Category: News

People Who Use Wheelchairs Don’t Actually Want to Kill Themselves

by David Bekhour, Medium, 29 May 2016 Mr Bekhour describes himself as “Attorney by training. Adonis by nature. Writer by choice.” He was born with a rare neuromuscular disease which means he has used a wheelchair his whole life. Recently he has had a tracheostomy and begun using a ventilator to assist his breathing. Spoiler alert: he doesn’t much… Read more »

Mental health workers struggling to cope

RNZ National, 7 June 2016 Information released to RNZ National under the Official Information Act shows a 300 percent increase in crisis mental health referrals to Auckland District Health Board in the last five years. Other District Health Boards are also reporting significant increases. Auckland mental health worker Andy Colwell says those working in the services nationwide… Read more »

Autistic man locked in seclusion: ‘You wouldn’t do it to a dog’

by Kirsty Johnston, New Zealand Herald, 7 June 2016 Ms Johnston reports that 37-year old Ashley Peacock has been compulsorily detained in a Wellington psychiatric unit for five years because of his intellectual disabilities, despite the Ombudsman, Human Rights Commission and National Intellectual Disability Care Agency calling for his release. More than half Ashley’s time… Read more »

Muhammad Ali: “I’m your brother, I want to help you.”

On 20 January 1981 Muhammad Ali coaxed a suicidal man down from a ninth-story ledge in Los Angeles. The man had climbed out from a window and was shouting “I’m no good, I’m going to jump.” The CBS anchor Walter Cronkite reported that “Police, a psychologist and a minister had all but given up when Mohammad Ali,… Read more »

Yes, Me Before You is fiction – but so are most arguments for assisted suicide

by Kevin Yuill, The Telegraph, 4 June 2016 Dr Yuill is senior lecturer in American history at the University of Sunderland, and author of Assisted Suicide: The Liberal,Humanist Case Against Legalisation. The whole case for assisted suicide is fictional. Rather than empathy, it is based on anxiety in the worried well. “I’d rather die than suffer like… Read more »

Suicides come after people slip through cracks – study

by Anusha Bradley, RNZ National News, 2 June 2016 Click here if you or someone you know needs assistance. Ms Bradley reports on a study by the Suicide Mortality Review Committee which examined the 1797 suicides in New Zealand between 2007 and 2011, and in particular three groups with very high suicide rates: young Māori, mental health clients and working-aged… Read more »

The ‘Right to Die’ and ‘Rational Suicide’: a human rights perspective

by Victoria Casey, Human Rights Research Journal, May 2016 Ms Casey is a Wellington barrister specialising in public law who represented the Care Alliance as intervener in Seales v Attorney-General in the High Court in 2015. Victoria University law school hosted a symposium on the case earlier this year, and the papers by Ms Casey,… Read more »

Me Before You makes having a disability seem worse than death

by Michaela Hollywood, The Independent, 29 May 2016 Ms Hollywood is a member of Muscular Dystrophy UK’s Trailblazer network of 600 young MS activists. We are of course keen for disabled storylines to enter mainstream culture, but Me Before You is misleading and inaccurate. It spreads jarring messages about life as a disabled person to the public…. Read more »

A note meant nothing

by Amy Maas, Stuff, 29 May 2016 Click here if you or someone you know needs assistance. Ms Maas reports on the latest New Zealand suicide figures, and concerns that the actual figure may be even higher. From June 2014 to May 2015, 569 people are officially listed as having died by suicide or suspected suicide – the highest number… Read more »