Essay by Keith Rankin.
I watched the very short movie Forgive Us Our Trespasses on Netflix today (Saturday, March 05).
Set in Germany in the 1930s, it starts with a schoolteacher giving an arithmetic lesson to a class of children.
The question posed was that the cost of caring for a disabled child was 12.00 marks, compared to 5.50 marks for a non-disabled child. What is the cost of that disability to the German people, the children were asked?
The Netflix series Charité at War, set in the renown Charité hospital in Berlin, addresses the same theme; the fate of disabled children.
A week ago (27 February) I watched this on Newshub: Christchurch family being ‘inhumanely’ forced out of country because 4yo disabled daughter can’t get residency. The story was also covered by the Irish newspaper Sunday News: Irish girl with rare disorder forced to leave New Zealand after her visa is rejected.
The girl in question, Ruby, was born in New Zealand. The only reason that the family have had to leave New Zealand is Ruby’s disability. And the decision by Immigration New Zealand was justified on the grounds of ‘cost to the people of New Zealand’.
Keith Rankin (keith at rankin dot nz), trained as an economic historian, is a retired lecturer in Economics and Statistics. He lives in Auckland, New Zealand.