Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Mercy in the Middle East.

I'm a subscriber to, and avid reader of, Australasian Bioethics. I am fascinated by the lack of debate regarding the ethics surrounding so-called 'designer babies' and 'saviour siblings', euthanasia, cloning and other murky issues.

For the record, I'm for euthanasia and against the legislation of it. Once you start legislating things, then the bureaucracy takes over and you find yourself drowning in red tape. (Hello, Mr Bracks!) No doubt the government would find a way to make you pay for the privilege of either topping yourself or helping someone shuffle off this mortal coil.

I'm also against cloning and designer babies. I consider that deciding how your baby will look and be before conception reduces children to commodities, and there is far too much of that in the world as it is. A quick glance at China with their One Child policy will show you some of the problems there. Sure, they've managed to slow the birthrate down, but there are a lot of boys over there who might be better off jumping the fence. There just aren't enough girls to go around.

But, as usual, I digress.

Back on topic, the latest Aust Bioethics newletter had the following snippet included:
Mercy killing in Iraq: An American GI who shot a badly wounded Iraqi insurgent to put him out of his misery has had his sentence reduced from 3 years to 1 year. Veterans have protested that 31-year-old Staff Sgt Johnny Horne Jr should not have been prosecuted at all. It was just a case of mercy killing, they say. The incident happened last year when US troops outside Baghdad fired on a truck. There were two Iraqi survivors, including a dying teenager with severe abdominal injuries. Mr Horne and another solidier decided to put him down. ~ Washington Post, Aug 16

My sense of humour is obviously on the macabre side this morning, because the phrasing of the last line got a snicker out of me. Maybe it's the loaded language, or maybe I just need a bit more of a break.

I still find it funny, though.


At 5:09 PM, Blogger Keith said...

Truth is, that's pretty much standard practice in combat. Maybe there was a journalist or cameraman around at the time so it couldn't be ignored.
It's impossible to fight wars using civilian standards of conduct and the fact that American forces have been so badly hamstrung by this kind of bullshit has cost a lot of casualties and damaged morale.
To jail the guy is a f***ing outrage.

At 5:51 PM, Blogger Nilk said...

I agree, Keith. The guy should be given a medal as far as I am concerned.


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