Entire life

July 6, 2009 at 8:52 AM (Uncategorized)

h/t to Goldfish’s twitter and Claire Lewis’ Livejournal:

UK’s Parliament is considering a bill that may pass *today.* this would immunize those who transport patients to assisted suicide clinics abroad for terminal illness (Dignitas) from prosecution. Claire Lewis excellent piece has a couple of paragraphs that I see as key, not just to the fight against the Duty to Die folks, but to broader understanding of disability/impairment in general.

Member of Parliament Baroness Campbell of Surbiton
Crossbench Peer speaks out:

Disabled people who experience progressive conditions understand far more than non-disabled people about what it is live with these pressures. We know what is acceptable as disease or disability progresses, and for the huge number of us who say no to assisted suicide, it is because we fear the changing culture such an amendment would bring. People without experience of disability, including our friends and families cannot predict what each stage of our personal journey will mean. Furthermore, financial and emotional conflicts of interest will always present an added burden to the situation. A law decriminalising assisted suicide would undoubtedly place disabled people under pressure to end their lives early to relieve the burden on relatives, carers (in the US read “caregivers” )or the state….

Disabled people have been largely silent in this debate which has been carried out in the media by clerics, non-disabled commentators and a small handful of individuals with terminal conditions who are supported by Dignity in Dying. Until large numbers of people like us are present to engage in this highly complex and ethical debate, we must strongly oppose any device such as Lord Falconer’s amendment to get assisted dying in through the back door.


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