Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Honor killing in Arizona & Let the baby die.

There are two stories that caught my attention and both are worthy of mention.

The first is the sad story of Noor Almaleki who immigrated to the United States with her Muslim family from Iraq. Not long ago the father took Noor to Iraq for an arranged marriage, one which Noor rejected. She returned to the Phoenix, Arizona area and left her family and moved in with her boyfriend.

Her father, Faleh Almaleki, felt his daughter's actions brought dishonor on the family and in accordance with his "traditional family values" and his "religious convictions" used his car to run his daughter down when she was walking in a parking lot. She was with her boyfriend's mother who was also seriously injured in the attack. Noor died.

The father then fled to Mexico where he caught a plane to London. British authorities apprehended him when he landed and sent him back to the United States where he is now in custody. The brother, Peter-Ali Almaleki said he was sorry his sister suffered seemingly tried to justified the execution by saying: "One thing to one culture doesn't make sense to another culture." No, it may not. But murder is murder and any culture that condones murder is barbaric and unworthy of survival.

Yes, traditional family values and religion can be used to do awful things to people. Oddly Americans can understand that when the evil is perpetrated by Muslims. Tomorrow Christian voters will go to the polls in the hopes of stripping the equal rights of gay people away. They do so in support of traditional family fvalues and their religious beliefs. The principle is the same, only the degree is different.

Let the baby die?

A child is born with a serious neuromuscular condition. It is one year old and has been in hospital since birth. The child can see,hear and respond to his parents. He can play with toys but can't breath on his own. The insurer tells the parents that the plug has to be pulled and the baby should be left to die.

Ask yourself if this is an example of the evils of private medical care and private insurance schemes? Isn't this sort of case precisely the reason that we are told that state medical care is necessary and compassionate. With the state behind the care, and with universal coverage, then infants like this child won't be left to die. So we are told.

The problem is that the infant is not American but British, and the insurer is the socialized medical system in England. Doctors for the National Health Service have decided that the quality of life for the infant is not good enough to warrant living. They believe that medical care ought to be removed and the child left to die. The boy's father is going to court to try and stop this.

It appears that life support has been withdrawn from children, without parental consent, when brain damage existed. But no such damage is present in this case. A loss in court could substantially change the powers that physicians have over life and death in the British national health system.

Photo: Noor Almaleki.

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