Ban Spanking – Canadian Medical Association Journal



September 4, 2012

ARPA Note: This fall we plan to release the next issue of our Respectfully Submitted policy report on the topic of liberty and freedom. The issue after this is devoted to spanking and corporal punishment, in light of the growing pressure to ban it (see below). Combined, these reports directly and indrectly will explain why parents, not the civil government, must have the authority and means to raise their children, as long as the authority is not abused.


Globe and Mail, September 4, 2012: Canada’s most prestigious medical journal is calling on parents, lawmakers and doctors to put an end to the practice of spanking children. In an editorial published Tuesday, Canadian Medical Association Journal editor-in-chief John Fletcher adds his publication’s heft to a growing call to strike down Section 43 of the Criminal Code of Canada, which outlines legally allowable “corrective” physical punishment of children by their parents.

“It is time for Canada to remove this anachronistic excuse for poor parenting from the statute book,” he writes.

Section 43 states that a parent is “justified in using force by way of correction … if the force does not exceed what is reasonable under the circumstances.”

Dr. Fletcher says he’s not advocating for the criminalization of the occasional poor parenting choice. “If the aim is to improve parenting,” he writes, “then calling the police is the wrong approach.”

Instead, he’s hoping to shift the focus to how ineffective spanking actually is. Keep reading

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