Editor’s Note: This Media Advisory was provided by the disability rights organization “Not Dead Yet” on January 11, 2016 in anticipation of lobby activity scheduled by assisted suicide proponents in Albany, NY for January 12th. Advocates from the Center for Disability Rights distributed literature to 215 legislator offices the same day.
As the work of the 2016 New York State Legislature begins, disability rights advocates are working to educate policy makers about the practical dangers inherent in bills to legalize assisted suicide.
New York based groups that oppose these bills include the New York Association on Independent Living, the Center for Disability Rights, the Regional Center for Independent Living, Not Dead Yet and United Spinal Association.
“Every major national disability organization that has taken a position on assisted suicide opposes legalizing it,” says Diane Coleman, president of Not Dead Yet, a national disability group based in Rochester, New York. “This includes ADAPT, the National Council on Independent Living, and the Disability Rights Education & Defense Fund (DREDF), among others.”
As DREDF’s Marilyn Golden said, “If this bill passes, some people’s lives will be ended without their consent, through mistakes and abuse. No safeguards have ever been enacted or proposed that can prevent this outcome, which can never be undone.”
The New York proposal is based on the law that was passed by public referendum in Oregon. While proponents claim that Oregon is a successful experiment, the evidence indicates otherwise.
For opinion pieces from disability advocates published by the Syracuse Post Standard, Democrat and Chronicle, Wall Street Journal, New York Times and other outlets, go to the op-ed links on the Not Dead Yet website.