Leaving Treadmarkz Across the Universe

Make It or Break It Moment #3 – Who Decides the Fate of the Disabled When All Hell Finally Does Break Loose?

with 5 comments

by Treadmarkz

It always strikes me as funny when a fully able-bodied person reads or hears something about the everyday trials of a disabled person and they respond with something like this:

“Wow, I complain a lot when I am tired or have a stomach ache but after hearing that, I will never complain again.”

Why is this funny? Because let’s face it. You know that within a day of saying this, that person will have a backache or a stomach ache and they will probably vocalize some form of complaint. That’s what we do. All of us. Disabled or not. Very rare is the person who never complains about anything. It is not as though by swearing off complaining, you make the life of the disabled person you just read or heard about any better. Though, it also is not as though by complaining, you make your own life any better. It just makes you feel better to vent.

Having said that:

Here is a story that, upon reading it, should make anyone who is not severely disabled or elderly, or otherwise in life-threateningly poor health, and even anyone with just a minor disability, happy with what they have. It is a story about a list that apparently does exist somewhere, defining what criteria a person would have to meet in order to be considered priority in getting care in the event of a major epidemic or other world-shaking emergency.

What gives the people who will be making these decisions the right to play God like this?, you may rightfully ask. Is one life more valuable than others? Or is it just a decision made based on logic and what’s best for the future of the human race, a situation wherein every individual human life is assigned its own value?

But let me say this. The criteria of the “saved” in this story does not cover strength of character. What I mean by this is, what if there is a major world-wide nuclear disaster and the world population is depleted because the focus is place on saving the strong bodied, healthy-hearted, young, virile, fertile people. What if, on day two after the bomb, we find that a higher than expected percentage of the saved are mentally, emotionally incapable of handling the extreme stress, whether from lack of experience (youth) or just plain lack of adversity in their lives (good health, a result of opportunity and genetics).

Let me be perfectly clear: I am not going to try to compare the every day trials of the disabled, or even our worst moments in life, to a nuclear disaster. This is just one of my what-if questions. I am just concerned about what, as a society, we have chosen to peg as desirable traits.

5 Responses

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  1. So, is the point of this list, that these are not going to live long anyway?
    I do admit,fif it really came down to it, I would sacrifice my own life for the life of a child simply because they are younger.


    May 30, 2008 at 9:46 PM

  2. I understand from a “logical and unemotional” point of view, but ethically and morally it clashes. Rings of eugenics in a sense. The whole concept of the strong surviving, etc etc.

    With that said I agree with GM above that I would sacrifice my own life for a child just for the simple fact that they are younger. But you know our race our world needs those that are older due to their wisdom (hopefully).

    Personally and scripturally speaking, I don’t think any one of us should have the right to decide this, although from a governmental standpoint I suppose things are this nature, as brutal as they are, must be considered at some point and at least put on paper. Leadership in that respect would be a terrible task.

    I see the point and I’m sure it’s necessary for a govermental agency that has this responsibility to have this set up. Also, I am assuming that emergency workers also have to use a similiar method in determining whom they could save in dire situations, such as fires, natural disasters, etc. They would have to make a very quick judgement call and I’m assuming that children would come first due to their age. But I’m reaching into things I don’t know about.

    Interesting piece though, thought provoking. If I were a fire figter and going into a building and couldn’t save them all…I would have to decide on whom I thought I could save and whom I couldn’t, especially if I knew I couldn’t save them all. Interesting and good thing I’m not a fire fighter.


    June 2, 2008 at 6:34 AM

  3. “When all hell does finally break loose”….are you making a prediction?
    Just wondering.

    Good post.


    June 6, 2008 at 7:46 AM

  4. Hey Goat, thanks for the observation. And yes that is a prediction. This lollypops and gumdrops world that we live in won’t last forever. ;o)


    June 6, 2008 at 2:08 PM

  5. what a difficult questions,will not attempt to respond. Good post.


    June 6, 2008 at 6:08 PM

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