Our toughest asylum seeker question: Both sides of the Baby Asha debate 483



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The furore surrounding asylum seekers has never been so emotional. Some people are moved by Baby Asha’s plight, whilst others have argued that Australian children should come first… Where do you stand regarding this difficult debate?

Twelve-month-old baby Asha was taken to the Lady Cilento Children’s Hospital after sustaining serious burns. Boiling water was accidentally spilled on baby Asha, whilst she was in detention at the Nauru Regional Processing Centre.

Since then, Brisbane medical staff have refused to discharge Asha back to Nauru, with the support of state Health Minister Cameron Dick. Lady Cilento Hospital will not discharge Asha until “a suitable home environment is identified” for her.

However, health advocate Justine Christerson said a sick Australian child will be denied a hospital bed, as a result of baby Asha’s extended stay. “The hospital is full. Children are being turned away”, Mrs Christerson said.

“I understand their concern for refugees (at Lady Cilento), but why are they standing up for a child who is not a Queensland resident, when Queensland children are being denied care?”

Mrs Christerson argued that Australian children suffering from abuse and other health issues are often turned away from hospitals, due to a lack of resources. She argued the campaign for baby Asha was “the worse kind of hypocrisy” and “100 per cent political”.

Supporters of baby Asha are now keeping a round-the-clock vigil at Lady Cilento Hospital, to ensure the child is not returned to Nauru. Today at Starts At Sixty, we want to know where you stand regarding this emotional topic?

Does baby Asha have a right to stay in hospital until a suitable home is identified? Or should she be discharged, making another hospital bed available for an Australian child?

Starts at 60 Writers

The Starts at 60 writers team seek out interesting topics and write them especially for you.

  1. I still don’t understand why people in countries with famine and huge displacement problems want to bring children into that world. Would you. ????

    16 REPLY
    • Wanton sex and rape. Remember, some do not value women or display responsibility in bringing life into the world.

    • Sue Gardner.. M y thoughts exactly, why when your life is so bad do you have more children.. Not just asylum seekers, people on welfare etc. If you can’t look after them…stop having them.. There are too many people in the world now & mostly the ones who can’t afford them are the ones having them.

    • Mkke here-yes Elda, but Internationl Aid should be dependent on their using some of the money for contraception or education about some form of birth control

    • Mkke here-yes Elda, but Internationl Aid should be dependent on their using some of the money for contraception or education about some form of birth control

    • Mike here again-pressed the wrong button, I was going to say that my Mother saved all her spare pennies to send for the poor kiddies in Africa when I was 10 years old, I ‘m now 66. Somd if the kiddies that my Motger was sending her pennies to are now probably great great grand parents

    • Mike here again-pressed the wrong button, I was going to say that my Mother saved all her spare pennies to send for the poor kiddies in Africa when I was 10 years old, I ‘m now 66. Somd if the kiddies that my Motger was sending her pennies to are now probably great great grand parents

    • If they are Muslim they have no choice about having sex. Muslim men are allowed to beat their wives if they refuse sex, as long as it does not disfigure them.

      1 REPLY
      • not just Muslim men!! Get real – there are thousands of women in this country who are held to ransom.

    • Well Sue, just where do you think they are going to get contraception from. Do you expect them to abstain for years?

  2. Aussie. Children. Come first always

    1 REPLY
    • we have room in our hospitals for more than one child

      1 REPLY
      • We don’t. My grandson was admitted to Lady Cilento, and after multiple scans etc, wrongly diagnosed there with a brain tumour. Once diagnosis was withdrawn thank God, he was sent home despite his horrible symptoms to make way for more desperately ill children. We fully understood that.

  3. The advocate sounds just as political as the rest – scare campaign all round!
    Baby Asha
    You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars;
    You have a right.

    1 REPLY
    • It’s not about the right to breed like rabbits but about RESPONSIBILITY not to bring children in to the world of poverty, sufferance and life under social welfare handouts.

  4. It may sound harsh but there are so many genuine refugees that couldn’t afford to pay someone to float them over here. But first and foremost we must look after our own before considering anyone else and our own are doing it tough as well

    5 REPLY
    • How do you think the Jews escaped Nazi Germany? Not the poor who stayed and were incarcerated and gassed. The wealthy sewed jewels and money into their clothes so they could pay their way . So why should others not do the same thing. And, quite honestly, people who risk their lives, who have the tenacity to try are really the sort of people this country has been populated with, people with skills and ingenuity.

    • Joan 90 percent of people who come here after two years still don’t work or contribute anything to this country ….. And as hard working taxpayers we should have a choice who comes to our country

    • So why do the wealthy and the rich refugees use the ‘back-door’ to enter Australia but not the ‘front-door’? What is their criminal intent?

    • Agree 100 percent.The old saying is, Look after your own backyard first.

  5. If all these protesters are so upset about assylum seekers , why dont u take them into ur own homes and lookafter them and their needs ???…

    3 REPLY
  6. I was under the impression that Asha was born in Australia therefor is an Australian by birth xxxxxx

    3 REPLY
    • My grand daughter was born in Australia 25 years ago BUT she was classified as stateless because her parents were not Australian citizens then, they were Kiwis. Hopefully things have changed now but if not then being born here does not automatically guarantee you are Australian.

      1 REPLY
      • I was interested to read the comment regarding New Zealanders,who give birth here.Recently spoke to a lovely couple wanting to return to New Zealand to introduce their daughter to family .Discovered their Australian born daughter ,was not Australian .Have to say I was very surprised.

  7. Don’t think of Asha as an asylum seeker, think of her as she really is a little baby who has been badly injured, this little girl never hurt anyone in her life, she doesn’t know what a terrorist is, at the moment she is probably in pain and missing her mother. Good on the hospital for keeping her until she has fully recovered, I don’t think Naru would have the facilities to care for her

    25 REPLY
    • her mother can’t be with her 24 hours a day in a hospital and her mothers milk dried up when this baby was taken to Australia,

    • That is not a surprise for a labour government, and should be a warning to Australians that a federal labour government would open the floodgates to all of them!

    • I believe the family is Nepalese and there is no war there??? Anyone else read this???

      1 REPLY
      • There is civil unrest in the lowlands and there was a major earthquake last year with a lot of international aid not getting through.

        1 REPLY
        • Refugees, who endeavor entry in to Australia by ‘hook or crook’ supporting ‘boat smugglers’ financially, are border law criminals. If they are reckless in breaching our immigration laws it’s because they are lawless and undesired. If they are lawless then imagine how lawless they will be among the Australian community. A recent case about a refugee from Africa who sent his wife to visit her family in Africa paid return airfare and $7,000 to murder his wife in Africa. He believed he succeeded until his wife tapped him on the shoulder at her funeral in Australia. Now her African refugee community in Australia has turned against this woman with threats of violence because she reported the attempted murder to the Australian Police who made the arrest. This is just one of many cases about the lawless refugees that enter Australia.

    • Libbi Elliot you can be with your baby 24 hrs in hospitals. What drugs are you on? The baby has been treated and like any patient she can now be released. What is wrong is the family has to go back but that is the law. We need to be asking how can these children be helped as she is not the only child in this situation.

    • I would like to know how she was injured in the first place? wasit the same reason people have thrown their children off boats or a genuine accident. Some folk will do anything to stir up support for the action they want to happen.

    • me and a lot of Australians Erin Loo, we are not so bigoted we would hurt children like you obviously would

    • Coran Ann miller children overboard was a lie made up by the Howard Government and well documented

    • Libbi Elliot go get a life you stupid woman, according to you only your opinion is right, newsflash wrong !!!! Your talking crap no mother needs to stay awake 24 hrs a day how ridiculous 😂 You are making yourself look dumb now hun so go away n get a life. 😞😞

    • I’m with you Libbi…and why don’t the rest of you, especially Yvonne limpus and lynette dorothy mccall, go back to your sunny rock, or start your own post where people can abuse you 😡

    • I think it is dreadful that people would suggest that this baby’s injuries were deliberate. Just because these people are asylum seekers it does not in any way mean that they would harm children.

    • I think what is even worse is people getting abusive because others want to make sure this baby is protected and safe

    • her mother can’t stay with her 24 hours a day for a start she has to sleep and she can’t comfort this baby with breast feeding because there was a week gap before they flew the mother out and this baby caught gastroenteritis in our hospital

  8. Charity begins and ends at home apparently! Disgusted by the attitude being shown here! Hope you who would turn away a child in need because she is ‘not one of you’ don’t claim to be Christian

    2 REPLY
    • I so agree with you. The problem with a lot of Australians is that they e never experienced real hardship. When the day comes that they have to give sewerage tainted water to their children to keep the. Hold alive I might take notice of them.

    • So that means that you support the boat smuggler’ criminal activity? Is that really Christian?

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