In class this week we talked some about people who are born disabled and if they should be killed because of the life they will live due to their disability. I personally believe that being born disabled doesn’t mean you will have a bad life or that you won’t enjoy living just because you don’t have some of the abilities most people do. Being mentally disabled on the other hand brings up other questions. By being physically disabled you have your mind and intelligence and with that can live a good life. I believe that someone who is just physically disabled is the only one who should decide if they should die because they are the only ones who really know if they want to live or not. So, this decision should not be made by the parents at birth or any other time. The problem with someone who is mentally disabled is that no one can really know if their happy because we have no way of understanding the way they think. Does someone mentally disabled like to live or even understand the concept of dying? Depending on the severity of their condition no one knows, they might not even know. So, no one can really say if they should die, especially as soon as birth. I could see myself thinking that someone is better off dead than alive if their condition is so bad that I would question if they should even be considered human, but like I said, we have no way of understanding. So I’m not really sure about mentally disabled people but when it comes to physically disabled people I believe only they should have the choice. I also believe that if they really want to die that assisted suicide should be a choice because it is only theirs to make and no one else.
I missed class on Tuesday so I had difficulties deciding what to blog about for this week. After talking about all of the different essays and pictures in class I got to thinking about the idea of people with disabilities in American. My essay was on the man in the black and white silhouette representing the disabled in America. Personally the picture spoke to me because it represents the disabled as a whole not just the individual. All of the pictures were either inspiring or touching to me because they make me think about how lucky I am and how much i take for granted. It is difficult to imagine a life unless you personally experience it. Out of all the pictures that we could chose from in Project 2, each one were very strong and involved different things that have never personally effected me. It is sad to see a child being alone in the arms of strangers because of a natural disaster. I can’t imagine being a woman that has to hide their beauty inside and out because of the government and religion. It is always hard to put yourself in a situation unless you experience it first hand, so how can we, as a society, help people when we do not understand what it is like to life a different life from the one we live in?
So after finishing my essay on Harriet Johnson’s essay “Unspeakable conversation” and the image of the disabled students performing a music number on the television show Glee, I’ve organized some new thoughts on the issue of disabilities. Often people find themselves seeing a physically or mentally handicapped individual and feeling pity for them. Pity because they may never walk, or pity because they will never be able to go to college and establish a life for them, independent of assistance. But on the contrary I think the pity should be given to those who judge. Continue reading
During Tuesday’s class we spoke about the essay “Unspeakable Conversations”, by Harriet McBryde Johnson. Johnson is a severely disabled lawyer from our great city of Charleston, South Carolina. Her essay covers various themes that are all based around one main anecdote; the story of her speech she made at Princeton University on the rights of disabled infants. In her speech she challenges the beliefs of Peter Singer. Singer, an ethicist and animal rights activist, that believes that severely disabled children should be euthanized. His reasoning is that it will avoid the pain and suffering the child will experience in life as well as the hardships the parents will have to deal with when raising such a child. Johnson’s account with Singer is very interesting and allows a reader to learn a lot about her. For example it is easy to notice that she does not accept the sympathy of others. She becomes fed up and angry with those who assume she lives a difficult and miserable life. She says that most reactions from strangers on the street are “decidedly negative”. The examples she gives are “I admire you for being out; most people would give up” and “God bless you! I’ll pray for you”. Now it seems like these are very nice things to say to someone and there should be no reason to complain. However I can see where she is coming from. It would annoy most people to hear continuous “compliments” day in and day out. Johnson, like many disabled people, despises the pity of others. On the other hand we cannot blame these people either. They believe what they are saying is actually nice and meaningful. Not everybody is used to to interacting with a disabled person. Overtime, though, people learn how to properly show their admiration to disabled people.