Wednesday, 7 September 2011


The Daily Mail in the UK reports that four children will be taken away from their family risking to never see them again because they are fat and the parents failed to follow the health board’s ultimatum to bring their children’s weight under control.

If the article is accurate and truthful, how can such drastic measures possibly be justified? What good will it do the children if they can no longer see their parents? Not one word in that article about any of the children suffering illnesses because of their weight. According to the article, this decision seems to be based on weight alone. Irrelevant to the Health Department whether that extra weight makes the kids sick now, in the future or never. If the kids are healthy, why would the Health Department choose to cause severe psychological trauma to the children that they will undoubtedly carry all their lives, to perhaps save them from a future illness that might or might not happen? If not outright eugenics, this health board's decision frighteningly resembles it.

Some of the 1005 comments from the readers attempt to compare overweight with underweight and seem to suggest that nobody would have criticized the social workers if the kids were being starved to death by their parents. But there is no possible comparison. Starving a child qualifies as deliberate harm and abuse because it causes certain and immediate harm as opposed to obesity that might possibly cause harm if it persists for long periods of time. Comparing apples to apples, would it be justifiable for the health board to remove a child from his parents if the child was skinny yet he showed no signs of ill health? Not having the ideal weight is not a disease in itself, only a risk factor. If we were to remove children from their loving parents for every risk they take while their children are in their custody, the government would have more children under their care than they would possibly have the resources to handle. Brave New World hatcheries anyone?

The only encouraging sign about this story is that most commentators are outraged at the Health Department’s decision, as they should be.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Kind of mind boggling...