Our problem with assisted suicide: Why disability advocates worry about making it easier for physicians to help New Yorkers die

Proponents of New York’s physician-assisted suicide bill seem perplexed by the strong opposition from disability activists.

But doesn’t the bill only apply to adults who are expected to die within six months so they can control when they die? Isn’t that a basic right that we should all have?

As someone who is blind with a chronic condition, and who has spent years fighting for the rights of people with a range of disabilities, let me explain.

Under assisted-suicide laws, doctors play two critical roles. First, they determine if a person is indeed terminal. Then, they prescribe a drug combination that will cause death…

Assisted suicide is typically depicted by proponents as a choice for patients who have tried everything. But the legislation doesn’t ensure that assisted suicide is truly a last resort. And proponents ignore the fact that having access to “everything” is a luxury of the few.

No one knows this better than disabled people. Complications from chronic conditions can turn deadly when the appropriate treatment or equipment cannot be promptly obtained. Survival rates for cystic fibrosis vary depending on the type of insurance a person has.

Before we even consider legalizing assisted suicide, we must address healthcare inequities that cause people who want to live with proper care to needlessly become “terminal.” Otherwise, we are effectively relegating people with fewer options to premature death.

Read more at the NY Daily News…

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