by John Kelly, Santa Fe New Mexican, 20 March 2017
John Kelly is a writer, disability rights activist and director of Second Thoughts Massachusetts: Disability Rights Advocates against Assisted Suicide.
He marked the defeat of a an assisted suicide bill in New Mexico by observing that in 2011 Santa Fe resident Aja Riggs asked a court to rule that she should be provided an assisted suicide, after doctors gave her a slim chance of surviving aggressive uterine cancer.
More than five years later Ms Riggs is still alive and her cancer is in remission.
CBS News reported in 2014 that 12 million Americans are misdiagnosed yearly. About 15 percent of people given less than six months to live are not “terminally ill.” Thousands of people “graduate” from hospice yearly. Assisted suicide programs turn the best result under hospice — learning that you weren’t “terminal” after all — into the tragedy of dying with years or decades of life remaining. This reality alone should be enough to stop any assisted suicide proposal cold. We cannot predict the future. The “choice” promised by assisted suicide is an illusion.
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