Thursday, August 04, 2011

Responsibility is not the same as Blame

I saw this post today that was written by a fellow person with disabilities. It pissed me off to no end. It's about a woman, named Halina Jane Gillet, who now lives with Erb's Palsy, because of the actions of the doctor who delivered her. Unfortunately, this blog post reveals a certain lack of empathy that is rather disappointing to see. She writes,
For such a case to even be possible, proceedings must begin before the child reaches 21. Now 25, Halina’s case began 5 years ago, with just enough time to scrape into the time constraints.

Now, I’m not saying that Halina’s life hasn’t been hard, and that what happened to her could’ve been prevented, but I do think that sometimes things in life ‘just happen’ and maybe her life was meant to be this way. And I don’t think taking down a well respected Professor will make her injury go away. Sure, it’ll make things easier financially for her, if she is successful, but I don’t think that what she is doing is right.
It doesn't matter why she decided to do it now. Perhaps, she's just starting to see how much her disability will affect her earning ability or quality of life for the next half of a century.

If a mechanic caused damage to you car, you'd hold him liable for the results of his shoddy work, wouldn't you? If a seamstress didn't properly sew the stitches on your pants and they fell off of you while you're on speaking on stage, would you just say that it was all "meant to be" and let it go at that while pictures of you in your bare panties floated around the internet for the rest of your life?

It's very sad to see people with disabilities so critical of one another instead of supporting our sister. How much damage should a doctor be able to cause without being held responsible? He screwed up. Holding him responsible is not being mean or greedy or unreasonable.

How "well-respected" he is is irrelevant. Well-respected people are just as capable of inflicting harm as anyone else. Is his life somehow more important than hers? What if someone damaged HIS arm? That would certainly impact HIS ability to carry out the duties associated with his career. This isn't looking for someone to blame and it's awful to hear someone make this kind of claim.

There's a world of difference between blame and responsibility. Even if no one ever blamed him, his actions are still the reason why she is disabled today. You're free to take a "meant to be" attitude when it comes to YOUR body, but it's pretty awful to tell someone else what they should be willing to put up with.

1 comment:

Rootietoot said...

A "well respected" orthopedist screwed my hip up so badly when I was a baby that he lost his license and had to become a truck driver. It wasn't a matter of my parents wanting MONEY (they didn't get any) but a case of GET THAT MAN OUT OF THE PROFESSION so he couldn't hurt anyone else! While I generally take the whole situation as "meant to be" and "there's a reason for it all", that doesn't mean the perpetrator should be allowed to continue perpetrating. I'm 46 and still blame him, because he WAS responsible.
Telling someone else to 'get over it and move on' is heartless because you never know fully what that other person is enduring. As long as I walk funny, have back pain, and am unable to do things normal people do, I will never be 'over it'. I may not dwell on it, but I am never going to be 'over it'.