disabilities. These are:

• Respect for inherent dignity, individual autonomy, including the freedom to make one’s own choices and independence of persons
• Non-discrimination
• Full and effective participation and inclusion in society
• Respect for difference and acceptance of persons with disabilities as part of human diversity and humanity
• Equality of opportunity
• Accessibility
• Equality between men and women
• Respect for the evolving capacities of children with disabilities and respect for the right of children with disabilities to preserve their identities.

Most countries have ratified the Convention. Here is an analysis by the U.S. National Council on Disability.

Why is AoA concerned? “The fundamental concern with this document is its adoption of the “best interests of the child” standard.”

Yes. Let’s shoot down an international agreement that gives people with disabilities accessibility, opportunity, equality, inclusion and the rest. Because we wouldn’t want to act in the best interests of children.

Many states in the U.S. already use the “best interests of the child” standard in many aspects. In fact,

All States, the District of Columbia, American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands have statutes requiring that the child’s best interests be considered whenever specified types of decisions are made regarding a child’s custody, placement, or other critical life issues.

Why would AoA be afraid of putting the child’s best interests as paramount?

As you know Michael Bloomberg is now pushing for universal vaccinations for all preschoolers. This requirement will be mandated nationally with ratification of the UN CRPD and, ultimately with the ratification of the UN CRC.

Yes. Fear vaccines. Fear the government. The author of the AoA article makes huge leaps of logic (nothing new for AoA, I know) to claim that if we ratify the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, children will be vaccinated.

The woman who wrote this article may not even have a direct connection to the autism community or the disability community. She’s using the fear government+vaccine angle to try to get support for her cause at AoA. Here are her reasons for disliking the Convention. The CRPD would somehow give rights to homosexuals. Can’t have that here in America, can we? Well, except for here in California where we once again have marriage equality…or many other places in the U.S….

If we believe her, the U.N. will tell the U.S. how to spend it’s money, including making us help poorer countries (oh, no, let’s not help poor countries). It isn’t going to happen, but let’s fear it.

Also,

According to Article 23, the disabled have a right to make reproductive health and family planning decisions and a right to be educated about those decisions and given the means to carry out those decisions.

Can’t give those rights to the disabled, can we?

Many countries have ratified the CRPD. Years ago. Does she give examples of other countries, say England, France, Inda, China, where her predictions have come true? No. They are just fear mongering.

The ironic tagline for the AoA piece? “Ignore your rights and they will go away”. So when we as a nation see abuses in another country, abuses of the rights of the disabled, we can complain. And wait for the response, “but you won’t even ratify the CRPD”. Yes, let’s not ratify an agreement on rights for people with disabilities. Let’s not affirm that our own citizens have rights irrespective of disability. AoA is supposedly a community of parents of autistic kids. Let’s not protect the rights of those children. Fear of a parent losing his/her rights to not vaccinate (which is only that, fear, not a real prediction of what might actually happen) should stand in the way.

And, let’s not forget the unspoken fear. That parents might lose their rights to try anything and everything as a “therapy”. It’s a parent’s right, after all, to give a disabled child bleach containing enemas. Or make the kid drink a bleach solution. Or to ingest a drug which shuts down sex hormone production during puberty. Or be subjected to chelation without being appropriately diagnosed with heavy metal poisoning. Subjected to chelation often for years, when a standard course of chelation is very limited in time. Or to take one’s child to another country for infusions of what may or may not be stem cells, without any good science to back up the practice. Or to use an industrial chelator, designed for treating mining waste, untested for safety on humans, as a “supplement”.

Let’s not consider what is “best for the child”. No, parent rights are at stake.

When were we parents given the right to do things which are not in the best interests of our children? And, if we had that right, why would we put protecting that right in front of a chance to improve the rights of the disabled?

I gave up on reading AoA. Good idea that.


By Matt Carey

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12 Responses to “Age of Autism expresses concern over “acting in the best interests of the child””

  1. reissd October 27, 2013 at 03:06 #

    Sometimes people forget that children are a trust, not property.

  2. Dave October 27, 2013 at 07:46 #

    Thank you for pointing this out, and for the link to the Convention. I finally went ahead and read it (it is only about 30 pages, plus some administrative procedures). I have to admit that there was nothing in the Convention that bothered me, and quite a bit that made me hopeful.

    The objections of Age of Autism made me like the idea even more.

    As far as prohibiting spanking, forcing the US to educate our kids, defunding the defense industry, promoting homosexual rights, guaranteeing abortion rights, redistributing resources, and even trampling on the powers of the U.S. Senate – my first thought was “if only…”

    If the CRPD could actually do all of those things, I would be marching on the street corner in support.

    I could see how people of a certain political leaning would be concerned about the guarantees it requires. For example, article 5 requires that “States Parties shall prohibit all discrimination on the basis of disability and guarantee to persons with disabilities equal and effective legal protection against discrimination on all grounds.”

    Pretty much everyone agrees with the “prohibiting discrimination” part. Guaranteeing effective legal protection is the subject of a common (and tired) disagreement. The first two questions in the debate are always “who pays?”, and “under what jurisdiction?”

    I disagree with Age of Autism that the article would be interpreted to mean that the state (or Federal Government) has to pay the legal fees of any person bringing any discrimination suit. The current standard requires the loser to pay the legal fees of the winner, and even then, only in cases where society as a whole benefits. I can see where they would misunderstand, but if you put aside anti-UN conspiracy theories, the current US standard seems to hold water.

    Even the worst-case scenario is silly, rather than harmful: A city in Florida had a law on their books for about 75 years where the city paid the attorney fees of anyone suing the city for discrimination. Some people literally thought they were required to do so by similar wording in state law. A local legal firm had at least one discrimination suit pending against the city for the entire 75 year period. If the law gets reinstated, they will be back in court tomorrow. It would be sort of a full-employment act for attorneys. Like we don’t have that already.

    As to jurisdiction, Age of Autism seems to believe that the guarantees in the Convention will work the same as in the European Union, where a new judicial body was created to implement all rights guaranteed by any law. They bolstered their opinion by pointing to Clarence Thomas’ opinion on parental rights. With all due respect to Judge Thomas, I think the majority of the court felt his opinion was incorrect. To wit: If UN courts had any jurisdiction in the United States, they would have exercised those rights long ago.

    Although the Constitution of Europe (“CT”), “effective remedy” language did lead to the creation of a new judicial body. If that court is able to enforce their will over the objections of member states during our lifetime, I will be surprised.

    More to the point, I suppose, I will be marching on the street corners in support.

  3. Lawrence October 27, 2013 at 14:29 #

    The irony is that the convention was designed to provide an International Blueprint for based on the “Americans with Disabilities” Act…..this would do nothing more than hold the rest of the world to the same standards for the disabled that we already do for ourselves….this is blatant, stupid fear-mongering.

  4. Liz Ditz October 27, 2013 at 16:40 #

    I see that Dr. Osborne has recently left the practice of medicine to ” fight attacks upon the family and the parent/child bond becoming especially prevalent in Pediatrics. Additionally, she has a desire to work towards maintaining and restoring Purity and Innocence in Youth, and exposing them to Virtue, Beauty and Truth in their homes, schools and communities.”

    Dr. Osborne is a lay member of a Roman Catholic order, so I went looking for previously published discussions of the CRPD. It turns out that the Holy See opposed the ratification as well, over abortion and family planning concerns. Here is the discussion:

    http://thecatholicspirit.com/commentary/faith-in-the-public-arena/rights-of-the-disabled-the-united-states-and-the-holy-see/

    • Sullivan (Matt Carey) October 27, 2013 at 17:12 #

      I noticed the connections to the Catholic church. I wonder if Pope Francis would/does support that position on the CRPD. He’s a very different pope from Benedict.

      • Sullivan (Matt Carey) October 27, 2013 at 17:19 #

        For example

        Pope Says Church Is ‘Obsessed’ With Gays, Abortion and Birth Control

        His surprising comments came in a lengthy interview in which he criticized the church for putting dogma before love, and for prioritizing moral doctrines over serving the poor and marginalized. He articulated his vision of an inclusive church, a “home for all” — which is a striking contrast with his predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI, the doctrinal defender who envisioned a smaller, purer church.

        My guess is that Ms. Osborne disagrees with Francis.

        AoA let itself be used, to the detriment of our communities.

    • brian October 27, 2013 at 20:11 #

      Indeed, Dr. Osborne left the practice of medicine after being “adjudged mentally ill or mentally incompetent” by the State Medical Board of Ohio and having her medical license number 35.067049 suspended in 2007.

      Age of Autism continues to attract quality contributions.

      http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&ved=0CCoQFjAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fmed.ohio.gov%2Fformala%2F35067049.pdf&ei=lXBtUpGaF-_ZigLnr4CIAQ&usg=AFQjCNFFiMuVVUEpF7WWBLkVbrRjv1cySA&sig2=kVkxdtW3LnOPCrd1VQmp2A&bvm=bv.55123115,d.cGE

      • brian October 27, 2013 at 20:45 #

        Ah, I wish there was an editing function available here to allow correction of inadvertent errors. Of course, as anyone can see by following the link that I posted, it was a Probate Court that found the author of that AoA piece to be “mentally ill or mentally incompetent”; the State Medical Board of Ohio responded to that judgement.

  5. Lawrence October 27, 2013 at 18:13 #

    @Sullivan – guess AoA can’t have anyone objecting to their support of allowing parents to perform all kinds of “bio-medical” experimentation on their children, including pumping them full of industrial chelation agents, bleach, or chemically-castrating them….not to mention subjecting them to enemas, spinal taps, or the whole host of other quack “treatments” which actually constitute child abuse….

  6. Science Mom October 28, 2013 at 00:23 #

    @ brian, nice find (as usual) and sadly, not surprising.
    @ Lawrence, indeed. Check out this statement in the treaty:

    Torture and Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading Treatment.
    Persons with disabilities are protected against torture and other cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment on an equal basis with others, consistent with the obligations the United States has undertaken in the UN Convention Against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CAT) and the International Convenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR).

    It’s a shame that we have to define this and the same standard of care for autistics as it is for neurotypicals isn’t tacit.

  7. stanley seigler October 31, 2013 at 05:42 #

    re: He’s a very different pope from Benedict.

    he is very different from any pope in recent history…maybe all history…tho i am not catholic nor a fan of organized religion…francis maybe could change my thinking…

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