Friday, September 27, 2013

Dr Low: The concept of euthanasia creates great fear for me.

Steve Passmore
The following letter was written by disability activist, Steve Passmore, and published in the National Post and the Hamilton Spectator.
In his video, Dr. Donald Low said that if I were to live in his body for 24 hours, I would change my mind on assisted death.
I was born with cerebral palsy and I have lived all of my life with pain. My condition is deteriorating. I now have scoliosis which has given me further pain and my prognosis is living with a wheelchair. I have a hernia, but because it isn't permanent I don't qualify to receive help to clean my apartment. Living with a disability also means that I have experienced discrimination.
Most people with disabilities generally live with pain, suffering and social isolation.
Legalizing euthanasia or assisted suicide is an abandonment of me as a person, that society would rather help me die, than help me live. The concept of euthanasia creates great fear for me. The answer is not legalizing euthanasia or assisted suicide but rather improving social supports.
I only have one life. I choose to live. Society needs to ensure life with dignity, not death with dignity.

Steve Passmore, Hamilton Ontario

The following letter was written by Steve Passmore and published in the Hamilton Spectator on October 4, 2013 in response to a letter entitled: Allow me to choose how long I live (Hamilton Spectator Letters, Sept. 28, 2013)
I deeply regret the pain and suffering the letter writer is going through. I would do anything that I could to help her.
But her opinion can't put the rest of us at risk, and it will. Legalizing euthanasia or assisted suicide enables others, usually doctors, to be involved with causing death. The choice will not only be ours, but it will also be someone else's.
In Belgium, a study found that as many as 32 per cent of the euthanasia deaths were done without request. Abuses will happen and people will be subtly pressured.
I understand how difficult this is for the letter writer, but she must understand how euthanasia will affect people with disabilities and ultimately all of us.
I will continue stand up for the community of people with disabilities.

Steve Passmore, Hamilton Ontario

Links to similar articles:
People with disabilities are not disposable.
I am concerned about my safety if euthanasia and assisted suicide were legal in Canada.
Persons with disabilities protest Bill C-384.

5 comments:

Tony Burns said...

"Legalizing euthanasia or assisted suicide is an abandonment of me as a person, that society would rather help me die, than help me live. The concept of euthanasia creates great fear for me. The answer is not legalizing euthanasia or assisted suicide but rather improving social supports.
I only have one life. I choose to live. Society needs to ensure life with dignity, not death with dignity."

This in many ways is just wrong.

It is not an either/or situation. The inference that society would rather help you die is insulting. No one on the dying with dignity side wants you dead.

Your conviction and courage to accept the cards you are dealt is admirable and I, for one, fully support your right to do that as long as you choose to and would not endorse your choice to have your death assisted without at least the agreement of two qualified physicians that you had less than a few months left. You can have life with dignity and death with dignity.

We can and should improve social support for those who are suffering and that support includes dying with dignity.

The idea that society wants you dead is pure conspiracy theory. Your distrust and misunderstanding of what you think dying with dignity involves and therefore your absolute rejection of it is insulting to the thousands of people who suffer needlessly in their last few days and shows a lack of compassion.

Alex Schadenberg said...

You will never understand the life experience of people with disabilities. People who live with discrimination and then when they read Bill 52 or formally Bill 384, it clearly defines euthanasia as being for people with their conditions.

It is not a misunderstanding of the dying with dignity ideology the dying with dignity crowd has intentionally defined people with disabilities as part of the group that will die.

Voluntary? Its really an illusion.

Steve Passmore

MsOopsd said...

This blog really struck me and made me look at things form a different perspective. Honestly, I have been pro-euthanasia for quite some time. After reading this though it has made me realize how hard it can be on a day to day basis living with a disability. These people are constantly fighting for their lives. When they hear that people want to legalize euthanasia it probably does get them down. Why would people want to just give up on others even if they are fighting for their lives. I really do see just how controversial this topic is.

Anonymous said...

There is no fight to allow euthanasia in Canada. It is a fight to allow assisted suicide. Since Schadenberg cant even understand the less than nuanced difference between the two, how can he expect anyone to take his ridiculous arguments seriously?

If I am allowed to ask a doctor to help me, how does that in any way diminish your desires to live? Schadenberg, while you read the definition of euthanasia, perhaps you should read another one; Autonomy.

Giving one person a right, does not take anything away from you. If an ALS patient chooses to end his life, no one will be sneaking in at night to chloroform you... you really sound like a tin foil hat wearing, uninformed nutter.

Alex Schadenberg said...

I almost never publish anonymous comments but since Anonymous is so wrong on this and since Anonymous accuses me of not understanding the difference between euthanasia and assisted suicide then I will respond.

Both the Carter decision and the Quebec Bill 52 euthanasia law allow euthanasia.

The Quebec law only legalizes euthanasia and not assisted suicide. Read the law.

In Carter, Justice Smith struck down the assisted suicide act and then stated that parliament needed to legalize a limited form of euthanasia for cases where a person is unable to self administer.

My comments have always been correct. Anonymous is not only afraid to publish their name with their false comments they are simply wrong.

I also assume by the comments from Anonymous that they don't know what euthanasia is and they do not know the definitions in our laws.