NRL News

Peter Singer is accused of “dog whistling” to people to commit violence against people with disabilities

by | Aug 1, 2016

By Dave Andrusko

Kath Duncan asks her question about infanticide to Peter Singer. Picture: ABC TV

Kath Duncan asks her question about infanticide to Peter Singer. Picture: ABC TV

It was an extraordinary moment which you can watch at the news site of the Herald Sun, an Australian newspaper.

As NRL News Today has detailed in dozens of posts, “Philosopher” Peter Singer is so infamous for dehumanizing statements so extreme that he has long since become the poster boy for, among other atrocities, infanticide.

But Kath Duncan extending the connection of Singer’s anti-life message as an audience member attending ABC’s “Q&A program.” According to the Herald’s Ian Horswill, Duncan accused Singer

of advocating infanticide and that his views were “dog whistling to people who commit violence against disabled people.” She cited the attack in Sagamihara, outside Tokyo, Japan, when a man killed at least 19 people at a disabled care facility. He reportedly told police: “It would be better if disabled people disappeared.”

(Japanese news accounts reported that “Most of the victims were stabbed in their necks, with some stab wounds as deep as 10 centimeters. Other wounds were also found on their chests and throats. They were apparently attacked when they were asleep.”)

Singer denied such linkage but, as he has for decades, did not retreat a step. He talked about merely giving parents “a voice” in the decision to “withdraw treatment.”


Host Virginia Trioli reminded Singer what he had said previously. “If a decision is taken by the parents and doctors that it is better that a baby should die, I believe it should be possible to carry out the decision not only by withholding or withdrawing life support, which can lead to the baby slowly from dehydration or from infection, but by taking active steps to end the baby’s life swiftly and humanely.”

Singer said he stood by his comment.

“It is the parents and doctors making a decision in consultation. It is not some crazy guy going into a unit and killing people.”

Fortunately there was a strong dissenting voice— Matt Canavan, Minister for Resources and Northern Australia—who said human life is sacrosanct.

“I am deeply troubled by any society that would outlaw decisions of protecting life to bean-counting calculators. I accept that parents that find themselves in a situation having to care for a disabled child have a very difficult decision. But I also hear so many stories from parents who — I remember being at a function where a mother knew she was having a Down syndrome child, was very worried about it, but then it became the greatest joy in her life for caring for this child and this person. We must always hold that dear and true to protect human life.”

Categories: Infanticide