Assisted Suicide – Resources

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Center for Disability Rights

People with disabilities who receive community based services can and do lead long, healthy, satisfying lives. We do meaningful work; we raise families; we participate in our communities. We love our lives. Our ableist society, however, presumes that life with a disability is not worth living: people tell us that we are “heroic” and “inspiring” simply for living our lives. Doctors rate the quality of life of people with disabilities significantly lower than we rate our own quality of life.

The difference between how we understand our lives and how our society perceives our lives can mean the difference between life and death for people with disabilities. This is particularly the case when society fails to make suicide prevention services available to people with disabilities on an equal basis to non-disabled people, and when it makes physician assisted suicide available. Whether a disabled person’s condition is terminal or non-terminal, where suicide and assisted suicide are concerned, ableism becomes deadly

Read CDR’s Full Position on Assisted Suicide here:

Not Dead Yet

Although intractable pain has been emphasized as the primary reason for enacting assisted suicide laws, the top five reasons Oregon doctors actually report for issuing lethal prescriptions are the “loss of autonomy” (92%), “less able to engage in activities” (90%), “loss of dignity” (79%), “loss of control of bodily functions” (48%) and “feelings of being a burden” (41%). (Death With Dignity Act Annual Reports, 2016). These are disability issues.

Read Not Dead Yet’s Full Position on Assisted Suicide here:

Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund

DREDF, along with numerous other nationally prominent disability organizations, opposes the legalization of assisted suicide and euthanasia. Legalization is a serious mistake for many reasons that are not always immediately apparent. Supporters often focus solely on issues of choice and self-determination, but actually, legalization would restrict choice and self-determination. It is crucial to look deeper. For example, assisted suicide would be a deadly mix with our broken, profit-driven health care system. It is imperative to distinguish personal wishes from the significant dangers to society of legalizing assisted suicide as public policy. The legalization of assisted suicide has many harmful consequences.

Read DREDF’s Full Position on Assisted Suicide here:

Michigan Law Review:

Physician Assisted Suicide: A Medical Prospective:

Drawing on case studies and information provided by doctors, families, and other care givers, it finds that seemingly reasonable safeguards for the care and protection of terminally ill patients written into the Oregon law are being circumvented.

Read the full law review article here: