Me Before You: My Take On Disability and Euthanasia

A new disability and euthanasia related romance flick ‘Me Before You’ has sparked a lot of controversy among some in the disabled community… so I thought I would weigh in on the debate.

In the interests of full disclosure, I must admit that I haven’t seen the film personally. This opinion piece isn’t about the film, the actors in it, or the people that made it.

Many people have claimed that the film implies that it is better off for a person to be dead than to face a life with disability. Euthanasia, as I understand it, is a process in which a person can choose to end their own life by being “put to sleep”. The right to die should be allowed for anybody, regardless of if they are disabled or not, and our personal feelings on the matter will always vary.

I question that if the movie ‘Me Before You’ didn’t feature a character who is disabled that such controversy would have even occurred.

What if the character wasn’t disabled but was suffering from terminal cancer?

However, with that said, the real heart of the issue here is not about the character choosing death over life and love, it is about the fact that this movie, ‘Me Before You’, has become such a popular film with so many people watching that it has the potential to make disability seem that it is just too difficult to deal with.

I myself live with a disability and am confined to a wheelchair every day.

To me, the argument that this character was more justified to seek euthanasia because he is a paraplegic, a.k.a. someone who was able bodied before having an accident that caused them to be in a wheelchair and force them to live a completely different life, is complete bogus as well.

Why?

Because for the rest of us who are disabled, we have no choice but to get on with it and make the best of our situations. Paraplegia is a disability, and this character already proved that despite his circumstances and obvious struggle, he could still find something that we all seek in life… love.

The real debate isn’t about ‘Me Before You’ the movie, it is about what character could have portrayed, something and someone very inspirational and strong.

The final product in this movie is anything but. Disability is a tough thing to deal with, but guess what, so is life.

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