Great Effort, Wrong Focus

I was just watching the evening news, which carried the remarkable story of a man with a severed spine being helped to walk again through the use of an electronic implant. This is, of course, incredible, and I don’t begrudge the guy his treatment in the slightest. Yet I just feel I want to point something out: the treatment cost £100,000; wouldn’t it be a better idea to use such staggering amounts of money to make society more accessible? Rather than pouring so much money and effort into making disabled people fit into environments they aren’t suited to, why not change the environment to suit them? Instead of helping this guy walk again, why not simply ensure he has a great quality of life as a wheelchair user? At least that way, far more people are helped, rather than a select few individuals with specific, treatable conditions. Why is it so important that people like this are ‘fixed’ or ‘repaired’, when they can have great lives just as they are, if only society changed slightly to meet their needs.

One thought on “Great Effort, Wrong Focus

  1. I disagree and agree.
    If you have known the joy of running, dancing, playing sport…then sitting in a wheelchair is a great hardship indeed.
    While £100,000 is a fabulous sum of money, we are just at the beginning of these technologies and they are always expensive at the start. Maybe it will be affordable for every spinal accident victim one day? Maybe the technology can be used in multiple ways? We have to try these things – even though it seems to benefit only a few at great cost now, it might benefit many at low cost later.
    The first powerchairs were very expensive – probably some people said the same thing about those.
    However, there should be enough money to do both, to make environments better and pursue innovations like electronic implants.

    Liked by 1 person

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