Open Letter To American Medical Students Concerning Assisted Suicide

Over the years, I’ve had a number of opportunities to provide presentations on disability related topics to university medical students. Instructors invited me to speak because they saw a problem in the fact that medical education included very little training on disability and independent living. That always struck me as odd considering the higher need for medical services that many disabled people experience.

As founder and President of a disability group called “Not Dead Yet,” a number of instructors asked me to explain why many disability rights organizations oppose legalization of assisted suicide.

I have an advanced neuromuscular condition and use breathing support with a mask 18 hours a day. As a severely disabled person who depends on life-sustaining treatment, I would be able to qualify for assisted suicide at any time if I lived where assisted suicide is legal. If I became despondent, for example if I lost my husband or my job, and decided that I wanted to die, I would not be treated the same as a nondisabled and healthy person who despaired over loss of a spouse or job.

Read more at Not Dead Yet…

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