Throughout the Harry Potter novels, there are numerous examples of discrimination and prejudice towards certain groups, and in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, the inequality of one specific classification of beings is introduced: that of the werewolf.
Werewolves are considered extremely dangerous to humans when transformed, and the Ministry has taken numerous measures to attempt to “contain” affected individuals (i.e. Anti-werewolf legislation, Werewolf register). There is only one known treatment for lycanthropy - the Wolfsbane potion. This offers sufferers the option to transform, but retain their human mental faculties and hide away until they return to human form.
So shouldn’t the potion logically be required and supplied for all registered werewolves by the Ministry of Magic?
This concept may appear rather harsh, as it would essentially deprive those afflicted with Lycanthropy the freedom to transform as they please and act on their werewolf instincts, as opposed to remaining hidden during their transformation, but could potentially save many lives and minimize the number of Lycanthropic infections. On the anti-Wolfsbane end, one might prefer to transform both physically and mentally because they consider it “more natural”, or that they do not believe that they should be embarrassed by their condition, believing that other should accept their “imperfections” instead of imposing “solutions” to make them fit in with the norm.
While this opinion could be seen as an act of courage and bravery in most cases, when the illness in question could result in numerous fatalities and infections, perhaps this is actually somewhat ignorant and selfish. Many werewolves (while not transformed) would never intentionally harm a living being, and would be disgusted if they discovered that they had infected or murdered someone. Over the past few centuries, the magical community has certainly shown no mercy when it comes to passing laws regarding werewolves, so it would seem only natural for them to jump at the chance to enforce another law, this time one that has clear advantages.
So what could be the hold up? As noted in the series, the Wolfsbane potion is very difficult to make, with disastrous consequences if brewed incorrectly. Perhaps the Ministry is afraid of the repercussions that could result from a potion mishap. Although the ingredients for the potion are not specified (aside from wolfsbane), surely some of them are on the pricier side, and werewolves are known to be quite poor (as finding employment is often challenging), therefore they are likely unable to purchase the potion themselves. Does the Ministry have the financial resources to accommodate the growing werewolf population?
Do you think a law implementing the mandatory use of the Wolfsbane potion should be passed? Why do you think it has not until now? Let us know in the comments below!
Speaking of werewolves and a certain Professor Lupin, check out Alohomora! as they continue the global re-read of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.