The Better to Die Message
I was extremely moved by this article I read and reread [“People of the Year: “The Resisters,” January 2017]. When I was in a wheelchair and in an iron lung after a car accident, and my whole physiology was falling apart and I was struggling to recover, I had a respiratory supply company that worked with my home care. On her last day I asked the chief respiratory therapist how I seemed to her. She said I looked like a chronic patient and she didn’t expect me to recover. She suggested that I should let myself die rather than cost society so much money.
That’s exactly the message that people with disabilities get, and it’s the same message Hitler taught to anyone with a difference. I salute your resisters and try to do the same on a lower key. I did recover and continue to survive now without a wheelchair and only on respiratory assist most of the time. I have myelopathy and balance issues and many restrictions. I continue to be mistreated at my residence and cannot get adequate entitlements and services despite my restrictions. So I salute your resisters.
What About the Other Side?
In the interests of journalistic balance, NM needs to publish an opposing article to “The Resisters.” Here in Maine there is a long tradition of libertarian self-determination and rugged independence, especially when it comes to the decision of when, where, and how we die. This means no interference by government, courts, lawyers or anyone. We respect the right of people who disagree with us to accept such intrusions in their own lives. We equally expect those same folks not to impose their own choices on us when we are making our own final decision that can only come from each individual person’s conscience. Maine has always been a “live and let live” state. We are now blessedly becoming a “die and let die” people whenever the inevitable approaches.
Cape Elizabeth, Maine
Who Better Than Us?
I applaud the efforts of these advocates [“The Resisters”], even those I may not always agree with, because they continue to raise their voices when others try to silence them. Who can tell our stories better than we can? We are not all going to agree on every issue, but I am grateful for my peers who are willing to bring light to these matters.
Resisters Force Choices on Others
All these people did was harass two families while they were going through the most difficult time of their life. They demonstrated a complete lack of compassion by forcing their choices on others. They claim society wants to see people with disabilities dead as they are too much of a burden. I have never been offered assisted suicide by a medical professional. Protesting a piece of fiction is absolutely ridiculous. I highly doubt that Me Before You led to an increase of suicide attempts by people with disabilities. If it started a dialogue about suicide, great. I don’t know how these people live with themselves after the pain they caused the Bolen family and the Snow family.
LaLa Slipchuk Young
Films Promote Assisted Suicide
I have been offered assisted suicide. See link to my essay: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/hast.38/abstract. More generally, films that kill disabled characters have a long history in Hollywood. They are wildly popular because others do indeed think death is preferable to disability. And yes, strangers have said this to me.
We Are Seen as a Burden
The world needs to hear more about the resistance to the “better dead than disabled” message that is pounded into the collective [un]conscious. As someone with multiple disabilities, including two degenerative ones, I know that the struggle is real — that society will always see us and our lives as burdens. Thank goodness for the resisters, who are putting it on the line to say no to this horrible, insidious narrative.
Working as a Team
I just finished reading your article [“Partners in Healing: Using Teamwork to Get Through a Medical Crisis,” January 2017]. It is informative and encouraging. I am thinking about ways I can apply some of your techniques to my husband’s and my situation, which could benefit from some changes in our approach. I especially think he should be keeping a log, and he agreed. Hope you’ll share more of your insights with us in the near future.
To the Editor …
That was an eloquent and impressive editorial you wrote about President Obama. Sadly, we won’t hear the likes of him again in our lifetime [Bully Pulpit, January 2017].
You Idiot! What a bunch of crap! Everything has gone up since this Ass President was given office. I still think Obama is non-American! [Bully Pulpit, January 2017].