Welcome to Liverpool Confidential
Reset Password
The Confidential websites will be undergoing routine updates. This may cause the sites to go offline. We apologise in advance for any inconvenience.

You are here: Liverpool ConfidentialEntertainmentMusic.

Vote: Pay drug addicts to be sterilised?

Dark tale from an ex-cop and an issue clouded in greys. What do you think?

Published on October 28th 2010.

Vote: Pay drug addicts to be sterilised?

THE recent furore over the American charity Project Prevention’s suggestion that drug addicts be paid £200 to voluntarily submit themselves to sterilisation has caused me mixed feelings over the last few days. It has also caused me to recall an incident that I would like to share with you.

I often wonder how he turned out and if he remembers that day. I hope he doesn’t because
I know what it is like to remember it, and
I wouldn’t wish that on anyone

In a past life I spent an afternoon sitting on the floor of a bedsit with a toddler. This should have been a delight, but it wasn’t. Neighbours had phoned because he had been crying for hours and nobody could remember when they had last seen his mum.

We broke the door in and found him sitting on a threadbare couch on his own. It was heartbreaking and still upsets me years later to think of how scared he was: his little grey face, covered in snot and tears. He hugged me and sobbed into my jumper, even though he had no idea who I was (I’m writing this with a lump in my throat).

He had been so hungry he had tried to eat some of his own shit. Imagine how hungry that is. Being that scared, lonely and hungry that you would put your hand in your nappy.

Just take a moment and think about that.

I tried to give him a bath while my partner went the shop for some milk and a neighbour made him some toast. When I undressed him, I and the neighbour cried at the state he was in, the three of us, me, the neighbour and the baby all sobbing as I tried to sponge the dirt off his little skinny body.

I make no apologies for the language in the above because people need to be shocked about this, we need to feel angry.

Eventually social services turned up and took the little boy into care and I never saw him again. I often wonder how he turned out and if he remembers that day. I hope he doesn’t because I know what it is like to remember it, and I wouldn’t wish that on anyone.

We found his mother later that afternoon. She claimed she had spent the night at a friend’s and that her mate was supposed to be babysitting.

She was indignant that her front door had been broken and asked would she get the money to have it repaired.

Weeks later I was told by an addict in St Helens that she had been sleeping with a much older man for cash and drugs, and that she went missing on a regular basis, normally leaving the child with "mates". This time no one was available to babysit so she had simply left him at home and gone her own way.

In the heat of that night, when we broke down that door, I would have sterilised her myself.

But I hope am better than that, and I hope that as a society we are better than that. The Project Prevention scheme that offers £200 to addicts willing to be sterilised could be seen as

an easy solution. Merely a sticking plaster on a festering wound. I’d suggest that the lady involved has set it up with the best of intentions to protect kids, but that her actions are ill advised.

Now if we leave aside the ethics of protecting something by not letting it be born, and look solely at the rights of the addict, there is an argument that says by bribing them when they are in no fit state to make a decision is unfair.

But on that basis, I'd also suggest the counter argument would be that if they are capable of having sex, they are capable of deciding if they want kids.

At what point does an addiction remove an ability to make a decision? Maybe if an individual is so mentally impaired, owning to drug use, we shouldn’t hold them responsible for any crimes committed. Should, indeed, diminished responsibility extend to drug use? If someone stoned, surely they know what is right and wrong regards crime, so surely they must know right and wrong regards casual sex and its implications?

If we are to give £200 to addicts, why stop there? Maybe we should extend the scheme; If we believe the Daily Mail, there is a problem with certain sections of our society banging out kids with no thought as to parental responsibility. Maybe we can use a bribe to put a halt to that too?

£200 to tackle the section of our society that doesn't work, doesn't want to, and that has casual sex that's results in children being born.

The only objector to that would be Jeremy Kyle.

But as a civilised society, can't we can offer these people more than the cost of six fixes and a local anaesthetic? How about education? I don't think so: you can give out as many leaflets as you want, but they won’t work when three litres of cider have been drunk, there is more chance they will have been ripped up to provide filters for the joints that have been smoked. Cash incentives not to have casual sex? Let’s be honest... that isn't going to work, and ethically is it any different from sterilisation?

As a country we are being told we are skint, and hard times call for hard measures, social services cost money and these kids cost money, their parents cost money, either on the NHS or when they are in prison or committing crime. And all this comes down to money, simple as that.

Maybe two hundred quid to a smackhead will save tens of thousands in the future, but maybe that unborn child would have pushed you out the way of a bus had he been born. It’s a tough choice, good thing or bad thing?

Maybe we should just say “no”?

Tony Schumacher

Like what you see? Enter your email to sign up for our newsletters which are chock-a-block with more great reviews, news, deals and savings.

Lord of the PiesOctober 28th 2010.

I find it really interesting that when we find someone who has a serious drug addiction we throw the book at them and turf them off to prison.

These people aren't necessarily criminals, they're just really sick and need medical care, not a prison cell.

BrianOctober 28th 2010.

@Lord of The Pies. If you choose to do drugs when you cannot handle the consequences and become a criminal as a result. Jail is where you belong. You arent ill. What you are is someone who ignored the copious quantities of advice and examples. A person who in the past twenty or thirty years has not seen a dribbling idiot living in squalor or the advertising and leaflets, documentaries and tragic news stories is a liar. When they still decide it is a good idea to try the same drugs and cannot handle the consequences it is not illness, they are not 'victims' they are a scourge and need removal. If however they decide to try drugs despite the advice to the contrary and can handle it, fine. They have made a choice and it has been ok. It is not the role of society to dictate choice only advise and it certainly is not the role of society to clear up after those who make the wrong ones and subsequently became criminals or unemployable. Society doesnt have the choice about looking after these people, it is thrust on it by them and that is unfair.

DibigoNovember 1st 2010.

It's a good idea. Could we also pay £200 to grown men who wear v neck t shirts and baggy wool hats and tuck their jeans into big open boots, looking like some sort of 16 year old x factor reject in exchange for them buying a round neck t shirt and a decent pair of shoes? They hurt my eyes.

To post this comment, you need to login.Please complete your login information.
Or you can login using Facebook.

Latest Rants


How No Guarantor Loans Help in Availing Credible Finance? Jul 10, 2017 - No guarantor loans help…

 Read more
David St Hubbins

Great drawing, love the mini Stonehenge.

 Read more
John Bradley

Julian Cope the real thing compared with his halfwitted ex-associate and professional scouser Pete…

 Read more

They make a lovely SOUP, even when they end up like the so called performer........WASHED UP!!!!…

 Read more

Explore The Site

© Mark Garner t/a Confidential Direct 2022

Privacy | Careers | Website by: Planet Code