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Assisted Suicide:

Suicide Contagion is Real

Jackie Bieber's Story

“Assisting a suicide should always be considered as wrong. Societal efforts to downplay assisting a suicide adds another layer of encouragement to people like my daughter, Shawn, who become an unfortunate victim.”

Shawn struggled with severe depression and social anxiety for several years, before taking her own life with the instruction and encouragement of a suicide website. The site claimed to be a completely neutral zone for discussion of suicide, but the chatrooms were a guidebook for how to take your own life. The chatrooms reveal that persons struggling with suicidal ideation often see doctor-assisted suicide and euthanasia as an affirmation that taking one’s own life is the preferable solution to their suffering. They also reason that if lethal drugs can be prescribed and taken for physical pain, they should also be available for mental pain. 

Suicide prevention organizations have worked for decades to bring awareness to the proliferation of suicide in our culture, and what we can do to prevent it. Legalizing assisted suicide completely undermines this effort.

We are proud to introduce our next Coalitions Director, María José Fernandez Flores!​

María José came to apply through our mutual connections at California League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), the oldest and largest Latino civil rights organization. She has worked in direct lobbying and worked in coalitions on human dignity issues, including assisted suicide, restorative justice, immigrant rights, victim empowerment, and advocacy on behalf of incarcerated persons. María José is a proud dreamer, born in Lima, Peru, who grew up in Northern California. She has an intuitive sense and passion for this issue, and we are grateful for her leadership and perspective…

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BMJ article about increased patient suicide draws wrong conclusions

A BMJ article titled “Some groups of terminally ill patients are twice as likely to die by suicide, data show” draws the wrong conclusion from the data surrounding increased patient suicide. The study referenced in the article, done by the Office for National Statistics, records that patients with some serious conditions are twice as likely as the general population to kill themselves compared to control groups with similar socio-demographic characteristics…

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Introducing Deputy Coalitions Director for Disability Outreach

The Patients’ Rights Action Fund (PRAF) is pleased to announce a new focus for our colleague, Ian McIntosh, who will now be our Deputy Coalitions Director for Disability Outreach. He has long personal experiences with the intersection of disability and healthcare. Those experiences include being a patient/consumer as a person with a disability whose life was significantly affected following a serious car accident; as an end-of-life caregiver; and as a spouse to a person with disabilities.

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