Electric EDGE
Web Edition of
The Ragged Edge
Jan/Feb 1998

Electric Edge


Kevorkian's dictionary

"He has his own definition of a terminal disease." Kevorkian attorney Geoffrey Fieger, responding to a reporter after the deaths of 84-year-old Naomi Sachs of New York and 78-year-old Bernice Gross of West Palm Beach, FL (Kevorkian's 68th and 69th known victims) were questioned when autopsy reports revealed that neither woman appeared to have an illness that would result in death anytime soon.

The thing in the wheelchair

"It is so politically incorrect, so foul . . . . A complete pathological bitch tortures an old woman in a wheelchair who is completely paralyzed except for her eyes. The audience are going to loathe that younger woman, and it's about time." Playwright Anthony Shaffer ("Sleuth") describing his new play, "The Thing In The Wheelchair" to Variety. Asked why people would want to see this, Shaffer replied, "Outrage. There's nothing like abusing an audience, right?"

The play will reportedly open in London.

Alarm clock Next: The Disability Nanosecond

December 3 was the The U.N. International Day of Disabled Persons. Miss it? It will come around again next Dec. 3.

The U.N. set the Day of Disabled Persons in 1992 -- at the end of the International Decade of Disabled Persons (the International Decade had followed the 1982 International Year of the . . . well, you get it.)

Peelings and all

"Are they just going to be sitting out there like vegetables?"

Bullitt County, KY official Howard Knutson, complaining in a public meeting of county officials about a proposal for an 8-unit apartment building that would house people labeled mentally ill, run by a Louisville-area nonprofit group. Knutson said people with schizophrenia sometimes forget to take their medication and "become violent." County officials, in part swayed by such bigotry, refused to okay the project's funding.

Unemployment Rolls: The Dead and The Disabled

Hand reaching out with money "The Dead, including Marilyn Monroe . . . and Fred Astaire . . . have been hired as pitchmen, and so have New Delhi quadriplegics, who now hawk Coca-Cola under bright red-and-white umbrellas." New York Times culture maven Michiko Kakutani, writing about (to her) odd advertising methods. From the placement in the sentence, is seems quads rank lower in Kakutani's estimation than deceased "pitchmen." (And you wondered why gimps looking for jobs get discouraged!)

Hospital bed Dead/Disabled #2

"Even patients whom doctors refer to as the 'socially dead' -- whose visages have been mutilated in accidents -- eventually might receive face transplants." Story in Louisville Courier-Journal about new techniques in body parts transplants.

Crowd of people
Dead/Disabled #3

" 'If she lost, she could end up with two, three, four, up to seven babies that lived and had terrible sequelae.' ... severe lifelong handicaps like cerebral palsy, mental retardation or blindness." New York Times' Gina Kolata, reporting on neonatologists' anger at the positive reports surrounding the "gamble" Bobbi McCaughey made with her septuplets born in Iowa in November. The doctors' point? "You get into what kind of survival that will be, the quality of that survival."


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