Corriveau story. Annette Corriveau, in case you don't remember or haven't heard, is a mother of Jeffrey and Janet Collins, two adult children with San Filippo syndrome. They have severe physical and intellectual disabilities, and have been institutionalized for decades.
Annette Corriveau on "Dr. Phil"
For those for whom "Dr. Phil" still hasn't aired today, or for whom today's show appears on Monday, Dr. Phil is interviewing Annette Corriveau today. The segment uses quite a bit of footage from the "16x9" segment that the Canadian Association for Community Living (and I, for that matter) found so unbalanced. Since Dr. Phil tells his audience regularly that he reads the tweets that people leave him, I took the liberty of leaving him one telling him that Canadian disability advocates were particularly upset by how one-sided that piece of reporting on the Annette Corriveau story was.
Dr. Phil handled the interview (and the ensuing debate between a lawyer who felt that Corriveau should have the right to end her childrens' lives and a mother who definitely felt she should not) very well. He pointed out to Annette Corriveau that she was making assumptions about what Jeffrey and Janet could and could not feel and experience and what their decision would be about continuing life as they were. He said that he would not want to continue if he was in their place, but that they couldn't know what Jeffrey and Janet were feeling about it.
I was happy to see that he was supporting the rights of Jeffrey and Janet, who cannot speak for themselves. But I'd been paying attention to the statements to which the audience responded with applause over the course of the interview and debate. As Dr. Phil asked people to raise a hand if they thought that parents should have the right to end their child's life in a situation like Annette Corriveau's, I felt sick to my stomach, and it turned out that I had good reason to.
90% of the audience raised their hand. The mother who had been involved in the debate said, "Oh no..." and started to cry.
How are we supposed to make the world a place where people with disabilities feel welcome and valued, when we're up against this?
Dr. Phil message boards: http://community.drphil.com/boards/?EntryID=31912