Yesterday, Virginia Ironside made comments on Sunday Morning Live (on the BBC) that she would smother a disabled child. She said she would be the first to do so and that any good mother would. You can see the video here but it may be upsetting to some.
Her take is that it’s a moral thing and that it’s to be done to prevent suffering. She does then go on to say that there are millions of disabled people who live “Marvellous” lives but there are also thousands of millions who are suffering and not live no kind of life.
She’d do it to a child she really loved and she doesn’t know any mother wouldn’t. I personally am very glad that according to Ms Ironside’s views my own mother can’t love me and must be a terrible mother.
I was very pleased to see that the other guests had a differing view of the matter. Although I am not religious I was pleased to hear the “fearfully and wonderfully made” Bible quote used to show that all people are people regardless of disability.
One of the key points that Ms Ironside has missed is about acquired disabilities. Is she suggesting that adults who become disabled (or children who become disabled rather than being born disabled) should be smothered? It’s not what she said but it’s the next logical step – and as scary as suggesting disabled children be smothered.
On Twitter yesterday, Nicky Clark posted the following spread over several tweets.
The T4 euthanasia programme began because two nazi parents approached Hitler to seek permission to have their child killed why? because the child was severely disabled.They expanded it we would say rolled it out in modern parlance to include other groups. They took mobile gas vans to institutions and got the proportions just right.Some parents refused to have their children taken others were told their Children were being treated to help their condition. They were all murdered. For an ideology- for the good of the whole. So if I get very angry and sweary when an ignorant woman argues for cleansing for murder that’s why. Lest we forget.
It was difficult reading but a useful reminder that we must continue to fight and not let our guard down.
If something like this was suggested for any group other than disabled people there would be outrage. Virginia Ironside would never have made those comments about gay people or people who aren’t white. Saying that about disabled people isn’t OK.
Millions lost their lives to fight against the Nazis and their policies. Comments like this belittle the sacrifices so many made as well as the lives of millions of disabled people. Lest we forget, indeed.