Yesterday I read Chuck Colson’s Breakpoint commentary “Betraying the Least of These”, about euthanasia. It’s about the recommendation in England not to give any special treatment to babies born before 22 weeks, to save their lives.
Of course, there is lots of argument against those who say that a “disabled and painful life is not worth living.” Chuck notes how people just don’t want the inconvenience.
But I would say it’s largely something else that people don’t like, about allowing people to live with their suffering. They feel guilty because it’s not they who are suffering. Because they’re sure they couldn’t stand the suffering, they don’t think someone else should live with it. It’s almost like the people who have to watch the suffering, feel it more than the individual himself.
I have to confess that I get tired of people who feel so extremely sorry about me living with two blind people. It makes me think that in others’ situations, perhaps things are often not as bad, pain and all, as they seem to outsiders.
The person who has a disability learns to live with it–it’s everyone else who needs to make the sacrifice of allowing them to… the sacrifice of getting to know the sufferer, in order to realize that it’s quite possible to live with. It’s never the disability itself that’s so difficult, but the reaction of others to it.