[nabs-l] FW: ALERT! Sign-On to Letter to Congressional Leadership Concerning Health Reform and Vision Loss]

David Andrews dandrews at visi.com
Sat May 30 17:09:28 UTC 2009

Jim Our concern about blindness as a medical condition isn't because 
it is un curable I think.  Historically, at least recently, 20 years 
or more, virtually the whole blindness community, consumer and 
professional has fought for abandonment of the medical model in the 
blindness field.  It of course is, in most instances caused by a 
medical condition.  However, for most people it is a stable condition 
once it has taken place.  I realize for you with RP it is evolving, 
but for most, it generally reaches a place where it doesn't change 
much.  And, as you say, it isn't correctable in most instances.  So, 
for most of us, most of the time, our blindness is not a medical issue.

Further, for someone loosing their vision, eye doctors, opticians 
etc., have proven over time to be the worst sources of advice about 
blindness.  Their role is to prevent, or cure a condition, and if 
someone is going blind, they have lost.  So, most of them see 
blindness as defeat, and they say there is noting to be done.

The medical model of treatment just doesn't help us most of the time.


  At 02:48 PM 5/29/2009, you wrote:
>You said, "First, blindness is not necessarily a health problem. If anything,
>blindness is a social issue of an economic and educational nature
>rather than a health care problem." I have to completly disagree.
>I support the NFB's philosopy that with training, blindness can be 
>reduced to a mere nucance, but there is a difference between 
>optimisim and ignorance. At some point we have to be realistic as to 
>what blindness is. Blindness is the result of a medical disorder, 
>disease, or trauma. No amount of training is going to change the 
>fact that I have a genetic eye disease called Retinitus Pigmentosa 
>that is treated (or atleast monitored) by a doctor. I am sorry, but 
>I don't go to a doctor to be treated for a "social issue of an 
>economic and educational nature"; I go to a doctor to get medical 
>treatment for a medical deseaae/disorder. If I wanted to be treated 
>for a "social issue of an economic and educational nature", I would 
>go see a therapist, a preist, a teacher, or a librarian, not a doctor.
>It is true that "blindness" itself is not a disease/disorder, rather 
>blindness is a symptom of many different diseases/disorders. But, 
>just because blindness is a symptom, rather than a cause does not 
>give blindness some sort of special, non-medical classification. You 
>cannot seperate the medical diagnosis from the symptoms is causes. 
>For example, unquestionably,  diabeties is a medical condition, but 
>what about the low blood sugar it causes? Is low blood sugar also a 
>"social issue of an economic and educational nature", or is low 
>blood sugar a medically relivant side-effect of diabeties?  What 
>about diabeties-related blindness? Is the side-effect of "blindness" 
>a medical condition or a "social issue of an economic and 
>educational nature"? Why is there a difference between 
>diabeties's  side effect of low blood sugar, and its side-effect of blindness?
>I wonder if there is a relucance to call blindness a medical 
>condition because for the most part, blindness is 
>untreatable/uncureable? I wonder if more forms of blindness were 
>medically treatable and cureable, would more blind people be willing 
>to admit that their blindness is indeed a medical condition?
>Homer Simpson's brain: "Use reverse psychology."
>  Homer: "Oh, that sounds too complicated."
>  Homer's brain: "Okay, don't use reverse psychology."
>  Homer: "Okay, I will!"
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