Thursday, December 21, 2023

Terri Hancharick: Being Disabled Doesn’t Mean Death Is Better Than Life

Delaware’s Daily State News published an opinion piece by the Chair of the State Council for Persons with Disabilities who is also the parent of a person with developmental disabilities. In the article, Terri Hancharick stated in part:

Delaware’s assisted suicide bill is based on legislation in Oregon, where assisted suicide was first legalized. Data from Oregon provides insight into the top reasons that patients ask for assisted suicide. The top five reasons that people gave were the loss of autonomy, being unable to participate in activities that make life enjoyable, loss of dignity, loss of bodily functions and becoming a burden on family, friends and caregivers. These reasons are all disability-related. Contrary to popular belief, pain does not even make it into the top reasons people give to justify their application for assisted suicide.

These disability-related concerns are similar to the concerns that my daughter and other Delawareans with disabilities face daily ….and deserve appropriate multidisciplinary care — but they are not worth seeking death as an alternative. Legalized assisted suicide devalues the life of my daughter and her peers, and it simply sends the wrong message to the disability community, that they are better off dead than disabled.


To read the full article, published in September 2023, please go HERE.