Dr. Ted Baehr,

I would like to start out by introducing myself. My name is Mia and I am a senior in high school. In my Bioethics class this past week we watched Million Dollar Baby and it was the first time that I have personally seen it. I thoroughly enjoyed the movie because of the action and suspense that it brought to me. But when it got to the ending, I was completely thrown. I was in no way expecting Maggie to become a quadriplegic and it was even more shocking to me that the closest person in her life made the decision to end her life, the most valuable thing that we as humans process. I was left in tears, but I understood that Frankie thought that he was doing the right thing and I respect him for his courage because I know that I would never have that amount of courage. My classmates and I were given your article by our bioethics teacher and were instructed to write a response. So here we are…

I respect you opinion and I personally feel that everyone’s opinion should be valued. But I am afraid that I disagree with your article in full. In absolutely no way can Million Dollar Baby be compared to a Nazi propaganda movie. Million Dollar Baby shows the struggle of Frankie, a single person who was forced to make the decision between life and death for one the closest persons in his life. He struggles with this decision for many days before deciding what to do because of the effects it will have on both himself and Maggie. And this was most definitely not the case in Nazi Germany. Neither Hitler nor his soldiers struggled while mass-murdering thousands of physically or mentally challenged people during the Nazi Reign. These decisions were made hastily and quickly without thought or emotion. These mass murders were not made by the request of the physically or mentally challenged persons, but by people who didn’t know them at all. The propaganda movie “I accuse” was made by Nazi’s to validate their mass killing of non-worthy human lives. Million dollar baby is not prompting that every quadriplegic in the world should be killed and especially murdered; it just shows the story of one particular woman and why ending her life was the right decision for her and only her.
Maggie was a very active young woman making her way to the top of the female boxing world. She was finally making a name for herself along with some decent money for once in her life. Maggie struggled to get Frankie to be her coach, but with much determination she made it happen. While in a very important match, her life that she had worked for was over when an angry competitor hit her after the bell had been called and Maggie broke her neck, becoming a quadriplegic. This new life was defiantly not for Maggie and she made this apparent through multiple suicide attempts. When Frankie wouldn’t let her die, Maggie tried to kill herself by biting her tongue and nearly bleeding to death. Frankie realized that, even though she didn’t want her to die, she wants to die while she still had some dignity. He finally ended up making the decision to help Maggie die.
It is absolutely ridiculous to compare the struggle that Frankie went through in making the decision to end Maggie’s life to the heartless actions of manipulated followers of Hitler. Their intentions were cruel and heartless, trying to reach an impossible goal of the “master race”. Frankie only had Maggie’s happiness in his heart when he made the choice to end her life. Before injecting Maggie with the drug that will end her life, he gives her a single kiss on the head and says, “mo chuisle means ‘My darling, my blood.’” Now I don’t know about you, but I doubt that in Nazi Propaganda movies before they murder the mentally/physically challenged, they give each of them a kiss on the head and share such an intimate moment such as this. ☺