I remember how my late friend, the disability activist and scholar Bill Peace was attending a conference at Yale University. The event was about bio-ethics. Bill was a wheelchair user and he had a sudden cardiac emergency. He was taken to Yale Hospital where, believe it or not, he was shunted to a corner of the emergency room and left alone for 7 hours.
Bill died two years ago in yet another instance of medical neglect. He was in his early fifties.
I’m thinking of him on this Fourth of July. I know he wouldn’t mind my employing him as a device in the literary sense since his dying came as a direct result of medical neglect driven by ableism. He represents in his passing a national disgrace: our nearly wholesale indifference to the disability community in matters of healthcare.
So today while the able bodied stuff themselves with hot dogs I am taking time to say that until health care is a right in this country no one is free.