The Logical Outcome

  • May 16, 2018
  • #9403

The elderly, mentally ill and the disabled deserve to be treated with dignity and respect.

Hi, I’m Joni Eareckson Tada with a story that will give you the chills.

Not long ago in the United Kingdom, parents of a girl with Down syndrome elected to put her through a series of cosmetic surgeries to make the shape of her eyes, mouth and ears more “normal” looking, as it were, so she’d fit in better with typical kids. They did not want their daughter with Downs to appear to be disabled. Now, I thought that was tragic, but some people would say, Why not? What does it hurt?

Well, does it hurt anyone? And if it will help her fit in, why not do the surgeries? I for one believe we should be concerned when society says it’s okay to surgically modify a child’s “inconvenient” condition. Are we safeguarding human dignity by altering someone to fit society’s needs? Or is human dignity better maintained by changing people’s point of view about Down syndrome? One member of the ‘hospital ethics committee’ said this for an answer. She said, “If it’s a question of the child’s dignity being violated, the little girl lacks the cognitive capacity to experience any kind of dignity.”

Oh my goodness. Now that may sound good, but friends, can you see the logical outcome of such a statement? According to that committee member, we should then let the Alzheimer patient run around without clothes on, or let the person with mental illness eat off the floor, or let the child with autism flap his arms all day with no intervention, that’s where such logic will take us. Look, people who have Alzheimer’s or autism; or people who have Down syndrome or are intellectually disabled; all these people are image-bearers of God, no less than we are. And when it comes to cosmetically altering a disabled child’s face (again, this is all about cosmetics and one’s appearance) we have to stop and think: God has called us to treat that Down syndrome child and her body with respect, to secure her personal rights (even if she has no idea what her rights are). God calls us to ascribe positive value to her disability. Because people deserve to be treated with dignity even if, especially if, that person has little to no idea what human dignity looks like or feels like.

That’s what the whole thing boils down to. Human dignity is under assault. Our adversary, the devil, hates that we are made in the image of God, and He will do anything to diminish, stain, or spoil that image. We see this happening in the world of disability; in the way we treat the aging, or infants with severe medical conditions, or people with psychiatric illnesses, or those in a coma. It’s a whole class of the weak, the vulnerable, and the medically fragile that the devil would like to call useless. Well, we aren’t going to succumb to the adversary’s lies, are we? And prayer is what will dismantle those spiritual strongholds over the minds of so many Americans.

Earlier this month, Christians across the nation gathered in honor of the National Day of Prayer to fervently intercede for our nation. So, let’s not lose the momentum! It’s why I’m calling you to join us at Joni and Friends to pray against this devilish assault against the elderly, the weak and the fragile, and the disabled. And to help you, I’m offering you a free prayer booklet. In it, you’ll find scripture verses that will really energize and guide your intercessions for our country. And it’s yours for the asking on my radio page today at joniandfriends.org/radio. Together let’s lift up the needy before the Lord, for we are all image-bearers of Almighty God. Let me hear from you today on my Facebook page, or you can always post a comment on my Blog at joniandfriends.org.

© Joni and Friends

 

 

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