Legalising assisted dying is dangerous for disabled people. Not compassionate

by Liz Carr, The Guardian, 9 September 2016

lizcarr_assisteddyingprotest-2Liz Carr – British comedian, broadcaster, activist and creator of Assisted Suicide: The Musical – marks World Suicide Prevention Day with an opinion piece highlighting the troubling inconsistency in attitudes towards suicide.

If I said I wanted to die, the press, celebrities and the public would support my choice, seeing it as rational and understandable. Hell, they would probably set up a go-fund-me campaign to help me make it happen.

Yet when a healthy, non-disabled person wants to kill themself it’s seen as a tragedy, and support and prevention tools are provided. If nothing else convinces me that to legalise assisted suicide is not a safe option for many of us then this does. Suicide is not seen as socially desirable – so why is assisted suicide seen as compassionate when it’s for ill or disabled people?

Marieke Vervoort, the 38-year-old Belgian Paralympian gold medallist, is only the most recent disabled person to announce that she is considering euthanasia, saying her “body is exhausted”. She is not imminently dying. Yet no one seems to be trying to persuade her that life is worthwhile. Would Usain Bolt be met with the same reaction if he announced his decision to end it all after his last Olympics?

Click here to read the full article.