Should I Write a Story About Technology Completely Healing a Disability?

Jul 08, 2018

Anonymous asks, quote:

Hi! I’m writing a fictional story about a girl who is injured in a terrorist attack and loses the use of her legs and most of the dexterity in her hands. Then she is recruited for human testing of new technologies that work perfectly to the point that it’s like the injury never happened. The government/military get wind of it and want to weaponize the technology and the girl ends up on the run. Would I be crossing any lines by writing this?

end quote.

“A person is horrifically injured/severely disabled in some kind of accident and then fully and completely healed due to technology” is a trope you definitely want to steer clear of. It’s been done before, it gets done a lot, and it feels like a form of erasure when it comes to how disabled people get represented in literature. From the way you describe it, you have character who is suddenly faced with a life‐altering injury and disability (something that happens to a lot of people in real life) who happens to be selected for experimental treatment that completely removes her disability and her need to confront how it would affect her as a person.

I don’t think this would be hard to fix, however. You really just need to think about what drives your character and the villain in the story. If the focus is more about the stress of being chased and hunted and less about the technology itself, then you can totally swap out her injury for something else. If the technology involved is key to the plot, why have her be injured? Why not have her sign up for some kind of super‐soldier program ala Jason Bourne?

There’s a ton of options out there! I’m sure you’ll be able to find something that works and doesn’t risk alienating a group of people who will probably be very interested in reading what you write.