the idea that “technological advancement” should strive for the elimination of mentally ill, autistic or physically disabled people, instead of easier and better accommodations that allow us to live healthy and fulfilling lives, is ableist
I don’t understand what this post is saying…medicine should stop striving for cures because it’s discriminatory towards sufferers of mental and physical illness or disability?…um
Hi, sorry to butt in again but I’ve been working in disability for two and a half years as well as being disabled myself, so perhaps I can clear something up. There are two models of looking at disability. There’s the old model, the medical model, which sees disability as something inherent in the person – a person who uses a wheelchair is disabled because their limbs don’t function in the same way as other people’s, for example. Then there’s the new model, the social model, which sees disability as a symptom of society, so a person who uses a wheelchair is disabled because society does not fully cater for people in that position (think, for example, about how many buildings, transport systems etc. don’t have step free access).
You’re thinking about disability in terms of the medical model. The issue with this is that many disabled people don’t. For example, for many autistic people, their autism is an inherent part of who they are – it shapes their behaviour, mentality and personality to an extent that without it, they would lose all sense of their identity. Suggesting that they should be cured suggests that there is something inherently faulty about them – that who they are is bad and wrong and they need to be turned into a new person, instead of wider society being educated about autism and there being less pressure to behave and process information in a certain way.
Now, some disabled people do want a cure. I suffer from joint hypermobility syndrome, a chronic pain condition which makes everyday living very unpleasant a lot of the time, and I would love for that to be cured, but that is because only the medical model can apply to me. There is nothing that could be changed about society that could make my condition easier to live with, the only way my life could be improved is if my joints stopped hurting. Also, my condition doesn’t affect who I am other than hindering me due to the constant pain – without it, I would still be me, just more comfortable.
Please listen to disabled people. We all have different perspectives on and understandings of disability. When someone says that they don’t want to be cured (or that they do), please listen to them and try to understand why. It’s only a cure if it’s genuinely going to help the people it’s intended for, and the people it’s intended for know whether or not it will better than anybody else.