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Opinion >  Letters

System removed choice

As a parent of an adult with complex support needs due to lifelong epilepsy, I cringe over the many letters submitted supporting Lakeland Village. Many letters speak of choice for the families of people with disabilities. One recently said the U.S. Supreme Court in the Olmstead case supports a family’s need for institutions to care for their loved ones.

I simply wish to request consideration of the choices a person with a disability might make if offered a meaningful alternative to living within a prescribed system of care. Many people were institutionalized as young children or teens, and were not able within our culture to have a voice beyond their medical practitioner advising their parents of their utter lack of being able to care for their child.

I find it incomprehensible that we use the fact the person with a disability found a way to survive and thrive within a world not of their choosing to justify withholding choice from them. They truly were never given a choice.

I am not vilifying the dedicated staff at any institution our country keeps in business; I mourn the fact we came up with the idea in the first place.

Jill Smith

Coeur d’Alene

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