Good morning all,
As the husband of the mother, and the father of a 30 year old
intellectually disabled girl, there is is an aspect that has so far been
lost in a discussion seemingly dominated by physically but not
intellectually disabled participants.
There is the real possibility that pre-natal diagnosys may not only
identify disability, but also type and extend with sufficient
statistical accuracy that it can be taken seriously.
There is the real option then, if the disability can not be mended with
vinegar or brown paper, that parents will seriously opt for abortion,
not necessarily for selfish motives.
[log in to unmask] wrote:
> On Wed, 9 Jun 1999, NICHOLAS ACHESON wrote:
> > Here, here to Martin's comment. Surely is is a matter of both
> > prevention and inclusion. Is there anybody out there who would
> > advocate the ending of road safety campaigns to reduce the incidence
> > of brain injury because to do so might somehow imply that they were
> > therefore opposed to the full social, political, and economic inclusion of disabled people as a social
> > category?
> > Speaking personally, I suspect that I would continue to find my
> > own impairments - the results of meningitis - incommoding from time
> > to time even in a fully inclusive utopia. I have no problem with
> > research aimed at preventing and treating meningitis as an illness.
> > I think therefore that it is possible to argue that in any possible
> > world, it is better not to have had this particular illness. We're
> > back here to the distinction between illness and disability - not
> > the same thing at all!
> No--we're 'back'to the distinction of disability vs. 'normalcy,' I think;
> and whenever you situate the former as something tragic and undesirable...by
> aggressive work in PREVENTION...you reify the myth of the latter. It's not as
> simple as the road-accident scenario you offer: Of course we want to prevent
> injuries caused by drunk drivers, but does that mean we have to ascribe a
> 'worse-than-death' diagnosis to the person who becomes impaired due to the
> accident? I recall a MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving) poster enshrined in
> the cafeteria of my son's high school years ago: a photo of an isolated,
> deeply saddened young man in a wheelchair, with the inferred message,
> "Don't let this happen to someone because you mixed drink and driving." I
> asked a teacher to take the poster down, because (altho I couldn't articulate
> it at the time) it offended me. A case of 'prevention' unable to coexist with
> an inclusive mentality.
> Likewise, your example of meningitis--or another scenario recently offered,
> polio--These are, like the consequences of war, obviously something we'd all
> like to see diminished. But the fact is, congenital and acquired impairments
> of some kind will always exist, and as long as we posit the results as tragic
> we do further injury to the 'soldiers' who must endure society's conclusion
> that bodily difference is damnable, no?