Well, now. Peter Singer has gotten himself all indignant that Priests for Life raised and used private charitable dollars to snatch Baby Joseph from the Canadian health care system and bring him to the United States. That was expensive, and lots of other children whom Singer would prefer to help could have been helped with "that money" (or that same amount of money) instead, if only everyone in the world would do what Peter Singer wants them to do.
Let's think about this: If someone like Rachel Nyirahabiyambere is left in the hospital and given food and water on someone's dime other than hers, her insurance's, her family's, or charity's, the indignant tell us that the family has no right to commandeer other people's resources to "keep their mother alive." In the Baby Joseph case, the money is coming from willing donors, but...well...somehow, that's not good enough.
See, evidently Priests for Life and their willing donors aren't being "rational," as Singer would use that term, with their dollars. They weren't efficient. Baby Joseph is expensive and may well die anyway. You could offer lots of other babies help for the price of one Baby Joseph. What's not to love? How crazy are these Priests for Life anyway not to choose the bulk deal in baby-saving?
Singer's arrogant indignation is almost laughable. How dare people give their own money to the wrong charity to help the wrong child? How dare Priests for Life solicit their money for this purpose? How dare they use their money in a way that Peter Singer wouldn't use it? Perhaps we need a "charity czar" to make sure charity dollars are all spent according to Singer's utilitarian calculus. Oh, wait. It wouldn't be charity then.
Choice for the parents? Phooey on that. They shouldn't have a choice to do the "irrational" thing even if that choice is granted to them by willing private donors. "This ointment might have been sold for much, and given to the poor."
Wesley J. Smith sums it up perfectly:
So, we see the real utilitarian agenda here. And we see the hollowness of Singer’s “preference” approach to utilitarian decision making. It isn’t parental empowerment. It isn’t family intimate decision making. Their “preferences” don’t matter in a futile care imposition. In other words, the consistent through line of Singer’s approaches is the death of disabled infants.
We don’t have to choose between caring for profoundly disabled individuals and helping children who can lead “healthy, happy lives.” In fact, such thinking reveals the profoundly bigoted heart that lurks within the passive prose of Singer’s utilitarian advocacy.
Related post here.