When a bullied adolescent, a victim of gay bashing or a bereaved spouse is suicidal, that person gets suicide prevention services. When a person with a disability says he wants to die, he is given assisted suicide.
What about the right to cry for help?
· When the law allows assisted suicide, it’s saying that some lives are more worth saving than others.
ASSISTED SUICIDE IS A DISABILITY ISSUE!
· Assisted suicide and euthanasia are not restricted to people with terminal illness.
· Nearly every person who requests assisted suicide has a physical, mental or sensory impairment that limits major life activities.
· Of those who request assisted suicide in Oregon, the majority do so because of issues related to disability, not pain.
ASSISTED SUICIDE IS A RECIPE FOR ABUSE
· People with disabilities and older people are more than twice as likely as non-disabled people to be financially, emotionally, and physically abused. Assisted suicide will make this problem deadly.
· When disabled people go to the hospital, they may face pressure to refuse treatment, or denial of urgent care.
· Safeguards are ineffective.
· Financial and social pressure often cause people to ask for assisted suicide
· Tests for “competence” are not designed to detect depression, grief, or other treatable problems that can lead to suicidal feelings.
· In places where assisted suicide and euthanasia are legal, problems may go undetected because sometimes doctors don’t file the required reports.
· Creating an exception to the assisted suicide ban for a few people poses a serious danger for many more people. (Canadians have reject capital punishment for the possibility that even one person might be wrongfully killed).
CHOICE IS AN ILLUSION
· Current law gives everyone the right to refuse medical treatment, food and water, even if that causes death.
· The “choice” to die is an illusion because discrimination and lack of access to palliative care, in-home services and supports limit the quality of life of older and disabled people. These factors create economic and social pressure that can tip the scale.
· How can you make a free choice to die when you don’t have a free choice in where or how you live?