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I’m Suddenly Very Glad I Don’t Live In Australia

October 31, 2008

As some of you might know, I love Australian soap operas. But suddenly, I’m not sure that my affection extends to their government.

In spite of a critical doctor shortage, a German doctor has been refused permission to live permanently in Australia because his son has Down’s Syndrome.

Lukas, 13, failed health tests and was judged by officials as likely to be a permanent drain on taxpayer funding due to his condition. Yet Lukas is able to attend a normal school and play sports including cricket and football.

Doctor Bernhard Moeller says: “I think they just use my skills as long as it is necessary, but they don’t welcome my family.”  Today, he has promised to fight this decision.

Now I know why Australia took so long to get a Disability Discrimination Act. This case, together with that of Lucy Chapman and her family, who were refused entry to Canada because of Lucy’s DisAbilities, makes me very glad that I live in the UK, where such outdated attitudes are illegal. As I was when I read and blogged about Lucy Chapman, I am shocked and upset by the Moellers’ story. 

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