Million Dollar Baby and Respect
I am really pleased that Million Dollar Baby won 4 Oscars, and so important.
I know, I know. A persons with disability (PWD) should b*tch about it instead, but I frankly don't understand why. To me such b*tching is a nonsense, for several reasons.
Whenever this movie is taken to interpret that somebody is advocating the mass-killing of PWDs, I wonder if they didn't watch a nazi-movie instead, cause this interpretation is pure science fiction. The movie is all about a person, a "normal" person, becoming disabled and deciding to die.
That's it. You won't see any laws about killing all PWDs, any train sending them all to Bergen-Belsen, any californian mass-sterilization, and such. None of that sh*t. Just a girl that breaks her neck and wants to die as a result of it.
It's a matter of feelings. The way a person without disability can not, possibly, understand how having a disability feels like, we can not, possibly, understand how they feel in loosing "all", unless we became disabled ourselves and have been "normal" at some point of our lives we remember of.
I've heard of many persons taking their lives after a car accident in which they became paraplegic, so I suppose this feeling to be quite common in similar situations. It's no screenplay. We can't deny it does indeed exist and it is indeed common just because that shakes the way we chose to live our values and our lives. That is called denial.
We can't distort such human, personal feelings about one's own situation and generalize their portrait to mean that "a life with disability is not worth being lived". That is our own sense of prosecution and our own fears of the past to be back that blind us. What a person contemplating suicide in those settings thinks is very likely to be: "MY life with disability is not worth being lived by ME". Sorry, it's not about us. It's about THAT person, HER/HIS pain, HER/HIS decisions. Let's leave our egos out of it.
We may agree with him/her, we may disagree. We may decide to help him/her finding a meaning in it, or to help him/her fight for legally achieving her/his right to die, rather than those persons having to resort to painful, degradating, sub-human ways to take their lives. For sure we can not tell him/her that his/her feelings are wrong, just because OUR choices are the opposite to what his/hers is being. We also can not, possibly, forget how that it is a personal reaction of a suffering human being. We, the disabled, can NOT deny, step on, or victimize any other person's sufference just because our big egos make us think we should be involved in deciding what somebody else wants.
It's a matter of choice. We find our lives with disabilities worth living, WE. We can help them finding their lives worthy, if THEY choose to. BOTH options are choices, and ALL choices deserve respect. In NO CASE WHATSOEVER we have the right to trumpet an ideology on a suffering person, nor to impose it.
WE cannot tell another person, just because s/he is disabled, that yet another person will decide for him/her, keeping him/her in a life that, to HIM/HER, has no meaning and satisfaction. It is the same reason for we don't want somebody else to decide to unplug the machine for us and decide that we "have to go" without our own consent.
It's matter of respect. The debate about physician-assisted suicide is very similar to the one about abortion. There are pro-life people, there are pro-choice people. But, they all are people and NONE of them have (or should have) the power of impose their choice on another person, because they have no right to. NONE of us should impose a person with disability to live on, or not to live any more. It is a PERSONAL choice, PERIOD.
And when we are bothered by the right of choice of somebody else and think it is ok to restrict it, I feel we should look inside and ask to ourselves:
1) why we feel the need to impose our views on others,
2) why we have double standards in thinking others shouldn't impose their views on us but we for some reasons are allowed to, and
3) how we think we could be able to respect ourselves, if we can't even respect others.