My friend Mark Pickup weighs in on Body Integrity Identity Disorder (BIID) and the story of Chloe Jennings-White that I shared last week. Jennings-White, you will recall, wants to pay some hack doctor tens of thousands of dollars to cut the sciatic and femoral nerves in her spinal cord because she “believes both of her legs do not belong to her and dreams of being paralyzed from the waist down.”
For someone like me who is actually disabled with multiple sclerosis, and in a wheelchair, I can only dream of walking again. Does Jennings-White fantacize about attention she would get being in a wheelchair? Sorry Chloe, people tend to avoid those in wheelchairs. Does she have a right to be disabled? Don’t laugh, people are now saying they have a right to choose the time and place of their assisted suicide, and places like Oregon and the state of Washington actually grant it. Like I say, the world is going crazy.
Jennings-White suffers from a psychiatric condition known as Body Integrity Identity Disorder (BIID). She believes her body is telling her that her legs should not work. Her view of reality is skewed. She is sick, I get that, but are we supposed to buy into this nonsense like we are supposed to buy into sex change surgery at taxpayer expense (my Canadian province of Alberta does that) or assisted suicide as some sort of right?
I hope nobody helps Chloe Jennings-White to harm herself.
Ditto to everything Mark said.
For the past 14 years it has been my goal to show the world how enjoyable life with a disability can be, but that does not mean that my situation should be thought of as ideal by any stretch of the imagination. Indeed, they call my condition a spinal cord injury because my body is injured.
It’s not just that I can’t walk. I’m at a constant risk for bladder infection and skin sores. I have extremely poor circulation in my legs, which often leads to heavy swelling and a risk of blood clots. I’m on a heavy dose of muscle relaxers to control spasticity. And, please, don’t get me started on the nerve pain and dysreflexia.
All of that is to say nothing of the daily inconveniences that come with using a wheelchair (being unable to reach/lift things, inaccessible buildings, etc…)
Doctors are supposed to treat and heal. By granting Jennings-White her wish, not only would they not be treating her mental illness, but they would actually be harming her otherwise physically healthy body. Again, no ethical doctor would ever perform such a surgery.