An ethical dilemma?

I have a girl friend who developed a neuro immune condition after she was physically abused by her fiancée abt 20 yrs ago leaving her with broken limbs that healed soon enough but the mental and disease condition continued with great pain. She has travelled the world searching for suitable medication and treatment. She phoned me from London last week and asked me to write a 3 page essay as a social scientist on the conditions in SA that she needed to support an application for asylum in the UK. She is currently penniless (her wealthy father has disowned her). Her argument is that she is a white, atheist, disabled female who has been raped, abused, thrown out of digs by lesbians 'coz she’s bisexual etc etc. I thought about this but eventually declined for ethical reasons as I don’t believe the problem lies in the country. I would be putting my reputation (for what it’s worth) on the line if I come out stating that white, bisexual, atheist women are harassed, abused etc etc in the country, as a rule. Given also the asylum scandal in Canada of a South African citizen abt discrimination against white males I baulked at her request.
Here is her reply:

Hi Brian, I understand. However, perhaps your people are not disabled, and single. And this aspect, being disabled, single and bisexual, are the discriminating factors. And perhaps your folk are protected also by the fact they have family. I don't. Not in that fashion. My point was in asking ypu to write an essay on the emergence of tribalism in SA, so that if you don't belong, actively to a particular group, you are at risk. Triply so if you can no longer work. The iss ue of being atheist would not matter were I not a Vulnerable Person. Were I able to work,and not bisexual,perhaps my world would be different. I am incredibly discrete Re my bisexuality,and yet have still being the victim of violence.threats and corrective rape. In truth, I understand why you cannot bring yourself to write up this apsect of SA culture. It's ugly, and most Sa would prefer to keep the reality of it under wraps. And because your folk ahvent experienced these things, dear Brian, does not mean they do not happen. And regularlydusabled whites who cannot support themselves are treated with disgust. Or worse, as if what we are, or the stye we are in, can contaminate people. It's ok, dear Brian. Thanks you for giving it some thought. I'm sorry for me, because in refusing me, you deny the reality of what happens to people like me, black or white. That these things happened within a white socioeconomic reality is bad enough. How much worse will they be if they force me to return to Sa and I must live in a marginal community. You know what will happen. Unfortunately my Neuro -immune condition precludes my living in a smaller safer village,because firstly, I've been denied the meds I need, on the basis of being white and rich, and not having the right diseases, I.e. herpes, aids, diabetes 2, etc. And secondly, monitoring me was neglected, because no one knew what to do about me. So they just fed me morphine.

Was my response justified?

Well my feeling is that you are not the right person to ask to right such a letter.
She maybe could approach a rape crisis, but I don’t think she has a case, They only
give asylum if you can prove that the Government is supporting discriminatory action against a group.
In our country everybody is “equal”.

So I feel she is grabbing at straws. Shame I feel sorry for her.

GCG is a white, female, bisexual, single, atheist. She’s not disabled, but on the basis stated I don’t buy the discriminating factors argument. GCG seems to get on just fine and she’s very vocal, as you well know.

However context could be everything here, did she live in “put-sonder-water” in a highly conservative community? I would suggest a place like joburg or cpt would be much more welcoming to her personal choices.

The medical thing, well, it sucks equally for everyone methinks. I’ve walked the dark paths of loved ones passing away in state hospitals under suspicious circumstances. However I don’t blame it on racism or discrimination; it’s pure incompetence.

To be frank, if she really wants to leave the country to persue meds, she may want to try some South American states. Their immigration policies are not nearly as strict as that of the UK and they have free state healthcare. (EDIT: Ok not all of them, but there are those that do)

I’m sure emmigrating as a disabled person can’t be easy, as most states would see you as a burden. However it’s worth finding out the possibilities before settling on one of the most difficult countries to get into as your sole candidate.

That’s why this move seems a bit suspicious, wanting our cake and eating it?

Your response was justified in my opinion Brian. There is currently a great Neuro-immune programme (government funded) at Helen Joseph, she would get her treatment for free, and they dont care what colour you are, its generally the whites that balk at sitting in a queue with the other races.

As for whinging about being bi-sexual, it would just appear she’s not come to terms with it yet, being a black bi-sexual in a township environment might be a risk, but in the white suburban environment - somehow that one just doesnt float with me, aside from that, we all know how to pick our audience. Most of us know not to bring up our atheism when surrounded by only xtians - why stir up a pot when the stew is plenty?

My opinion? She’s feeling sorry for herself and trying to make you feel bad about her own emotional inadequacies.