January 11, 2010

THE DEADLY BIGOTRY OF LOW EXPECTATIONS:

Is death better than disability?: Whom better to ask than the disabled? They give some surprising answers. (Michael Cook, 11 January 2010, MercatorNet)

When assisted suicide is legalised most of the people who will die are disabled. And American disability advocates take a very dim view of it. This is the theme of a hard-hitting series of articles in the latest issue of the Disability and Health Journal.

The editor, Suzanne McDermott, of the University of South Carolina School of Medicine, writes that she changed her own mind after studying the issue. At first she believed that assisted suicide was solely a personal autonomy issue. But eventually she was persuaded that it is at the heart of the movement for disability rights: "Almost all people at the end of life can be included in the definition of ‘disability’. Thus, the practice of assisted suicide results in death for people with disabilities."

The special issue is a response to a controversial 2008 decision by the American Public Health Association (APHA) to back "aid in dying" (ie, assisted suicide). This slipped almost completely under the media’s radar, but it means that the official policy of the "oldest, largest and most diverse organization of public health professionals in the world" – 30,000 of them – is to support assisted suicide to the hilt. Or, as they prefer to call it in Oregon, "patient-directed dying" or "physician aid-in-dying".


The idea that some lives aren't worth living is a function of health and we know where it leads.

Posted by Orrin Judd at January 11, 2010 3:49 PM
blog comments powered by Disqus
« WHAT'D HE LEAVE? (via Jim Yates): | Main | HE FORGOT THE FIRST RULE OF DEBATE--NEVER ASK A QUESTION YOU DON'T KNOW THE ANSWER TO: »