Monday, January 28, 2019

Assisted suicide promotes the idea that life with a disabling condition is not worth living.

Alex Schadenberg
Executive Director - Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

A letter by Elizabeth Schiltz from Minneapolis that was published in the Star Tribune on January 23 writes in her response to a pro-assisted suicide letter that: Simply put, assisted suicide sends a message we shouldn’t want to send.

Schiltz, writes from the perspective of someone who cared for her mother through the final years with Parkinsons:

In the 2017 case of Myers vs. Schneiderman, 11 disability-rights organizations filed an amicus brief opposing New York’s effort to legalize assisted suicide. They argued: 
“By asserting that it is irrational for a non-disabled person to end his or her life, but rational for a disabled person to do so, appellants argue that the disabled person’s life is intrinsically less worthy of state protection than a nondisabled person’s life. … 
“Central to the civil rights of people with disabilities is the idea that a disabling condition does not inherently diminish one’s life; rather, stereotypes, prejudices, and barriers preventing assistance with activities of daily living do so. In contrast, assisted suicide gives legal force to the idea that life with a disabling condition is not worth living.”
Thank you to Elizabeth Schiltz and groups like Not Dead Yet for speaking out against the discriminatory practice of assisted suicide.

1 comment:

gordon friesen said...

This is a very well presented statement of fact.

In Quebec we are now watching a court case in which the litigants Truchon and Gladu are disabled individuals who wish to be able to access voluntary euthanasia but who can not do so because they fail the Canadian criterion of "reasonably" foreseeable death.

However, as stated in the article above, the law provides protection to the general population. Therefore they are talking about removing the rights of certain people.

The Quebec case begins from the current legal status quo under which some people enjoy that protection, and some people do not. The point to the litigation is to expand the group of those who are without protection. Specifically : to include disabled and ill individuals who are not at end of life.

It seems to me, that changing people, involuntarily, from one category to another is an attack on their individual charter rights of equality before the law. That is : one day they had a right and the next day they did not.

This is no longer a political argument, it is a practical legal argument.

I believe a challenge could be presented on this basis which would stand a reasonable chance of success, in at least halting the expansion of euthanasia on this front.

Are their legal minds in attendance who might offer their opinion on this idea ?

Best Regards,

Gordon from Montreal