Declaring the judgement to allow assisted suicide/ euthanasia as discrimination against people with disabilities, activist Amy E. Hasbrouckis chair of Not Dead Yet, an international organization of people with disabilities who oppose the legalization of euthanasia and assisted suicide, writes,
The long and the short of the reasons for judgment issued by Justice Lynn Smith [of the British Columbia Supreme Court] is that legal provisions in Canada prohibiting assisted suicide law are unconstitutional because they impede disabled people’s rights to life, liberty and security of the person.
The judge believes that having a disability or degenerative illness is a rational reason to want to die, and that those of us with disabilities should be helped to die if we can’t do it neatly or efficiently ourselves.
Justice Smith doesn’t appear to believe that people with disabilities and terminal illness are ever coerced, persuaded, bullied, tricked or otherwise induced to end our lives prematurely. She believes those researchers who contend there have been no problems in jurisdictions where assisted suicide is legal, and she rejects evidence suggesting there have been problems. . . . .
Justice Smith assumes that, because it’s no longer illegal, suicide is somehow an affirmative right; and if you can’t do it the way you want to do it, then you should have the right to have someone do it for you.
But she forgot about the “right to fail;” that more than 90 per cent of suicide attempts are unsuccessful. What about the right to “cry for help?”
The judge also seems to have forgotten about the billions of dollars spent each year on suicide-prevention programs and mental-health care.
Nor does she mention that a non-disabled person who says he wants to kill himself can be committed to a psychiatric hospital against his will.
To put it simply, if a non-disabled person wants to commit suicide, she’s considered irrational and mentally ill, and is treated for depression, or maybe even locked up to prevent her from hurting herself.
But if a disabled person wants to kill herself, she’s told she’s making a reasonable choice, and not only has the right to do so, but is even helped to complete the act so her death is guaranteed where most other suicide attempts fail.
That sounds like discrimination to me.
Do you agree? What does it sound like to you?
Read more: How about the right to cry for help?