I wondered when I read about this (h/t to Creative Minority Report,) if the story wasn't mistaken or exaggerated in some way... but the story provoking such (justifiable) outrage seems on the level.
If a society can be said to possess a soul, I fear for that of ours.
Federal Health Minister Nicola Roxon says she will speak to Immigration Minister Chris Evans about a decision not to grant a German doctor permanent residency because his son has Down syndrome.
Doctor Bernhard Moeller has a temporary work visa until 2010 to serve at the Wimmera Base Hospital in Victoria.
He says the Department of Immigration has refused his application for permanent residency because his 13-year-old son, Lukas, who has Down syndrome, would be a significant and ongoing cost to the Australian community.
Dr Moeller leads the intensive care of patients and supervises other GPs in a region of about 54,000 residents.
"It's essentially saying we don't want you here to live here permanently because you have a disabled son and because you are a burden to the Australian community," he said.
"That's not nice however you put it. And it's nothing personal, I know that, I think it's a real shame to treat people like that."
Another news report on the situation:
Senator Cory Bernardi today wrote to the Minister for Immigration, Senator Chris Evans asking him to intervene to stop the Department of Immigration denying a German doctor permanent residency because his son has Down syndrome.
Dr Bernhard Moeller, his wife and three children have resided in Horsham, Victoria, for the past two years after answering a desperate call from the community for a physician.
Dr Moeller is currently the only permanent local physician in Wimmera.
Senator Bernardi, the Coalition Spokesman for Disabilities, said it was disappointing to see that a government department did not recognise the significant contribution the family could make in Australia, including the contribution by Dr Moeller’s son who has Down syndrome.
“Doctor Bernhard Moeller came to Australia to answer our desperate pleas for doctors in rural and regional areas.
"All he wants is to stay in the country his family has grown to love,” said Senator Bernardi.
“While I appreciate that those with Down syndrome may have increased medical requirements, in circumstances such as this I believe the benefits of granting the family residency outweigh the potential negatives.
The Shadow Minister for Immigration, Dr Sharman Stone, has backed Senator Bernardi in taking the Moeller’s situation to Minister Evans.
“Australia is desperate for doctors in rural areas.
"Dr Moeller is known and respected in his local community and has made a home there for his family,” Dr Stone said.
"It’s people like Dr Moeller who have migrated to Australia in the past and have helped make this country what it is today.
“We should be welcoming Dr Moeller and his family into our country and gratefully accepting the contribution he is willing to make.”
Aside from the shoot-yourself-in-the-foot stupidity of treating someone you NEED (i.e. the doctor,) this way, how barbaric is it to treat someone you "don't need" (i.e., the son,) in such a manner?