Today I read a horrifying story about a young women named Candice. Candice deals with multiple challenges including spina bifida, cerebral palsy and chronic seizure disorder. Although her conditions force her to spend a lot a lot of time in the hospital, she really enjoys painting.
Last November, Candice went through a difficult period regarding her health. It was during this time that a doctor mentioned to her mother that assisted suicide was legal in Canada and recommended that Candice be euthanized. Candice was in very close proximity to her mom and the doctor while the conversation was happening and it was very traumatizing for her to hear the doctor suggest that she be euthanized.
The story of Candice's awful experience is now being talked about in the mainstream media as she and her mother are seeking an apology from Labrador-Grenfell Health.
Most people who support the practice of using euthanasia as a valid form of medical treatment believe that its implementation within our cultural norms will only impact people who are at the very end of their life. This story is proof that it is not the case. It is extremely sad that a young person with lots of life left in her was subjected to hearing this conversation!
Furthermore, This story hits home for me because I am a 25 year-old disabled person, just like Candice I have Cerebral Palsy. I also know people who deal with some of the other conditions that Candice faces. These challenges include spina bifida and chronic seizure disorder.
There is no doubt that disabled people face their share of challenges., but many of them can be overcome. It is clear that Candice isn't letting her disabilities get the best of her. The proof of this can be seen in this painting.
Disabled people are extremely vulnerable in today's cultural landscape. This is a fact that is illustrated by Candice's recent experience. Thankfully Candice and her mother did not fall victim to our cultural norms Instead, they are using this experience to show the impact that our euthanasia-promoting culture has on disabled people.