I’m reminded by Ruth at Wheelie Catholic that May 1 is Blogging Against Disablism Day. My message this year is real simple: Don’t kill innocent people. Specifically we’ll talk this year about the people in your family. Do not kill them.
1. Don’t kill your children. Even the disabled ones.
If you are hoping to have a child, do not make plans to kill that child if he or she isn’t good enough for you. That’s fake parenting. There are plenty of real parents out there who understand that when you conceive (or adopt) you are making the decision to accept the child who comes your way, no matter what.
It’s not “parenting” if it’s about your fulfillment and your perfect life. Parenting is a sacrificial act. It’s about deciding to love and care for someone no matter how difficult it gets, no matter how unpleasant, embarrassing, terrifying, mortifying . . . that’s parenting. It won’t always be idyllic. It may involve tough decisions that don’t look like Mayberry. But it never, ever, involves directly killing your innocent child. If you have to murder somebody, you’re doing it wrong.
–> To review: Aborting children with disabilities does not “prevent” disabilities. It kills children with disabilities. Don’t do that.
2. Don’t kill your other relatives. Even the sick or injured ones.
Sooner or later everyone dies, and it’s not always a quick, easy process. The human body can be woefully stubborn. The in-between phase between perfect health and final breath can be long and painful. It can be extremely difficult to care for a family member who is seriously ill or disabled. There is no obligation to resort to extraordinary measures in order to prolong life. But we don’t therefore directly kill someone who is difficult to care for.
There may come a time at the end of life when the body no longer tolerates food or drink; but so long as it is possible, we provide food and drink. There are times when the best available medical treatment has side effects that might shorten life; but we don’t intentionally give a lethal dose of a medication for the purpose of ending that life. Killing your family members isn’t kind or caring, it’s murder. Don’t do it.
[See below in the links for some more reading on this topic.]
3. Don’t discriminate against yourself, either.
Murder is the worst sort of disablism, and self-murder is not valorous, it’s cowardice. If you don’t want to be a burden to other people, cultivate a kind and caring personality. Learn how to be happy in difficult circumstances. Get your financial affairs in order. Keep your house clean. If you’ve lived a life of generosity and selflessness, should the day should come that someone needs to care for you, it will be that person’s privilege to do so.
Don’t deny them that privilege. Don’t deny yourself the growth and maturity that comes from a time of suffering well-practiced. As you reach the end of your life, don’t deny yourself and your family the chance you’ve been given to prepare for death and bereavement by cutting that time short. Don’t be afraid. Be brave.
Disablism is about cowardice. It’s about not being man enough to hack it in the real world. You’ve only got this one life. Don’t live it like a sniveling weenie, hiding from every little problem that comes your way. Don’t be some fainting parlour-pansy, unable to deal with the stinky, tiring, unpleasant facts of living in this fallen world.
You don’t need a new car, a big house, or the right beer in order to be bold and courageous. Start by not murdering people, and the rest will follow.
- The other contributions to BADD 2015 – note this is not a Catholic event, wide variety of opinions going on here.
- Simcha Fisher’s hilariously true column about advice given to mothers of newborns: Maybe if we didn’t listen to everyone telling us how to be perfect, we wouldn’t be afraid to just be normal?
- My double effect tutorial, if you’re looking for a finer understanding of how end-of-life moral issues work.
- A related post of mine looking at IVF and the possibility of arguments in its favor. (Hint: No can do.)
- My review of Hitchcock’s I Confess, in which we learn about true heroism, self-sacrifice, mercy and forgiveness. If you’ve murdered someone lately, watch this film. You are not lost. There is hope for you.