I have had an emergency room nurse say to me: “Epileptics should not be allowed to drive.” I have several problems with this statement.
First of all, how are people who have epilepsy supposed to live if they cannot drive? How are they supposed to work? Several states have laws concerning epilepsy and driving to protect the general public. However, if your medicine keeps you seizure free for awhile, you can drive again. Clearly, not allowing large populations of people to drive in order to travel to their place of employment would be very problematic. Placing all of them on disability would not be a viable solution either. The government already has financial problems. I wanted to tell this person that there are millions of americans with a seizure disorder that are capable of doing many every day activities including driving without a problem. They are also capable of doing this for years at a time, but this nurse was not in the mood for a debate.
I also didn’t like her use of the word ‘epileptics’. Epilepsy is a disease that varies greatly from individual to individual. It is impossible for you to generalize when talking about this condition. What works for one person may not work for another. The term ‘epileptic’ also tends to define by person by the disease that they have. This is a practice that should be avoided. People are complex and shouldn’t be labeled because of one characteristic or disease that they happen to have.
I eventually forgave her because this nurse’s opinions had probably been formed after seeing the results of some tragic accidents. Have you had any experiences like this one?