or so it would seem for some select vocal members of the Multiple Sclerosis community. In the latest edition of InsideMS there was an article on the people with Multiple Sclerosis voicing the support to the FDA for Tysabri’s return. [PDF version with both quotes] (For the record I have no stance on Tysabri. I am doing too well to take a drug this new on the market). What I found most interesting, and upsetting, about the article was two quotes from fellow MS’ers. Barbara Cooks: “Tysabri was easy to take, and it improved my walking and mobility. I’m not afraid of dying; I’m afraid of living as a burden to those I love.” And Marcy Canavan “Quality of life is more important to me than quantity of years lived.”
My suspicion is that these views are not really well thought out, or is mostly rhetoric to get the desired result of a return of Tysabri. Regardless, what I dislike is the radical devaluation of life, and those with disabilities, in their quotes. Quality of life is more than being able to walk or use your hands or any number of other activities. I certainly would rather not be disabled (or seriously disabled in the future), but I definitely would not rather risk death than be disabled. Secondarily, I think it devalues the lives that people with disabilities live every day, with many having an excellent quality of life – some certainly even better than people without disabilities. The idea that quality of life revolves around a lack of disability is a very poor view of quality of life. If a person would let a disability ruin there quality of life, and define their life, then they have really let the disability/disease win.
I do suspect that their attitude is simply a reflection of a much larger problem of the view of quality of life in modern times. I guess the question becomes has Singer’s philosophy become this prevalent, or is he simply echoing the subconscious of the masses (in a more philosophically consistent way)?