SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska

Viewpoints: Letters / Opinions

RE: Rights of People with Disabilities
By Amanda Mitchell


September 04, 2012
Tuesday PM

Dear Editor,

I want to thank Kevin Gadsey for coming forward and voicing his approval towards the CRPD. I still respectfully disagree with the CRPD, but I do see that Kevin wants what is best for those that he serves. I wish all people were a little more like you, Kevin. SAIL is a really good organization and I would recommend it. However, I am looking out for my children’s long term interests and I believe the CRPD is detrimental to their welfare.

There are several established laws and protections already in our own country to give those with disabilities rights, entitlements and freedoms. One of them is our very own Constitution. We also have the IDEA, Social Security, Equal Housing Opportunity, etc. I like the fact that we, as a country, have the opportunity to decide what our selves, children, parents and other loved ones need and how currently we decide within our own country what those needs are without the input from unelected foreign officials.

Canada has signed the CRPD. Whether the CRPD formed the mindset that only government officials know what is best for a child or the fact that the treaty DID NOT protect the child or family, it is important to note the case of Ayn Van Dyk.  The little girl, Ayn, was taken from her family, because she has Autism. Without question, the government agreed no abuse or neglect had taken place. Even knowing this, the government officials forced what they believed was in the best interests for Ayn, including placing her into an institution and drugging her. It may be a person like yourself, Kevin, that has a position in the government to decide or a person with strong convictions like who you had used in your example, the point being is now someone else gets to decide what is in your, your child’s, or loved ones best interests using their values and beliefs. I know firsthand of how corruptions within a governmental system can deny justice, the guaranteed protections and rights for those with disabilities.  Power can still be abused with or without laws, but it is more likely that the power will be abused when you take it and place it in the hands of another. This is really the biggest reason why those with disabilities are targeted, because they depend on others to help them. And what is worse is, that this treaty hands the rights of people with disabilities over to the government to decide their fate. Belgium is a good example, because if the CRPD really did protect individuals with disabilities this eugenics program would not exist.

I do agree that many individuals with disabilities are abused. We personally know several individuals who had been abused and taken advantage of by their caregivers. Though, I have to question how this treaty is going to stop the abuse, when those who do abuse others are not law abiding anyway. They do not care about other people’s rights and we have laws that will punish those who commit abuse already. What this treaty really does is leaves law abiding parents, who do care about their children with disabilities, with less power to advocate for their loved ones. We will be scrutinized by others whether or not the decisions we are making are classified as is in our child’s “best interests.” And again, this is using someone else’s values and beliefs. Plus, it is using the standard of “best” and it will be leaving families open to being forced into the latest trends in society. I don’t know of a single parent who agrees with every bit of advice out there or a parent who is perfect, but if we are truly going to follow our word as a country, the CRPD will give the government officials the power to ultimately to decide whether we can direct our loved ones care.

As for the testimony for the CRPD, very few who were opposed to the treaty were allowed to testify and the only people who were experts in international law were the ones actually opposing the treaty. There is a good reason to stay away from that treaty as it is proven it does not work to protect the rights of those with disabilities. Our own country, which has not ratified this treaty, has laws that are more superior to most countries who have signed this treaty. If the countries that have already signed the treaty really wanted the best for those with disabilities, they wouldn’t need to wait until we signed the treaty to make the changes to help those with disabilities abroad. Why do we need to sign a treaty to “learn from the best practices of disability rights?” Most of those countries, who have signed, learned very little from the best practices of disabilities rights besides how to use the power of “in the best interest” to harm people. I believe that we are better than that as a nation and we are capable of learning without legally binding ourselves to international law and other countries which blatantly ignore human rights. And how is it that our sovereignty will continue to be safe if we are promising to uphold international standards and will become subject to international law?

Kevin quoted Tombaugh and Gray: “We take a backseat to no one in our defense of the rights of parents to raise their children or in our support for our federalist system of government with sovereignty at both the federal and state levels of government…”

One only needs to use Google in search of cases in our own country where parental rights are being eroded. A babysitter, in Chicago, obtained custody of a child, because of her relationship with that child. Even though the mother eventually won her child back in court, this should never have happened if parental rights were safe in America. In Washington State, the parents of Sheila Marie Sumney restricted their daughter for her drug use and dangerous sexual activities. The judge found that the parents acted reasonably. However, the judge still gave CPS the right to take Sheila away from her family. In Maryland, children were herded into a courthouse, by armed guardsmen and attack dogs, to forcefully vaccinate them. The parents were also threatened with jail time if they didn’t comply. In Michigan, Maryanne Godboldo actually had the SWAT team come and take her child, because she refused to give her daughter anymore antipsychotic medication that she believed was making her daughter’s condition worse. Maryanne was trying to protect her daughter, but was railroaded by government officials. These are just a few of the many examples out there of the destruction of parental rights in which our own government interfered by claiming what they were doing was in the best interest of the child. What we need to do is empower those with disabilities and their families to take charge of their care and not give our freedoms away to bureaucrats.

In closing, the CRPD does not help or protect the majority of people with disabilities, but it does give exclusive power to the government to determine what is in a person’s best interests. It is nothing more than a power grab exploiting those with disabilities in our country. It is the antithesis of freedom and needs to be stopped. When asking the majority of those with disabilities or those who are aging and are in need of someone to make decisions about their care, which do you believe most people would want directing their care: the government or a loved one?

I thank you for listening and I invite you to visit


Amanda Mitchell
Ketchikan, AK


Received August 27, 2012 - Published September 04, 2012

Related Viewpoint:

letter RE: Rights of People with Disabilities By Kevin Gadsey


Viewpoints - Opinion Letters:

letter Webmail Your Opinion Letter to the Editor



Representations of fact and opinions in letters are solely those of the author.
The opinions of the author do not represent the opinions of Sitnews.


E-mail your letters & opinions to
Your full name, city and state are required for letter publication.

SitNews ©2012
Stories In The News
Ketchikan, Alaska