Dear Dr Theodore Baehr,
Million Dollar Baby is a very well done and inspirational film. It is unethical to say that the Oscar winning movie is even close to being seen as or compared to a Nazi propaganda movie. It is crazy to say that Nazis killing handicapped Jews is even close to a woman struggling with being handicapped for the rest of her life. She is choosing to die, not being forced to be exterminated to make a “better race”. Why should others base their ideas/opinions off of Maggies action? Its her choice and body, no one elses.
In the movie there is struggle seen in both Maggie and Frankie‘s lives. Maggie comes from a low end trashy family, who wants to become a successful boxer and help her family out financially. But, rather than her mother accepting the financial help, Maggie is shut down with her mother saying "you shouldn't have done this. Now the government's going to find out and they'll stop my welfare. And I can't live without my welfare". Frankie is one of the worlds best trainers in boxing but is too overprotective to recognize when a fighter is ready for a title win. He eventually loses his fighter and makes a decision that changes his life, training Maggie. In the end of the movie Frankie is faced with a horrible decision of choosing life or death for Maggie. Struggling with this tragic decision for many days, he chose to help Maggie because it was what was asked from her. Frankie knows Maggie best and that she is a strong, intelligent woman who has battled her entire life and can make her own personal decisions and after her painful attempts to kill herself (tries to bleed to death) he helps her end her life.
Many people, like yourself have seen this movie as being a "million dollar euthanasia movie”, like Rush Limbaugh stated. It is said that it shows a horrible message to those who do have long term disabilities and their family members. Everyone has their own opinion and perspective, some more critical than others say this film persuades the world to make tragic decisions. When really it isn’t at all. If you feel that a movie is going to persuade you to make a “bad” decision then what is the point of going to see it at all. Like Hitler, he convinced countries and people that there should only be one race and to get rid of the Jews, many people do the same thing after seeing a movie with a critical topic like Euthanasia. They think that their opinion is the morally correct solution, when its not. No one is always right or perfect, everyone is different in their actions and opinions and shouldn’t be discriminated against. When you (Ted Baehr) stated that “Love should never trump conscience. Murder is not excusable, even when it is art”, he felt that true Christians support life not murder. This may be his opinion, but I feel it is in no manner a form of murder. She was helped more than hurt. She shouldn’t have to suffer the rest of her life if she doesn’t want to. Would you want to sit in a bed the rest of your life with a family who cares more about getting welfare than you?
I believe that Million Dollar Baby is an outstanding movie that’s gives inspiration to many, not in assisting suicide, but to go after your dreams and to live life the best you can. Maggie felt her life wasn’t worth living after the severe injuries, but she thought she had had a great life while it had lasted. She accomplished so many things and got through rough times. She didn’t have a family who loved her and supported her, they more ridiculed her than anything. Frankie took away her pain and struggling. Her wanting to be helped to die should never be compared to the Holocaust. Those people never chose to die, they were dramatically forced to. I feel it is your choice whether you want to continue your life struggling and being depressed or to end it peacefully. It is a tough decision, but you should do what you feel is best. No one knows what Maggie was going through unless they were actually put into that same situation, which is why she shouldn’t be judged on choosing life or death. Life is a gift, but no one can decide for you when it is time to end it, it is your own choice.