Few weeks ago the film “Me before you” has been released in England; it is based on the book by the English writer Jojo Moyes which I finished reading some days ago. This is about Will Traynor, a handsome, rich, active young man, with a great career, who finds himself quadriplegic following a spinal cord injury (quadriplegia = paralysis in all four limbs).
After two years in such conditions, he decided to give himself six months time to “organize” his assisted suicide. Meanwhile his parents search for a carer, and it comes a girl next door, Louisa Clark, at the beginning unaware of the decision of his employer, but when she found out it she decided to make him live as many experiences as possible to try to dissuade him from that idea.
On the issue of euthanasia many disabled people have raised their protests:
“Why cinema depicts us negatively? Why do we have to appear weak, submissive, eager to get rid of our life if it doesn’t gives us everything we want? Life is worth living even with a disability, and it can be even happier than a life with no disabilities…” and so on.
Well, to all disabled people who got offended by this “negative” behaviour of the protagonist of the story, I’d like to say: you have made, consciously or not, the choice to live in spite of everything (that’s been my choice too so far). So live your life as you think, without worrying about what non-disabled people may think of you… because whether you’re happy or not with your disability or “different ability” (name it whatever you want, it does not change its meaning), non-disabled people will always be afraid that such a fate could happen to them, so they will admire you for your strength (someone will even envy you), but they will always think “if this shit happens to me, I could not bear it.”
Also there is no need to be scandalised by those who “accept” the dramatic decision of a family member to put an end to his/her life full of suffering.
It takes courage to choose to live in spite of everything, but choosing to die is not a light-hearted decision. It is not an act of cowardice and it should be respected.
And finally: if you are a disabled with no need to be assisted in doing the activities of daily living, you don’t have the arguments to judge properly… so please don’t play the role of moralist.
This is what Will says to Louisa about his intention to die:
“I don’t want you to be tied to me, to my hospital appointments, to the restrictions on my life. I don’t want you to miss out on all the things someone else could give you. And, selfishly, I don’t want you to look at me one day and feel even the tiniest bit of regret or pity and…”
“I would never think that!”
“You don’t know that, Clark! You have no idea how this would play out. You have no idea how you’re going to feel even six months from now. And I don’t want to look at you every day, to see you naked, to watch you wandering around the annexe in your crazy dresses and not… not be able to do what I want with you. Oh, Clark, if you had any idea what I want to do to you right now. And I… I can’t live with that knowledge. I can’t. It’s not who I am. I can’t be the kind of man who just… accepts”.
Just take some time to think about that… can you really blame this man for his choice?
Cure Girl Barbara