The story of dj Fabo has divided the consciences and Italy, but while many people exploit this event, media are creating clichés without asking the opinion of those who are living this reality. Personally, I do fear the positions taken “easily”, especially if they come from the keyboards of social media lions. It makes me even more afraid to think that often the ill person represents only a cost for the State and therefore the shortest way – rather than offering real instruments for the full realization – is to say “let’s make euthanasia legal”.
Different instead is the case of living will, the direct expression of the desire on the part of a sick person, provided in conditions of mental clarity. Each one has his dignity and deserves to be respected and listened. Many speak of “lives that are no more worthy of being lived“, but what are the parameters for judging a true existence? Often in our society the concept of health is linked solely to the absence of the disease. Health is not merely the absence of disease but also the state of psychic, psychological, relational, spiritual wellness of a person.
A neuromuscular disease at the age of 12 years forced me to live on a wheelchair. My adolescence was really a period uphill, constantly inside and outside hospitals. In March 1998, due to a serious episode, I was in intensive care. I came out completely dependent on others, but still alive. I feel fortunate to have had a family that have always supported me, pushing me to have a life still “normal”. Thanks to their love and their commitment, I graduated and I realized the dream of becoming a journalist, I have many friends, I travelled, I have a boyfriend. Certainly, every goal reached implies a considerable waste of energy and a painstaking organization both for me and for those who accompanies me, but I can say that I am really happy with what I am. The real suffering I think it is to not give any more meaning to life. With the disease, the worsening of the loneliness is inevitable. That is why we have to work concretely on the recognition of the dignity of the existence of every human being, offering to everyone the possibilities of personal fulfilment. I believe that life is a wonderful and inalienable gift, to be lived at the best in every moment, but at the same time I think it is important that the person has at his disposal all the necessary tools (services, assistance, economic support, aids) to be realized. Only in this way he or she will be able to accept the present and to find the strength to live day by day, despite the difficulties.
There are many films and books that deal with this sensitive issue. I was particularly touched by “Me before you” by Jojo Moyes, either because I am an incurable romantic, and because I identified myself a lot with that book. This is a captivating, moving and very smooth book. Once again, the disability has been painted negatively, as something to be eliminated at all costs. After years of battles on the part of all those who every day undertake to live “normally“, it is very sad that the protagonist Will, tetraplegic due to an accident, is described as a weight for himself and for others. The message is that true freedom cannot exist in dependence on others: a terrifying concept. But I would like to make some half-serious considerations: 1. The protagonist of this story is perpetually frustrated and humoral, he does not do any activity, he has no friends or interests. 2. Will is very rich, he can afford to pay an operator, an assistant, a luxurious apartment and dream holidays… another surreal concept! 3. Not even Love, that absolute force capable of going beyond, manages to save him, because the only solution seems to be the end. (No, come on!) For a moment, I would like to remind you that there are people who every day face cultural and architectural barriers to live a normal life and they succeed in a great way. It is saddening that a novel can send messages in the completely opposite direction that, for those who do not know certain realities, can be entirely absorbed without arising indignation.
I assure you that our existence may be a little more complicated, but nevertheless splendid. Ah, a last thing… true freedom is the interior one and is independent from external conditions or from what we confine ourselves to see. So in my opinion with “Me before you” hope is gone on vacation!
Taken from “Sempre”