Thursday, 30 July 2009

Tricky moral point

I was lying in bed listening to Radio 4 this morning when I caught this fragment:

'Why wouldn't you want a disabled child? It adds to the richness of human diversity'.

It pissed me off a little. I've worked with disabled children and have seen the joy they bring, just as any child does. But the idea being mooted was that people should choose to inflict disability on a child to make an abstract point is horrifyingly selfish. Sure, accept that your child will be disabled - but that's different.

Try this:
'Mummy, why can't I walk, move, feed myself or control my bowels when all the other children can, and why am I in constant pain?'
'Well dear, that's what we wanted. You add to the richness of human diversity'.

I just think it's morally wrong to deliberately inflict disability on a human life. I wouldn't abort a child because he or she was going to be born with a disability, but to impose suffering on an abstract point is plain wrong. Does anyone want their child to have a disability? I know there's a subculture in the deaf community which chooses to have deaf children so that there's a common culture between parents and children, and I'm very uncomfortable with that - removing a faculty for social reasons seems like a deliberate denial of that child's right to a full life. I know that deaf culture is rich and diverse - but it seems perverse to suggest that many deaf people wouldn't like to hear.


Ewarwoowar said...

Absolutely right with everything you've put there, what a terrible thing to say that was.

HOWEVER if you had turned your dial to talkSPORT instead of Radio Uppity, you would have instead had the pleasure of hearing Dominic Cork with Boozy Brazil discussing the 3rd test, instead of something that made you cross. Choice is yours...

Demented Demon. said...

Firstly, I must thank you for providing inspiration as I write the campaign for disability rights upon our visit to the House of Lords. 'You add richness of human diversity' is a wonderful line.

Secondly, I agree with everything you noted. There is absolutely nothing wrong with having a disability; I see it as an obstacle to overcome. I shall not rest until my hard of hearing peers lead a life of normality whilst confident enough to make the best of their potential.

Of course there are deaf persons who wish to be hearing and rebel against the deaf community also there are many who hold resentment to the hearing world. With maturity, this fades for the majority. And I tried to address this in my short story with many different themes to show my hard of hearing character was well read, immaculately dressed and ambitious. His seething at the ignorance of society is precipitated by the police brutality then he meets a lady who changes everything.

If I married a deaf person, my child of hearing capabilities would stay hearing but fluent enough in BSL to merge both worlds as I do.

The Plashing Vole said...

Good call, Demented, and a great piece of writing. I was hoping you'd comment on this one.

Ewar, does Dominic Cork really have much to say? Though he is from Stoke and therefore automatically commands respect. When Radio 4 annoys me, I usually turn to Radio 3 or 6.

Ewarwoowar said...

Not really Vole. I was just trying another wind-up based on yesterdays success, but you didn't bite.

Serious bit - if a couple has a child it should be because they are in a position to support it in all ways, and fully understood the responsibility it brings. Whether the child is born with a disability or not should not be a factor, IMO.

The Plashing Vole said...

I'm too relaxed for that today.

On the serious point, you're totally right. I was just so shocked by this woman's ridiculous position.

Demented Demon. said...

Thank you, Vole. I have just done a blog on certain topics and related to this matter.

If only Radio 4 was subtitled therefore I'd know of these things but once again thankful for you bringing this to my attention.