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The law of unintended consequences strikes again
Posted by: McQ on Thursday, October 09, 2008

And look how it has manifested itself this time:
Nebraska's "safe haven" law, intended to allow parents to anonymously hand over an infant to a hospital without being prosecuted, isn't working out as planned.
Got that? Key word "intended". In fact, they intended to put a 72 hour limit on the age of the infant. But they didn't:
When it was introduced in the Legislature, the bill had a presumed age limitation of 72 hours, said Todd Landry, director of the state's Division of Children and Family Services.

"The original intent was to protect infants from the immediate danger of being harmed," he said.

However, the law's final language uses the word "child" and does not specify an age limit, leaving it open to interpretation. Other states' laws specify the maximum age at which a child may be relinquished, ranging from 72 hours in several states to 1 year in North Dakota, according to the National Center for State Courts.
And, of course, we all know the definition of "child" has its age expanded all the time (see the SCHIP nonsense where the law tried to expand "child" to age 23).

The unintended consequence?
Frustrated parents are dumping their teenagers at Nebraska hospitals — even crossing state lines to do it — and the state Legislature has scheduled a special hearing to try to stem the tide.

[...]

Of the 17 children relinquished since the law took effect in July, only four are younger than 10 — and all four are among the nine siblings abandoned by a man September 24 at an Omaha hospital.

On Tuesday, a 14-year-old girl from Council Bluffs, Iowa, was abandoned at Creighton University Medical Center in Omaha, Nebraska, just across the Missouri River from Council Bluffs.
Kind of reminds you of the "intention" of the eavesdropping law below or the sex education bill Obama "intended" to only teach kindergartners about improper touching. Or even the intention of the social policy to expand homeownership the Congress forced on banks.

Why we trust government with much of anything is beyond me.
 
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Imagine if your mother threatened you with "legal abandonment".

Unbelievable .. no age limit .. The Child Abandonment Act of 2008.
 
Written By: Neo
URL: http://
As a mother, part of me is outraged by this. Another part is trying to decide between MapQuest and Google.
 
Written By: Linda Morgan
URL: http://
Google, MapQuest ins’t reliable for the last few turns to your destination....
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
This has been tried before.

In the Azores Islands in the 1800’s, the civic and religious authorities (at that time pretty much one and the same) created a system where unwanted babies could be dropped off anonymously at a church. They installed a revolving door, or "roda", where mothers of unwanted infants ("expostos") could leave them without interacting with church staff and having their identities revealed. Once inside, the infants were assigned to wet nurses, who were paid by the state. (One of my ancestors was a wet nurse, that’s how I found out about this.)

The results were horrific. Many infants were exposed to the weather before the person on duty at the church discovered them and pulled them inside; their thoughtless or indigent mothers had provided them with little more than a blanket, if that. On top of that, there were soon so many expostos that funding the wet nurse program became problematic. The nurses refused to work without being paid, and a waiting list for nurses was days long. Babies starved. One little boy, christened Abrao (Abraham), could not hide his Jewish origin. No wet nurse would take in a Jewish baby, and he lasted sixteen days before he died of starvation. Weakened by their ordeals, half-cared for by wet nurses on the take, few of the expostos lived more than a few months anyway; only 1 in 100, if that many, made it to a year.

It’s sad that we’ve now conducted at least two such experiments in unintended consequences.
 
Written By: Wacky Hermit
URL: http://organicbabyfarm.blogspot.com
NOT really the law of unintended consequences, more like the law of total stupidity. The original law was a good idea, but to have no age limit was the mark of utter, incredible obtuseness.
 
Written By: kyleN
URL: http://impudent.blognation.us/blog
What’s that "SCHIP" link supposed to be to?

Because it’s not in English, or even a roman alphabet, when I click on it.
 
Written By: Sigivald
URL: http://
What’s that "SCHIP" link supposed to be to?

Because it’s not in English, or even a roman alphabet, when I click on it.
Those libertarians are a little out there sometimes.

But more it may be a script virus on the site that subbed that address for the link.
 
Written By: jpm100
URL: http://
What really gets me is the underlying problem of people who have kids that they don’t want. This isn’t the Middle Ages anymore: we know jolly well how babies are made. But if you say that women should keep their legs closed and men should keep their pants zipped, you are derided as some sort of hypocritical puritan. So, eat, drink, be merry, and screw around. If you suddenly find that you are burdened with the consequence, don’t worry about it! You can abort the little b*****d at any time (even after birth), and if you find you get tired of taking care of it, just drop it off at the nearest hospital. No questions asked. Then, you can get back to enjoying your life because that’s your RIGHT.

Here’s the REAL unintended consequence: if you arrange things so that people haven’t got to be responsible, they often won’t be and indeed will fob their responsibilities off on somebody else (usually "the state") with a whoop and a holler.

I’m reminded of Colonel DuBois in Starship Troopers and his lecture about why the western democracies of the 20th century failed: they developed a cult of "rights" that completely deemphasized / dismissed the necessary converse of "responsibility". "No nation, so constituted, can long endure."
 
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