Over the past several days, scientists have been experimenting with various sounds to lure an injured wayward whale and her calf who are stuck in Sacramento about 90 miles from the sea into their natural habitat. There was a news conference where the public were urged not to overreact because the animals are fairly safe and it could take weeks before scientists are able to coax the animals back to the sea. Apparently so many folks are concerned about these whales that they need to calm them down. Pietr Folkens of the Alaska Whale Foundation said there is no sense of urgency and that the whales are not in bad shape.
This story is being covered nationally on TV and in newspapers. It is also on the web page of Seattlepi today. And on their front page further down is another story: Double amputee commits suicide with gun. The story indicates that a male double amputee confined to a nursing home shot and killed himself with a gun after a woman brought him a parcel during a visit.
And I thought of all of the efforts being put into those wayward whales to get them back to the sea and lure them into their environment and how people are so concerned for them. It's a good thing that we care for animals and protect them.
But it's sad that the buried news story about the double amputee won't get the same coverage and attention that the whales get. And it's also kind of sad that people don't really know or acknowledge how many people with disabilities lead desperate lives in nursing homes - which causes some of them to wish for suicide as a way to escape the confines of their unnatural habitat.
ADAPT is fighting for the passage of the Community Choice Act of 2007 which will change the current bias toward fiscal spending toward institutionalizing people with disabilities rather than the lower cost community care alternative preferred by many disabled people. Their site reads:
"(CCA, S. 799 and HR 1621). Introduced in March, CCA will end the nationwide institutional bias in Medicaid funding and give Americans with disabilities the real supports and services they need to get out of expensive institutions and rejoin community life."
If you believe that human beings as well as animals deserve to be in their natural habitat, click above to read about their work. And take a moment to read the stories of people who lived in nursing homes by reading the testimony post above.