Marca Bristo, Chairperson of the National Council on Disability, in an Apr. 17, 1999 address to the Princeton community regarding the university's hiring of Peter Singer to the University Center for Human Values, said:

“I am not a philosopher or an ethicist, but I know what is right and what is wrong. Condoning the murder of infants is wrong. Devaluing the life of a human because of her disability is discriminatory, hateful, and bigoted. Peter Singer can package his ideas as utilitarian, practical, ethical, logical, even reasonable if he chooses. The plain truth is that Peter Singer thinks people with disabilities have lives that aren’t worth living…

Singer argues that disabled infants may be killed ethically because they are not sentient beings. Sentient or not, babies with disabilities grow up to be children and then adults with disabilities. As an adult, this same person will likely have a much different view of his quality of life than his parent might have had based on the doctor’s predictions at the time of birth. Studies have shown that people with disabilities usually have a much higher perception of the quality of their lives than people without disabilities have for them…

Singer’s core vision, that the life of a person with a disability is worth less than the life of a person without a disability, and therefore it is okay to kill infants with disabilities if that is what the parent wants to do, amounts to a defense of genocide. It is sad that just as Dr. Kevorkian has finally been recognized in a court of law as being a criminal for acting on the basis of similar beliefs in the case of physician assisted suicide, Princeton sees fit to hire a proponent of infanticide to teach ethics to undergraduates.

Parents of a newborn with a disability are often in a state of shock and adjustment for a long period after the baby is born. Once this phase is over, most parents come to value their child with a disability and to learn about the benefits the entire family can realize from the perspective this child brings them. Singer would like to give parents an easy out so they can go ahead and have another child to ‘replace’ the defective baby. What parents in that situation need is information and support so that they can give that child the best possible chance to develop into an independent adult. They don’t need a nudge from their doctor or their insurance company to put the baby out of its misery (and save the insurance company a few hundred thousand dollars as part of the bargain).”

Apr. 17, 1999