Monday, July 23, 2012

Be careful about what you wish for

UK disability rights activist, Nikki Kenward speaks about what legalizing euthanasia or assisted suicide would mean for those with a serious disability


By Nikki Kenward
 
Nikki Kenwood
I speak as someone who constantly asks the general public what they think and want for their relatives and themselves and also as someone who has been ‘locked in’ and is now significantly disabled. I agree with Iona Heath, President of the Royal College of GPs,that assisted suicide campaigns can be predicated on an excessively rosy view of society. People simply aren’t thinking this through. We are a society that likes to make best and most use of everything that we pay for, especially in the NHS. The same will happen with assisted suicide, once we’ve got everything in place, there will be no stopping the follow through.

 So for those of us who ask what assisted suicide would be like – there will be some hassle and indecision but the doctors will see to it that it goes alright in the end – your end. Voluntary euthanasia will lead to governments saving money, while euthanasia advocates make money.

 Professor Nigel Biggar has said that the legalization of assisted suicide will “jeopardise society’s commitment to the high value of individual human lives, and its support for those lives when they are ailing. It will make society more liberal at the expense of making it less humane.”

 For those who want to take their own life, even if they make it legal for someone to kill you, they still have no right to take my life. For that is what will happen unless the voices of the disabled, elderly and marginalized are heard.

Nikki Kenward, who became partially disabled from paralysis caused by Gullain Barre syndrome, staged a protest outside parliament about the dangers that a changing the law to allow assisted suicide or euthanasia would pose to those with serious disability. Her own inspiring personal story is told in the Daily Mail and is well worth a read.

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