Friday, June 30, 2023

Euthanasia promoter urges disabled people to die by suicide

Meghan Schrader is an autistic person who is an instructor at E4 Texas at the University of Texas (Austin) and an EPC-USA board member.

By Meghan Schrader

Meghan Schrader

I spend too much time on Twitter. It’s kind of a vice; given the cesspool that Twitter can be, I probably should get a better hobby.

But, then again, Twitter is an important socialization tool for many people with disabilities, and it provides an opportunity to connect with other people who have disabilities. Opposition to assisted suicide runs deep in the disability justice community, and if one hangs out on what activists call #DisabilityTwitter often like I do, one will probably observe tweets expressing opposition to assisted suicide about once or twice a month, even if one doesn’t follow accounts focused on that issue specifically.

That means that one also becomes apprised of what assisted suicide advocates are doing on Twitter as well, and Twitter provides an opportunity to dialogue with them if one is so inclined.

One of the most honest American proponents that one can dialogue with on Twitter is Thaddeus Mason Pope. Some United States proponents say, with various degrees of sincerity, that what they call “aid in dying” has nothing to do with disabled people and that of course they don’t support killing disabled people, but not him. He’s out, he’s proud, and he wants disabled people everywhere to know that if we would like to die by suicide, he would like to help make that happen. It’s really gross, and really disturbing that society has allowed people like that to have a platform.

Hence, on June 15, 2023, I tweeted to Pope: 

“You run around all day screaming, ‘It’s good for disabled people to die by suicide; it is!’

Do you honestly believe that your advocacy isn’t contributing to suicide contagion among people with disabilities?” 

Pope tweeted back, 

“Good for people with disabilities if they themselves determine that this is in their own best interest.” 

I tweeted, 

“So the suicides of people with disabilities are good?” 

He wrote, 

“Yes. If that is what THEY want.”
One has to admire Pope’s honesty. But, there’s something really ugly about his logic. His tweets carry the message:
“Nothing matters but me.” Those tweets communicate, “I’m so educated, important and enlightened that I’m above the rules-moral rules about not encouraging others to harm themselves don’t apply to me.” His tweets say, “F-k any disabled Twitter users who might be living with suicidal ideation and could be triggered by my tweets.”
A second thing that Pope acknowledged on Twitter that day was that he knows disabled people will be coerced, forced, traumatized or otherwise harmed by assisted suicide, but he’s ok with that.

In regard to the potential for mistakes in the application of physician assisted suicide, Pope tweeted, 

“Yes yes. So many medical errors. Even about death determination. Even about MAID. We never demand perfection before implementing healthcare.” 

I tweeted, 

“Your logic is deeply disgusting. It establishes that you know that some people will die in accidents related to physician assisted suicide, but you're determined to do it anyway.” 

He wrote, 

“Yes. Just like we allow advance directives, surrogate decisions, withdrawal of life sustaining treatment - and they are all subject to errors too.”
DNRs are in fact weaponized against disabled people. However, there’s an important distinction between a DNR and assisted suicide:
DNRs don’t kill people outright, so there’s a chance that a disabled person subjected to a compulsory DNR could survive and fight back.

Someone who dies in a “MAiD accident” has no opportunity to recover or resist the death being forced on them. All chances of survival are lost.
So, Pope isn’t content to promote disabled people’s suicides. No, no-he wants some of us to become homicide victims, so that privileged academics like himself can plan their deaths. The human rights of the coerced, traumatized or forced people don’t matter to Thaddeus Pope and his friends.

Unfortunately, people like Pope are deriving a political benefit from living in a culture where suicide is viewed as being acceptable if an individual has disabilities. A peer reviewed study by researcher Emily Lund establishes that people are more likely to consider suicide acceptable if the suicide victim has an impairment. (Link to article).

Thaddeus Mason Pope’s tweets are an example of how assisted suicide is linked to oppression, demoralization and violence toward people with disabilities. It’s 2023; disabled people should have been experiencing a much fairer world by now, in several aspects of life.

Instead, the disabled community is reaping the consequences of a society that is so apathetic toward disabled people’s basic needs that it can’t even be bothered to provide us with suicide prevention. We are dirt.

In regard to the disabled community being treated like dirt, statements like Pope’s make it clear that all self-respecting suicide prevention advocates and organizations really need to do some honest and humble reflection on their silence regarding assisted suicide. Not saying anything while people like Pope shamelessly sell suicide to the disabled community communicates that suicide prevention is for ablebodied, neurotypical people. The Canadian Association for Suicide Prevention strongly opposed extending assisted suicide to the disabled community in 2021, but their opposition came too late to prevent the law change.

Indeed, the American Association of Suicidology’s 2017 statement about “medical aid in dying” being different from suicide had tragic consequences for the disabled community. Regrettably the board had somehow fallen under the influence of assisted suicide advocate, academic Margaret Battin, and its statement about PAS has repeatedly been used to justify PAS in all sorts of different contexts. The 2019 Truchon court decision in Québec which extended euthanasia to people with disabilities, cited the AAS’s statement to support its judgment that “MAiD” for disabled people was not suicide.

The AAS had made that statement in the context of physician assisted suicide for people with terminal illnesses, but in the end, the organization’s intentions did not matter. Its statement that some suicides weren’t suicides was used to cause multiple disabled Canadian’s suicides.

To its credit, the AAS became apprised of the genie it had let out of the bottle, and it retracted its statement about PAS not being suicide in 2023. Now the assisted suicide movement has no scientific basis for its assertions that PAS is not suicide. (Link to article)

But, simply retracting that statement does not go far enough. Given the right to die movement’s tolerance for expansionists (Compassion and Choice’s president appeared on Dr. Phil with Thaddeus Mason Pope in 2022), suicide prevention organizations have no reasonable basis to assume that the right to die movement isn’t undermining suicide prevention for people with disabilities.

Now is the time for mainstream suicide prevention organizations to speak up, before people like Pope gain even more influence over America’s medical system.

Not taking steps to resist the assisted suicide movement leaves resistance to Pope et al’s suicide baiting to all of us autistic crazy people on Twitter.

In the meanwhile, disabled people have no obligation to accept subjugation in respect to suicide prevention or anything else.

Privileged, educated control freaks like Pope aren’t entitled to off a few disabled people, and routinely tell us to kill ourselves, so that they can plan their deaths. We are people; not insects that people like Pope can blithely grind into the dirt.


P. O'Brien said...

Thaddeus Pope is well on his way to Hell. Once there, he will wish he could end it by suicide, but that isn't how it will work...forever.

Keith Dominic said...

The Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith reminds us that today it is very important to protect, at the moment of death, both the dignity of the human person and the Christian concept of life, against a technological attitude that threatens to become an abuse.

Your communications enlighten us about insidious contemporary trends, Alex.

Read more at:

Jane Reco said...

I totally agree with what you are saying, Meghan. People like Pope are dangerous and disgusting with their evil agendas for those who aren’t “perfect”. I have two adult children with disabilities and I wouldn’t let these people anywhere near them! May God have mercy on his soul.

Heather H. said...

I agree 100% with what you are saying Meghan. I'm sorry I missed your presentation on Zoom, but this article says a lot about a mentality that is prevalent in more people than Thaddeus Pope.

I would submit that people born with disabilities are seen as wasters of medical resources more so than people who were able-bodied and become disabled later in life. They latter certainly receives the lion's share of funding for equipment, treatment, and research.

I fall into the former category and within the last 8 years, I have been asked and pressured three times to accept MAiD while in hospital. Twice in BC and once in AB. I now live in SK and so far, have not been asked or pressured, which I am thankful for.

I do have a friend in the US who has the same disability I do. She was placed by the state into a nursing home and upon admission, a DNR was placed on her file without her consent or knowledge. It is standard procedure in Pennsylvania.

For the record, I will fight until my last breath agains MAiD and the ideology behind it that seeks to remove the weak, elderly, terminally ill, and vulnerable from society. This is eugenics and it needs to be stopped regardless of the cost to any nation.

This is about the intrinsic worth of human life... life God creates and life God takes away. Human beings are not God and have no right to kill anyone. It is a sin and these MAiD doctors of death have the blood of everyone they've killed on their hands.