Who? Us?

We are two disabled, oldish women who have been adventuring through life for years. We are talking about how disabilities, both visible and not, change the way we enjoy our retirement.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Disability and Death

Ever since the Affordable Care Act was passed, talk of death panels has spread throughout the country.  Seems as if, since the insurance companies are so powerful that they could easily decide who dies and when they do it. Just so we old folks, especially the disabled of us, would not bleed the insurance companies of all their profit.  

That didn’t happen.  I doubt that it will. What has happened so far is one more state has given all of us the right to die with dignity rather than having to die in agony for months or years just because we are not allowed to end our lives legally. So now, we have Washington, Oregon, Vermont and recently California. No longer do we have to wait for some law telling us that we must stay alive no matter what. We can be brain dead, but must be kept alive. Not only are we the almost dead suffering, but more than that, our friends and relatives go through hell until finally we stop breathing.

Should we be allowed to die with a doctor’s assistance? What do you think and why? After all, we have no value and have had no value since we became disabled citizens. 

Some folks think our lives should be terminated in the womb if our disabilities are discovered then. Genetic testing has evolved so far that many disabilities can be predicted with a degree of certainly.    I wonder what the extent of disability has to be for us to be born.  Down Syndrome?  Born or not? What about a missing leg? How about a heart that is not fully formed?  Anencephaly? That way we won’t even know we were born or not.  Where do we draw the line? Being a bioethics professional is a tough job these days. I wouldn’t want to be one.

But we do get born and then we develop a disability. Now what? I did not have a disability until I was 64 years old. I owned businesses, had employees, paid taxes, owned houses, traveled and was considered an upstanding citizen. Well, I am a lesbian, but lived in the tolerant city of New Orleans, so that was not a handicap.  Seems like it might be in Arkansas and headed that way again back in Louisiana. 

At any rate, I am disabled now. Do I have a certain number of years before I am discarded and no longer valued? I was devalued considerably because I have to travel on a scooter. When one is under 4’ tall, value decreases.  And fast.

I have made my own choices and will live or die when I want to, not when some law says I have to.  I really don’t care what the law is.  I have been known to break one or two in my lifetime.

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