I was quietly appalled when I read this. Not that the woman wanted to do it to herself but that there was a 'sympathetic psychologist' (who? where?) who was prepared to blind a twenty one year old woman. To be fair, nine years down the line she still seems to be happy with what happened. For all I know she still will be in nineteen, or thirty nine, or ninety nine. The question 'what if she's not' is entirely rhetorical now, because "done bun can't be undone".
So, whaddaya think? Is it significant that it was a psychologist who did this and not a doctor? Should a doctor be allowed to do such a thing - would a doctor do such a thing - in such a case? From the very very little I know about her disorder it's not generally treatable. But who can do anything but recoil at the idea of someone having themselves voluntarily blinded?
I heard a bird cry, sharp and free. My name is Jordan.
I don't know what to make of this myself. Our brain chemistry can make us do anything and believe anything, so I can imagine even more horrible things that someone could inflict upon themselves just because they believe it to be necessary, even though by all objective accounts it isn't. If this was about inflicting pain or impairing on another person, the choice would be clear. But when it comes to people doing that to themselves, I'm not really sure. On the one hand, I think people should have total freedom to do as they please with their own bodies (the kinky stuff included), as long as they don't involve another unwilling person. On the other hand, I think it's unethical to deprive oneself of a bodily organ or function, or to inflict pain on oneself, unless it is with the intention of avoiding an even greater pain or impairment.
Also, the fact that it is essentially just a "chemical imbalance" of some sort in the brain, means that there must be a way to change it or reverse it. We just know too little about the brain at the moment to do so. But perhaps it would have been more ethical to try to understand this woman's condition, even at the cost of her ongoing suffering, and thereby prevent more future suffering by others with similar conditions (and possibly with other benefits on the side as well), than to take the easy, and questionable, route of bowing to her wishes.
“We think we understand the rules when we become adults but what we really experience is a narrowing of the imagination.”
It could have been worse if she'd decided to do it herself, as some could have done.
It is sad that some people want to do this kind of thing to themselves, but it's ultimately her life to make of it what she will. I assume the psychologist must have gone through the consequences with her beforehand, although I would prefer it if she had seen several before making such an irreversible decision, getting only one opinion is a recipe for disaster.
People could argue that many other things done to yourself are wrong and a mutilation, including such things as gender reassignment. It's a very complex area with, I suspect, no absolute answers.
I don't think that the gender assignment comparison really holds up though I saw people making it on the comments section of that story. I suppose I just don't understand how being blind could make someone's life better, and how someone who considered themselves to be a healthcare professional could be complicit in such a thing.