Showing posts with label disability. Show all posts
Showing posts with label disability. Show all posts

Thursday, December 21, 2023

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

https://notdeadyet.org/2023/09/terri-hancharick-being-disabled-doesnt-mean-death-is-better-than-life.html

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.

Monday, March 30, 2020

Connecticut: Legislators Need to See Our Tears

Author testifying in 2015
By Cathy Ludlum

American democracy is based on the idea that the voices of the people matter. As legislators struggle with difficult issues, trying to balance the needs of conflicting constituencies and solve complicated problems, they need to hear the perspectives of the people most directly affected.

This is why they listen to hour after hour of in-person testimony. Written testimony has its place. Studies and charts provide important information; but being in the presence of the people, hearing their passion, and sometimes seeing their tears brings us together as human beings and makes it possible for legislators to make the best decisions.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

The ADA: A Gift From the Disability Community to the Non-Disabled, Improving Access for All

http://www.npr.org/2015/07/24/423230927/-a-gift-to-the-non-disabled-at-25-the-ada-improves-access-for-all

"This elevator is a gift from the disability
 community and the ADA to the nondisabled
 people of New York," said civil rights
lawyer,  
Sid Wolinsky. 
From NPR's Joseph Shapiro, published last year.

When the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) became law 25 years ago, "everybody was thinking about the iconic person in a wheelchair," says civil rights lawyer Sid Wolinsky. Or that the ADA — which bans discrimination based on disability — was for someone who is deaf, or blind.

But take a tour of New York City with Wolinsky — and the places he sued there — and you will see how the ADA has helped not just people with those significant disabilities, but also people with minor disabilities, and people with no disability at all.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Worldwide Theater Protest: "Hollywood Lies: I Prefer My Girlfriend Alive"


Wilfredo Rodriguez-Lopez
The New York based Center for Disability Rights has created a public service announcement in response to the disability snuff film, "Me Before You."

The PSA, which has already garnered over 150,000 views on Facebook, was developed by the Center for Disability Rights with filmmaker Clark Matthews. The PSA highlights that disabled lives are worth living, and that assisted suicide is harmful to the disability community

Monday, June 6, 2016

Worldwide Theater Protest: Wheelchair Athlete Ella Frech on "Me Before You"

Ella Frech

Eleven year old Ella Frech had a few things to say about "Me Before You"

Me Before You comes out tomorrow. I’ve never read the book, but my mom told me about it and I read the reviews online. It’s the story of a guy who gets in an accident, and has a spinal cord injury, and has to spend the rest of his life in a wheelchair. A guy you think should want to die because he has to live a life that looks like mine.

Well, what’s wrong with a life that looks like mine?

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

People With Disabilities Are a High Risk Group for Suicide; Legal Assisted Suicide Discussed as a Contributing Factor.

By Margaret Dore

Thank you Stephen Mendelsohn, of Second Thoughts Connecticut, for providing this important
Stephen Mendelsohn
news.

The State of Connecticut Suicide Prevention Plan for 2020 includes people with disabilities and chronic health conditions as a high-risk group (similar to military veterans or the LGBT community) and discusses assisted suicide as a possible contributing factor to the problem. The Plan states:
Until recently, the [Connecticut Suicide Advisory Board] CTSAB was considering assisted suicide of the terminally ill as a separate issue from suicide prevention. The active disability community in Connecticut, however, has been vocal on the need for suicide prevention services for people with disabilities. 
The Plan goes on:
There may be unintended consequences of assisted suicide legislation on people with disabilities. Peace (2012) writes that "Many assume that disability is a fate worse than death. So we admire people with a disability who want to die, and we shake our collective heads in confusion when they want to live.” People with disabilities have a right to responsive suicide prevention services. The CTSAB intends to continue to explore the needs of the disability community for such services. (Emphasis added).
Plan, p. 44.

The Plan concludes with "Targeted Recommendations,"which push back against the idea of rational suicide for people with disabilities:
• Do not "assume" suicide is a "rational" response to disability.
• Treat mental health conditions as aggressively as with a person without disability. (Emphasis added)
Id.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Autistic Self Advocacy Network (ASAN) Condemns Exclusion of Disabled People at NJ Hearing on Assisted Suicide Bill

http://www.notdeadyet.org/2014/12/autistic-self-advocacy-network-asan-condemns-exclusion-of-disabled-people-at-nj-hearing-on-assisted-suicide-bill.html

The Autistic Self Advocacy Network  (ASAN) has issued a statement condemning the exclusion of disabled people from testifying at yesterday’s (Dec.7) hearing on a proposed assisted suicide bill in front of the New Jersey Senate Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens Committee:
(Excerpt)
The Autistic Self Advocacy Network is deeply concerned about the omission of disabled people and representatives from disability rights organizations at yesterday’s hearing. Given that more than half of the groups in the New Jersey coalition opposing the bill are disability rights organizations and centers for independent living, it is unconscionable that the committee deliberately excluded witnesses from the disability community. Even after our community submitted a formal request for inclusion among the witnesses, the committee declined to invite a disability community representative.

Read the entire statement here.

* * *

Margaret Dore, President of Choice is an Illusion, was also excluded despite multiple requests to participate.  So the proponents' deceptively named advocacy group,  Compassion & Choices, was allowed to present unopposed by its opposition counter-part, Choice is an Illusion.  To view a legal/policy memo opposing the proposed bill to legalize assisted suicide and euthanasia in New Jersey, please go here:  https://choiceisanillusion.files.wordpress.com/2014/12/a-2270-3r-memo-12-02-14.pdf

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Lucinda Hardy: Montana's Law Protected Me

To view as published, click here.

I have read the guest column, "People living with disabilities support death with dignity" (July 25), which advocates for legalizing assisted suicide and/or euthanasia for the disabled. I could be described as such a person and this opinion does not speak for me. I am strongly against legalizing these practices.

When I was in high school, I was on track to get a basketball scholarship to college. And then, I was in a car accident. The accident left me in a wheelchair, a quadriplegic. In addition to my paralysis, I had other difficulties. Over the next two or three years, I gave serious thought to suicide. And I had the means to do it, but both times I got close, I stopped myself.

If instead, my doctor, an authority figure, had told me that ending my life was a rational course, there might have been a different result. If instead, he had given me a lethal dose to ingest or offered to euthanize me, I might have gone along with it. But assisted suicide and euthanasia were not legal in Montana. Such courses were off the table.

So, instead, I went to college to seek a degree in education. While in college, I participated in wheelchair racing at the state, national and international levels. I met my husband and 21 years later the honeymoon is not over. We have three beautiful daughters and a new baby granddaughter. I am also active in my community.

Montana's law protected me and I hope it will stay in place to continue to protect me and others as we go through the sometimes hard times of life.

Assisted suicide and euthanasia should not be legal.

Lucinda Hardy, Columbia Falls

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

I want assistance living, not dying

http://www.thespec.com/opinion-story/4465271-i-want-assistance-living-not-dying/

Assisted suicide

I was born with cerebral palsy and I have lived all of my life with pain. I now have scoliosis, which affects my mobility and gives me further pain. My prognosis is living with a wheelchair.

MP Steven Fletcher has introduced euthanasia bills with language that specifically focuses on people with disabilities because his bills are about him dying by euthanasia.

Fletcher seems to be saying that he does not value his life, but I value my life and the lives of others with disabilities. His "right to die" ends at the point where it affects other people. Don't take me down with your death wish.

As a member of parliament, Fletcher has the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of people with disabilities, to work toward improving social supports and living opportunities, but his euthanasia bills say that our lives are not worth living.

People with disabilities are at risk from euthanasia because they are often dependent on others who legally have the right to make decisions for them. Any legislation that lessens protections in law for people with disabilities is very concerning.

I have overcome many physical and social barriers in my life, I am busy wanting to live, but Fletcher's bill directly affects my right to live.

People with disabilities, who live with a positive mindset, show society how to overcome challenges. We see these challenges as opportunities for personal growth.

Fletcher wants your pity. People with disabilities don't want your pity and we don't want your death.

The concept of euthanasia creates great fear for me. Legalizing euthanasia or assisted suicide abandons me as a person. That society would rather help me die with dignity, than help me live with dignity. We will fight for the right of people with disabilities to live with equality, value and acceptance.

Steven Passmore, Hamilton                             

Monday, June 14, 2010

"Had We Faltered, I Would Have Missed Out on Some of the Best Years of My Life"

Dear Editor:
      

I am a 32 year old quadriplegic who works as a “Systems Advocate” in RochesterNew York. I am a college graduate and currently working on my Masters’ degree. I was disturbed to see Joel Marks’ forum piece, advocating for legalized assisted suicide.  (“Extending life no favor for some”).
        
When I was 19 years old, I was in an automobile accident, which led to my becoming disabled. I subsequently found myself in two different hospitals, where two different sets of doctors repeatedly and sometimes daily pressured my parents and later me directly, to agree to ending my life.  Fortunately, my mother was a strong advocate and refused to listen. Once I was better and recuperated, I was also a strong advocate for myself which helped me to advocate for others. Had we faltered, I would have missed out on some of the best years of my life.
        
Legalizing assisted suicide will expand the ability of doctors to legally kill their patients and/or pressure patients to kill themselves. With the “option” of assisted suicide, family members and others who might benefit from a death will be similarly empowered. Not everyone will have the support that I had. Our most vulnerable citizens will be at risk.

Terrie Lincoln