Homepage, News

Disabled lives are worth living – euthanasia implies otherwise

by Claire Freeman, Stuff, 15 December 2017

While it is commendable that we are discussing euthanasia, we need to be extremely careful not to make assumptions about the quality of life of others like myself – people with grievous and irremediable medical conditions.

When the majority of health professionals believe that lives like mine are not worth living, we have a problem.

Click here to read the full article.

 

Homepage, News

A message to Victorians on euthanasia

by Liz Carr, The Spectator, 17 August 2017

Liz Carr is a UK actor, comedian and disability rights activist perhaps best known as forensic examiner Clarissa Mullery in the BBC’s Silent Witness.

Disability is fundamental in any discussion about assisted suicide: those high profile campaigns calling for a change to the law are almost always fronted by those who would be described as disabled. As a wheelchair user who needs 24-hour assistance with the most personal of tasks, the people we see in the media calling for help to end their lives, often look like me. No, they often look healthier than I do. But when we have so few representations of disabled people on TV or in the media then the assumption becomes that people like me must find life unbearable and that of course, we’d want to end our lives.

There is such a fine line between terminal illness and disability both medically and in public perception, that they become one and the same. Consequently, assisted suicide is seen as an understandable and rational response to both. Perhaps that’s why I’ve had complete strangers tell me that if they were like me then they couldn’t go on.

Perhaps that’s one of the reasons I oppose the legalisation of assisted suicide? As long as some lives are deemed as not worth living and are viewed as less valuable than others, there is the unwitting potential that state sanctioned assisted suicide would further enshrine this inequality in law. When most people choose to end their life, we offer prevention but when ill, dying, older and disabled people talk about doing the same, they are often met with understanding and encouragement.

Click here to read the full article.

Homepage, News

People with disabilities often fear they’re a burden. That’s why legal assisted suicide scares me.

by Ben Mattlin, Vox, 21 September 2017

Ben Mattlin is a freelance journalist based in Los Angeles and author of Miracle Boy Grows Up and the forthcoming In Sickness and in Health.

This is why, a year after the so-called right to die became legal in our nation’s most populous state, California, I’m still profoundly uncomfortable with it. The value of my life has been discounted by medical professionals, and others, more often than I care to remember. That’s because even at my healthiest, I am what some would consider terminally ill.

The knee-jerk questioning of whether my life is worth saving drives my opposition to the legalization of assisted suicide. And I know I’m not the only one who’s experienced this kind of dismissive attitude, the subtle pressures and invisible coercions to unburden others.

Click here to read the full article.

Homepage, News

Euthanasia a choice for people with disability? It’s a threat to our lives

by Craig Wallace, The Guardian, 27 September 2017

As I write this I can easily picture the comments underneath – “it’s a choice” and “if you don’t want it, don’t ask for it”. They’re understandable, but they gloss over justified and reasonably held concerns.

The reality is that people like me don’t get choices in too many areas of our lives. That includes a preventative and tertiary health system that is staggeringly unfriendly to us, even if people with disability and/or chronic conditions should be their best customers.

Click here to read the full article.

Homepage, News

Life Lessons Disability Taught Me No.2 – Death

by Mik Scarlet, HuffPost UK, 16 August 2017

Mr Scarlet is a broadcaster, journalist, and musician.

This is the biggest thing I have learned about death; it happens at the end of life but it’s life that matters the most. The great leveller should also be the great motivator. Don’t ignore that you will die, and don’t be afraid of it either. If you live your life as well as you can when the reaper does finally come calling, you can die assured of a life well lived.

Click here to read the full article.

Homepage, News

Assisted Suicide – What’s The Big Song and Dance?

by Mik Scarlet, HuffPost UK, 21 August 2017

Mr Scarlet is a broadcaster, journalist, and musician.

However much many would like to think that our community has gained increasing equality and rights, disabled people are still not seen as truly equal. With the Paralympics fast approaching and Channel 4 rolling out it’s Superhumans publicity campaign it becomes obvious that disabled people doing usual things like singing, playing music and/or playing world class sport is still seen as special – mostly as disability is still understood as being the loss of ability, the loss of being normal.

This loss is feared by most of the non-disabled world, and means that for most people who become disabled, the stereotypes of disability leave them heartbroken at what the new future might hold. Is a society, which understands disability as something to fear, as a tragic loss of independence, autonomy and freedom really ready to allow assisted suicide?

Click here to read the full article.

Homepage, News

I Am Proud To Be Called Disabled

by Mik Scarlet, HuffPost UK, 29 August 2017

Mr Scarlet is a broadcaster, journalist, and musician.

“But the most amazing thing that being disabled has taught me is just how amazing and wonderful and stunning human beings are. We can adapt to anything.

I walked up until I was 15, and then at 15 I became a wheelchair user. And I genuinely thought for a little while that my life was over. But no, I adapted, I built a new, amazing life.”

Click here to read the full article.

This vlog was part of the HuffPost UK Lifestyle ‘EveryBody’, a new section calling for better equality and inclusivity for people living with disability and invisible illness.