February 24, 2018



Today’s partisan politics is like a bad marriage. The couple no longer communicates; instead, they undermine each other’s intentions by using any opposing position, even when it doesn’t support their own agenda.

President Obama wants to improve our health care system. He doesn’t have a perfect solution – it’s a work in progress. But, he knows it needs to change because the future of health care, if left at its present course, will be massive failure. Those opposing him are suggesting anything negative that could undermine his intentions and tear apart any chance at success. The easiest undermining technique is fear. The fear being injected into his efforts, pardon the pun, is euthanasia.

We know that Obama never suggested euthanasia as a part of his health care plan, but could it become inevitable? Societies in the past have, at times, included euthanasia. What drove them to adopting that practice? Economics. How does our USA economics look? Ahem.

Switching focus for a moment to our own lives: To varying degrees, we either move toward a desired result or avoid an unwanted one. When we plan well and execute well (pardon the pun, again), we have what we want to have. When we don’t plan or don’t follow-thru, we find ourselves having to make unwanted and tough decisions – the ole’ between a rock and a hard place. This is true for our own lives and it’s true for the bodies that govern our country. Euthanasia could be that unwanted decision down the road if there isn’t better planning now.

Including universal design into the design of our cities, homes and products is a good plan. It means more people will be able to function independently; they can and will support themselves. However, if we continue to build in ways that marginalize huge segments of our population, we will, in effect, be building an economic burden of gigantic proportions. We will have to care for and support those people who might otherwise be operating independently. Euthanasia won’t be a philosophical, spiritual or moral debate, it will be an economic one. Pause. Let that sink in.

The opposition to Obama’s health plan might be throwing euthanasia around rather loosely for a little fear mongering. Your reaction is somewhere between being scared and saying it could never happen. Well, it could. So, if universal design isn’t compelling you into action, let a little fear do the job. Obama didn’t say euthanasia, but somebody did.

Konrad Kaletsch
Universal Design Resource
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