Should the Government Determine a Life's Value?

What happens when government determines a person's value? China and the UK offer examples.

Caroline C. Lewis · May 3, 2018

What happens when the government determines a person’s value? Whether China’s one-(now two-) child policy or Great Britain’s government mandates to remove care from sick babies, the concept remains the same: Government, not family or God, determines whether a person deserves to live or die. And that’s wrong.

While some have framed China’s 2016 acquiescence to the two-child policy as the end of the Chinese government’s strict one-child policy, forced abortion and sterilization still occurs. Reggie Littlejohn, Founder and president of Women’s Rights Without Frontiers, an organization fighting against forced abortion and gendercide in China, writes:

I believe the Chinese Communist Party will never abandon coercive population control, because coercive population control is keeping the regime in power. Although every couple is allowed to have two children, single women are still [being forced to abort their children], as are third pregnancies. Women of childbearing age still have to go in for mandatory pregnancy checks several times a year. Two Child Policy violators are still forcibly sterilized. All this instills terror. The Chinese Communist Party is a brutal, totalitarian regime, which reigns with terror. The Two Child Policy is social control, masquerading as population control.

China’s one-child policy, which the Chinese government enacted in 1980, yielded disastrous results. This has included “gendercide” — the systemic aborting of girl babies — due to the cultural preference of sons over daughters, as well as a marked increase in female suicides. China now has a huge gender imbalance and has suffered several issues such as kidnapped children and sex trafficking as a result.

China initially enacted the one-child policy in response to fears of overpopulation and food shortages. However, “overpopulation” tends to be the problem of a closed system, making closed communist countries, which prohibit the freedom of movement, the most susceptible. In a free society, population increases give rise to the “suburbs” when people move outside of the crowded cities to raise a family. An example of this would be the American “Baby Boom” following the end of World War II. Crowded cities and crowded countries do not tend to be as big of a problem in market economies because people have free movement — they can move if it starts feeling overcrowded. In communist countries, however, the government often prohibits movement without permission.

Further, the Population Research Institute notes that overpopulation is not equivalent to overcrowding. City planners, not population controllers (in the form of abortion and euthanasia), ought to solve the overcrowding problem.

In addition, populations worldwide have actually declined below replacement rate. According to a 2017 UN study, almost half of the world’s population lives in countries below replacement rate (2.1 children).

In a market economy, people are assets. More people means more creativity and a greater increase in innovation, technology and research. By contrast, in socialist and communist countries, people are the problem. Why? Because the government has to take care of them. And if bureaucrats are deciding how many people are on the public dole, they will always choose fewer people.

While China’s forced abortion seems like a barbaric action of a far-away country, the premise upon which it rests has seeped into socialist countries, such as the United Kingdom. While the UK is not demanding the abortion of children based upon a quantifiable, mandated number, its actions are the same: Denying the dignity of the human person and denying the rights of parents to determine the best situation for their children.

The terrible story of Alfie Evans, who died on April 28, illustrates the heartbreaking consequences of socialized “medicine.” The 23-month-old, diagnosed with a rare neurodegenerative condition, had been on life support for almost a year. While his parents wanted to take him to Italy for treatment, the doctors and judges ruled that this would not be in the child’s “best interest.” But shouldn’t the parents decide what was in the child’s best interest? Instead, the judges ordered the hospital to take him off of life support, which resulted in his death.

Sadly, the story of the government determining the value of Alfie’s life to be worthless is not unique. Last summer, UK doctors denied treatment for Charlie Gard, a baby with a similar “incurable” illness, despite the public outcry against this injustice and his parents’ desire to seek treatment abroad.

Socialism and communism deny human dignity, trading it instead for the value of a person’s “work.” The government elite establishes the standard of value and worth, not the parents or loved ones or even God. If a child or disabled person cannot “contribute” to society (whatever the government determines that to be), he or she does not “deserve” to live.

But who really assigns value and dignity? Who really decides whether a person should live or die?

People are not machines to be discarded when they cease to function properly. Yet by stripping the human person of value, worth and dignity, socialism and communism views people as machines to serve the state.

Communism and socialism’s social reengineering seeks to create a world without faith, a world without family and a world without love. Whether this means forced abortion in China or forcing parents to remove medical care for their sick children, the human rights abuses are the same. Government coercion promises “protection” but only delivers slavery, abuse and exploitation.

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