Tuesday, April 15, 2014

People with disabilities don't want your pity and we don't want euthanasia.

The following letter was published by the Hamilton Spectator on April 15, 2014.

Sign the Declaration of Hope to oppose euthanasia and assisted suicide.

Steve Passmore protesting
euthanasia bill in 2009.
By Steve Passmore

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.

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

Fletcher is 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 towards 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 mind-set, 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 Ontario

Links to similar articles:
People with disabilities are not disposable.
People with disabilities protest Bill C 384.


Ann Farmer said...

What a wonderful piece - so much more inspiring than here in Great Britain, where a seemingly endless queue of media personalities announcing that they would want to commit suicide should they become disabled are given a respectful hearing - indeed, despite being able-bodied and leading quite nice lives, thank you, they are treated as spokespeople for the disabled community! They are viewed as courageous, while the really courageous lives of the disabled, as portrayed here, are ignored. I am disabled too and have been depressed by the constant drip-drip campaign to kill us off, and equally underwhelmed by offers of help. 'Diversity' is all the rage now, but it does not include the disabled. Imagine if we said to desperately poor people in the developing world, or any other disadvantaged group, 'Your lives are tragic, so you should have the right to die - of course, it's up to you.' Why then is it seen as compassionate to extend this 'right' to the sick and disabled?What have we done to deserve it? Keep up the good work!

Lily said...

This here is perfect " His “right to die” ends at the point where it affects other people. Don’t take me down with your death wish." Thank you! I am disabled too and have a substitute decision maker which can be scary at times, a lot of times. Most of my pain is mental pain and from frustration from lack of services and loneliness. I am now grateful for to the doctors who helped me when I tried to kill myself and I hope if things ever get that bad again they would do the same but the way things are going it looks as though they wouldn't.