Mirror of Justice

A blog dedicated to the development of Catholic legal theory.
Affiliated with the Program on Church, State & Society at Notre Dame Law School.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

To resist legal suicide, build communities

Here is a very thoughtful piece at Crux by my former Notre Dame Law School student, Laura Wolk.  (Keep an eye out for her work; she's going to do great things.)  A bit:

[D]egrading isolation characterizes the lives of myriad disabled persons. So many live either confined and neglected in homes and institutions, or walk among us laboring under the weight of unfathomable loneliness.

I am not surprised, then, that along with desires to control death and avoid pain, data show that fears about decreasing independence, becoming a physical burden, andlosing the  ability to participate in meaningful life activities can motivate a person’s decision to seek physician-assisted suicide.

At bottom, these factors reflect the widespread, internalized belief that living with a disability means experiencing life sequestered from society, destined to live out one’s days as the perpetual and helpless recipient of unilateral beneficence.

Christians can allay these fears only by changing the cultural assumptions surrounding disability. We must use our lives to testify that independence and dependence take multiple forms, and that the financial costs of disability can never outweigh the richness of a life fully and joyfully lived.

But to do this, we must also try harder to draw our disabled brothers and sisters-especially those deeply or completely isolated from human fellowship-into our communities.


Garnett, Rick | Permalink