Not Dead Yet Disability Activists Oppose Assisted Suicide As A Deadly Form of Discrimination | Not Dead Yet

Not Dead Yet Disability Activists Oppose Assisted Suicide As A Deadly Form of Discrimination

Lessons From Disability History

Prior to the formation of Not Dead Yet, disability activists opposed a number of so-called “right to die” court cases involving ventilator users who sought freedom from nursing homes, essentially arguing “give me liberty or give me death.” Society’s response, denying them freedom but granting them death, was a wake up call to the disability rights movement. (Herr, S.S., Bostrom, B.A, & Barton, R.S. (1992). No place to go: Refusal of life-sustaining treatment by competent persons with physical disabilities. Issues in Law & Medicine, 8 (1), 3-36.)

Suicide v. Assisted Suicide

It should be noted that suicide, as a solitary act, is not illegal in any state. Disability concerns are focused on the systemic implications of adding assisted suicide to the list of “medical treatment options” available to seriously ill and disabled people.

What’s Disability Got To Do With It?

The disability experience is that people who are labeled “terminal,” predicted to die within six months, are – or will become – disabled. It is well documented that the six month prediction called for in the Oregon and Washington laws is unreliable. The Oregon Reports demonstrate that some [...]

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