Saturday, May 26, 2007

More on Emilio, and FRIDA's Work

In the interest of making sure people are aware of various viewpoints on the Emilio case, I would like to call your attention to the following post by Skylanda, a health care worker: Thanks to Linda for bringing it to our attention.

I would like to clarify a few things about why FRIDA worked to support Emilio's mother's choice (other FRIDA members are welcome to post and correct or edit my comments). FRIDA is not in the business of judging health care workers and families who find themselves in very difficult situations like that of Emilio's. FRIDA *is* in the business of pointing out that there are some really big problems with the health care system as it impacts people with disabilities, as well as social attitudes about disability.

When people ask, "Who is FRIDA, anyway?", I want to reiterate, WE ARE WOMEN WITH DISABILITIES. We live the life of being oppressed because we are women and because we are disabled, and we HAVE to work against a health care system that keeps us powerless. To say that our voice is worth nothing in discussions that affect people with disabilities, without knowing who we are and what our experience is, is to really deliver a backhand slap. Would you say that people of color shouldn't talk about healthcare problems that affect people of color?

Who *is* FRIDA, anyway?


Women of, white, Latina, Asian...
Women of varying incomes, poor to well-off
Women of all ages
Women with a high school diploma or special ed certificate
Women with graduate degrees
Women who are Deaf, low vision, wheelchair users, who have invisible disabilities and visible disabilities, who have the common experience of socially oppressive actions based on their disabilities
Women who are single, women who are married, women who are moms, women who love women, women who love men.
Women who became disabled late in life, women who have always been disabled, women who have disabilities so severe that lots of folk might say our lives aren't worth living...but they are.

Our allies include grassroots organizers and medical professionals across the United States.

We will never change anything about the health care system, and about incredibly difficult "futile care" situations, unless many different kinds of voices are heard by legislators, policy makers, medical professionals, the media and everyday people. To shut down some voices in the interests of others only hurts us all. Who is FRIDA to speak up about the broken system that made Emilio, his family and his doctors suffer? We are some among many...worldwide.

We do appreciate the many kinds of comments left on this blog, whether you agree with us or not. So please, do post if you're of a mind to.

Amber Smock