Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Another assault on human rights

How can it not break your heart to hear of people being treated as less than human? I know it can be seen over and over again around the world, but it still feels like a punch in the stomach, knocking me breathless and sapping my energy.

Last January, I was shocked to learn of the decision and public support for the surgical and hormonal alteration of a 6 year old girl. Now it's happening again, this time in the UK, and this time I feel older and I am not surprised; I just feel great sadness. Why is it that our societies don't or won't support families challenged by the care of their loved ones with disabilities? How do we convince ourselves that we don't need to think creatively, that we don't need to problem-solve, that we can jump right in and tinker with the healthy body parts of another person?

I hope I never am convinced. I'd rather feel a punch in the stomach than cold, mind-numbing apathy.

Helpful links:

Penny Richards at Disability Studies at Temple U is continually updating links to bloggers' views on this issue.
When the Slippery Slope Becomes a Mudslide - Exceptional Parent's position statement
United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
Modify the System, Not the Person from the Disability Rights Education Rights & Education Defense Fund

2 comments:

Greg said...

David,
I feel the same way, thanks for your post.

Anne said...

I'll fight with my last breath for my son (who has severe Cerebral Palsy) to be treated and recognised as a first class citizen, not second class. It is society and the "Establishment" that needs to alter...as you said, not the person. Thank you for your post.