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Life With Dignity

In our pandemic strained, profit-driven health care system, intractable pain and the fear of unimaginable suffering is not one of the top five reasons surveyed that many of society’s most vulnerable feel driven towards assisted suicide; Loss of autonomy, dignity and the perceived fear of being a burden to family, friends and caregivers, rather, have framed assisted suicide as their preferred medical treatment.

Dr. Joshua C. Briscoe’s compelling article argues against the case for assisted suicide and the idea that the individual, rather than existential and disability-related concerns of the individual, have become the burden, asking: “Instead of figuring out ways to help people die, what if we devoted our energy to helping them live, even and especially if they are dying?”

The disability community have asked this same question under the specter of a two-tiered system that has offered suicide prevention for some people and the promotion of assisted suicide for people with disabilities.

Underscoring this tension of the illusion of choice in a healthcare system that promotes assisted suicide, Dr. Briscoe in his response to Dr. Henrich’s argument notes two key alarms Henrich has failed to heed: That the use of death as a medical instrument is unwieldy and harmful as is the mere offer of it.

“A person’s choices are theirs to make, of course, but they choose among the options given to them.” Dr. Briscoe affirms. And in this nexus of the most vulnerable, of the disabled, the poor, the elderly and people of color, the limited options provided can be measured in degrees of discrimination and despair in the apparent cost-effective denial of equal access to life-extending and life-saving health care.

For Dr. Briscoe, “The conditions that lead someone to consider suicide require, first, lament.” Removing said conditions begins with challenging “the belief that individuals…can become burdens.” And secondly, to “affirm their dignity by offering to help them bear their burdens.” And surely, to reject and remove the dangerous and discriminatory public policy of assisted suicide legislation wherever it may be found\

Victories of 2024

Update on State Victories We have two exciting victories in the fight against assisted suicide! Maryland will not be going forward with an assisted suicide bill, a huge win for our side! Additionally, the Virginia bill SB 280, which had passed in the Senate, failed to move forward in the House – despite last ditch

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Statement for Alzheimer’s Awareness Month

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Psychiatrists Warn of Assisted Suicide for Mental Illness

Psychiatrists Warn of Assisted Suicide for Mental Illness A recent article in the National Post discussed the differences that several Canadian psychiatrists have when discussing assisted suicide for those with mental illness. Several psychiatrists oppose extending Canada’s assisted suicide laws and the fact that they put vulnerable people at risk of deadly harm. Below is

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