The Disabled Oppose the Right to Die

Despite darlings propped up in the media, many of the disabled see the right to die as a knife against their throats.

Are all the disabled desperately pining for their state to pass right to die legislation? Or do they fear that such legislation will be used to pressure them into a decision for suicide?

Wesley J. Smith writes at the National Review, “Disability-Rights Champions Against Assisted Suicide.”

[See also, “Choosing to Die Will Become Required to Die.”]

People who may only casually follow the assisted-suicide debate may think — because this is how the media report their stories — that the only real objectors are the Catholic Church and pro-lifers.

To the contrary. Some of the most effective campaigners against assisted suicide are disability rights activists. 

This cuts against the narrative that pro-suicide campaigners and their media camp followers seek to paint. You see, disability rights campaigners are members in good standing of the liberal political coalition. They are also mostly secular in outlook, certainly not pro-life on abortion, and friendly toward gay-rights issues.

I’m not happy that these people are secular, pro-abortion, or believers in so-called “gay rights.” But their existence does show that the media is completely incapable of reporting on reality. Their fantasy of “Liberal v. Conservative” trumps the truth.

The fact of the matter is that assisted-suicide opponents look just like America. We are conservative and liberal. Secular and religious. Of every race and color and socio-economic group. (For example, the Latino civil-rights organization LULAC has opposed legalization efforts.)

It is important for conservatives to realize the diverse nature of opposition to “assisted suicide” so that we can more effectively work in concert with different groups. If we don’t know that there are liberal civil rights groups that oppose “assisted suicide,” then we won’t be able to get their help or offer them help in fighting the legislation.

Smith quotes Diane Coleman, founder of the disability-rights activist organization Not Dead Yet:

Disability advocacy groups also worry about the increasing prevalence of abuse of disabled elders, with federal authorities estimating that one in 10 elders is abused, mainly by family and caregivers.

Against this backdrop, so-called safeguards in assisted suicide bills are hollow. An heir or abusive caregiver can suggest assisted suicide to an ill person, sign as witness to the request, and pick up the drugs. No independent witness is required at the death and in half of Oregon’s cases no such witness was present. So how would anyone know if the lethal dose was self-administered, or even if the person consented at the time? Oregon’s law looks the other way, with no evidence of what happened at the end.

In other words, Oregon has deliberately set up a situation in which people can get away with murder. “Assisted suicide” is a euphemisms for giving some people the ability to kill others and get away with it, no questions asked.