Thursday, April 25, 2024

EPC-USA Disability Rights Opposition New Hampshire to Assisted Suicide Bill HB1283.

Dear Senator

Meghan Schrader
EPC-USA's Fact Sheet is testimony regarding the social harms attached to assisted suicide legislation like HB1283. However, given that assisted suicide’s negative impact is going to fall primarily on the disabled community, the EPC felt that we should submit a more detailed analysis of how assisted suicide undermines disability rights, and whose advice on this matter ought to be heeded by members of the Assembly.

Members of the EPC board with training in the fields of disability studies and advocacy have noted that some assisted suicide advocates are trying to hijack disability rights for their own purposes. For instance, an able-bodied man named Christopher Riddle has done pro-assisted suicide advocacy in the Northeast while presenting himself as a “disability rights advocate.” Riddle is a colleague of Udo Schuklenk, one of the architects of Canada’s euthanasia program, and Riddle enthusiastically approves of that program.

Moreover, Riddle’s theories about disability rights have been reasonably criticized as lacking any empirical grounding in the experiences of disabled people. He has no experience or personal stake in the practical implications of his ideas.

Furthermore, Riddle’s scholarship dehumanizes disabled people who are harmed by assisted suicide; he frames anyone who might be harmed by assisted suicide as the equivalent of a car accident statistic. He asserts that harm that assisted suicide might cause for people with disabilities “ought not to be of special concern.” Hence, Riddle is willing to sacrifice people with disabilities for the right to die movement’s agenda; he is not the “disability rights advocate” he claims to be.

For a more accurate understanding of how the disabled community has approached the issue of assisted suicide, we encourage you to watch a video created by disability studies ethicist Harold Braswell about disability rights opposition to assisted suicide. Braswell has studied the right to die issue extensively.

There are other very important facts that legislators must take into account when considering how assisted suicide is impacting the disabled community:

The American Association of Suicidology made a 2017 statement saying that “MAiD” was not suicide. But in 2023 the AAS had to retract that statement because it was used in the 2019 Truchon decision that expanded assisted suicide to disabled Canadians, which was opposed by the Canadian Association for Suicide Prevention.The consequences of the AAS’s statement are an example of how green lighting assisted suicide for the terminally ill easily results in violence against people with disabilities.

In 2021, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Rights of People with Disabilities asserted that all assisted suicide laws violate its Convention On The Rights of People with Disabilities.

Peer-reviewed research establishes that people are more likely to view suicide as acceptable if the victim is disabled, and people with disabilities often lack access to comprehensive suicide prevention care. This bill exacerbates that problem by laying the scaffolding for “MAiD” to become a substitute for the suicides of persons with disabilities.

Well-known right to die leader Thaddeus Mason Pope has tweeted that it’s good for disabled people to die by suicide; the director of Compassion and Choices appeared on Dr. Phil with Pope in 2023. If you pass this bill, you empower and reward a contingent of people who want disabled people’s suicides to be a “medical procedure.”

We urge you to allow HB1283 to die this session because regardless of its content, it rewards a movement that is hostile to people with disabilities. Exacerbating the oppression that disabled people already face so that the proponents can plan their deaths is unwise and unjust.


Meghan Schrader, Disability Rights EPC-USA
Josephine L.A. Glaser, MD.,FAAFP
Colleen E. Barry, Chairperson
Kenneth Stevens, MD
William Toffler, MD
Gordon Friesen
Alex Schadenberg




gadfly said...

In the UFO community, you see a lot of ufologists, as they call themselves, with 'PhD' after their name. Of course, in a lot of cases they never publish the speciality, but there's the letters. I get the same vibe from this riddler...

Anonymous said...

The benefits of assisted suicide serve only those who want to get rid of the inconvenience posed by the disabled and other not-so-perfect objects the rest of us see as viable human beings who deserve to live. Dignity is an inherent part respecting of lives and not abandoning others when the going gets difficult. No room in life for hypocrisy. But they will feel the despair when their own children sacrifice them for the inheritance.

Dcn William Gallerizzo

Meghan said...

Yes, Riddle has had an indecorous interest in disabled people since 2010, even though he himself is a highly privileged ablebodied man. He has a PHD & has published, but he is like a ufoologist who never publishes because his arguments are entirely theoretical; he has no personal experience of what it’s like to be disabled. His entire raison d’etre seems to be to come up with a theory of disability rights that will acccommodate his desire to kill disabled people.