Disability activists protest Princeton Prof. Peter Singer
Disability activists take over Princeton, call for pro-euthanasia professor to resign
Scores of disability activists descended upon Princeton University last week to demand the resignation of Professor Peter Singer.
The activists took issue with Singer declaring in April that healthcare policy under Obamacare has already led doctors to kill disabled babies, an action he deemed “reasonable.”
The activists, many of whom were in wheelchairs, blocked traffic and chanted “Hey hey! Ho ho! Singer’s got to go!” The protests were organized by Not Dead Yet, a “national, grassroots disability rights group that opposes legalization of assisted suicide and euthanasia as deadly forms of discrimination against old, ill and disabled people,” according to the organization’s website.
Singer states on his faculty page that “killing a newborn baby is never equivalent to killing a person.”
“Since about 1980, Singer has promoted public policy that would legalize the killing of disabled infants in the first month of life,” Stephen Drake, a research analyst for Not Dead Yet, said in a press release. “More recently, he has expanded his position in the context of health care rationing.”
Watch: Disability activists call for Singer's resignation
The organization started an online petition calling for Singer’s resignation.
The petition, which has over 800 signatures, lays out a series of demands for university and state officials, including New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R). The petitioners demand that university officials at Princeton “immediately call for Professor Singer’s resignation,” and “publicly disavow Singer’s statements that both devalue the lives of people with disabilities and advocate public policies that would end those lives.”
The petition also demands “[t]hat the New Jersey Legislature and Governor Chris Christie publicly denounce the lethal and discriminatory public health care policy advocated by Princeton bioethicist Peter Singer.”
The petition argues that Singer’s comments qualify as hate speech, and thus are not protected by academic freedom policies:
“For those who may worry that Singer’s words deserve the protection of academic freedom, Princeton’s own policy on Respect for Others strikes a balance which the University has sadly ignored: ‘As an intellectual community, [Princeton] attaches great value to freedom of expression and vigorous debate, but it also attaches great importance to mutual respect, and it deplores expressions of hatred directed against any individual or group.’”
“Rather than challenging Singer’s advocacy as a form of hate speech, Princeton University has provided Singer with a prominent platform and increased access to US media and policymakers for 16 years, establishing itself as the home for the worst of overt – and deadly – bigotry against disabled people of all ages,” the press release states.
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