Monday, July 14, 2008

US Perception of Disability Not Good

Yahoo! News reported last week on a survey that demonstrated a majority of American’s real perceptions about living with disabilities: They would rather die.

A brief of the findings:

Ages 35-44: 63% prefer death
Ages 55-64: 50% prefer death
Ages 65 and older: 56% prefer death

Earnings of $25K or less: 45% prefer death
Earnings of $75K plus: 59% prefer death

Southerners: 45% prefer death
Westerns: 61% prefer death

No High School graduation: 30% prefer death
College grads: 57% prefer death

Of course, this is all predicated on one’s definition of “severe disability” and “independence”. My friend Tim was injured in a car accident. Now he is paralyzed from the shoulders down. He requires assistance, but is his life not worth living? My nephew has Down Syndrome; is his life not worth living? My wife was burned significantly as a child and she is restricted because of it. Is her life not worth living? What about Terri Schivo? Was her life worth living? Where do we draw the line? How much disability is too much disability?

This all leads to a more important question. How does one’s perception of disability affect our treatment of persons who have a disability?


Jason said...

Since it's your blog, I won't go off on the impressions most people have of people with disabilities.

It's not the end of the world. Sure, it can make things a little more difficult but when was life ever supposed to be easy?

admin said...

Go off all you want. Why have a blog if not to increase dialogue?