Pride and Prejudice: Part Two of Why I Oppose Assisted Suicide Legislation

It is a truth universally acknowledged that a woman in possession of a neurodegenerative disease must be in want of an early death.

 My dear Miss Cripple,mr. darcy

Madam, in vain I have struggled. It will not do. My feelings will not be repressed. You must allow me to tell you how ardently I pity you and plead you to accept my assistance  in hastening your death.

In declaring myself thus, I am fully aware that I will be going expressly against the notion of a healthcare system that prioritizes people over profit, the rights of  many people with disabilities, and, I hardly need add, my own better judgment.

But, as you may have heard, “civil rights” for unfortunates such as yourself are now largely reserved for your demise.  Particularly when a gentleman such as your father has five daughters and only a small income. How may such as he afford to see your sisters wed if you and your costly care refuse to be dead?

The relative situation of your declining and undignified condition is such that any alliance between us must be regarded as a highly…temporary connection. Indeed, as a rational man, I cannot but regard it as such myself, but it cannot be helped.

Almost from the earliest moments of our acquaintance, I have come to feel for you a passionate admiration and regard, which, had you not been so grievously betrayed by your very form and figure, might have led to matrimony rather than this most heartfelt entreaty to snuff the sputtering candle of your dwindling light so that your shamed pride might take refuge in the protective cloak of darkest night.

But despite all that with which you struggle, you have overcome every rational objection to my interference, and I beg you, most fervently, to relieve my suffering over your suffering; deliver yourself to the one who would save you from the indignity of your estate and salvage what remains of your pride, and consent to be my first assisted death.

Dear Mr. Ableism,

In such cases as these, I believe the established mode is to express a sense of obligation, but I cannot countenance such blatant disability prejudice masquerading as reason.

Since your first refusal to ramp your ballroom’s entrance, I have never desired your good opinion, and you have certainly bestowed it most condescendingly. I am sorry to cause pain to anyone, but, like your anti-disability bias, it was most unconsciously done, and I hope will be of short duration. Though not as brief, apparently, as you would wish my sojourn in this green and pleasant world to be.

I have every reason in the world to think ill of someone who presumes to state as fact that my dignity is endangered by my disability and demand that I thank him for offering to kill me. Do you think any consideration would tempt me to accept the assistance of a man who thinks my life is less than his?

Who refused to install ONE FRIGGING RAMP in the entire Pemberley estate?!

I think I am done here. Though not in the sense you would so eagerly have sought for me in your arrogance and prejudice.

I’m not dead yet.

Good day, sir.

My dear Miss Cripple,

And this is all the reply I am to expect? I might wonder why, with so little effort at civility, my offer to better your dismal situation is rejected. You are, to any intents and purposes, all but dead.

My faults by your calculation are heavy indeed.

But perhaps these offences might have been overlooked had not your pride been hurt by the honest confession of the scruples which had long prevented my forming any serious design on you beyond that of the agent and executor of your compassion and choice. Had I concealed my struggles and flattered you. But disguise of every sort of disgust at disability is my abhorrence. Nor am I ashamed of the feelings I related. They were natural and just. Did you expect me to rejoice in the inferiority of your physical condition? I have no wish to deny it. I would do everything in my power to liberate you from your misery, and I would rejoice in my success.

And this is your opinion of me?

PS Pemberley is AN HISTORICAL STRUCTURE. A ramp would alter its essential character. It’s also quite expensive. By comparison, your death would cost somewhere in the vicinity of $300.

Dear Mr. Ableism,

You are mistaken, Sir. The mode of your declaration merely spared me any concern I might have felt in refusing your offer of a hastened death, had you behaved in a more gentlemanlike manner. You could not have made me the offer of my assisted death in any possible way that would have tempted me to accept it. From the very beginning, your twit-like understanding of “pride” and “dignity” impressed me with fullest belief of your arrogance, your conceit, and your selfish disdain for the rights of people with disabilities. I had not known you a month before I felt you were the last man in the world whom I could ever ask for directions to an accessible loo.

 I say, Good day, Sir.

PS Of course, it makes total sense that an estate that’s been modified by every generation wanting a new wing to store its freshly scavenged cultural treasures in — of course access modifications like ramps are out of the question. And of course owning the county doesn’t mean there’s cash or land just lying around for gee-gaws like ONE NO-STEP ENTRANCE.

My dear Miss Cripple,

You have said quite enough, Madam. I perfectly comprehend your feelings. And now have only to be ashamed of what my own have been. Please forgive me for having taken up your time and accept my best wishes for your health and happiness. I have much business in California and will not trouble you further.

 

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