Assisted suicide lobby works to undermine disability rights opposition to assisted suicide

By Alex Schadenberg, Executive Director, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

A May 2022 powerpoint presentation by the Statewide Campaigns Director with Dying With Dignity outlines a strategy for assisted suicide campaigners for  how to undermine opposition to assisted suicide by disability rights organizations. 

The assisted suicide lobby recognizes that disability rights groups have been a central factor in preventing the legalization of assisted suicide in many states.

The powerpoint provides a warning of how the death lobby plans to attack disability rights groups with lies. The key strategy is the attempt  to subvert disability rights groups’ opposition by claiming that they are promoting a religion-centered agenda rather than being a legitimate, non-sectarian disability rights organization.

After undermining the disability rights groups that oppose assisted suicide, the second goal is to work with the statewide disability rights groups that focus on protection and advocacy and groups that provide client assistance programs by gaining their confidence while undermining the disability rights groups that oppose assisted suicide.

The assisted suicide lobby successfully convinced a key disability rights groups in New Mexico to take a neutral stand on assisted suicide which undermined the disability rights opposition to assisted suicide and helped lead to the legalization of assisted suicide in New Mexico.

On April 25, 2023, The United Spinal Association, Not Dead Yet, Institute for Patients’ Rights, Communities Actively Living Independent and Free, Lonnie VanHook, and Ingrid Tischer launched a lawsuit in California to strike down the End of Life Option Act with the goal of the case going to the United States Supreme Court to strike down assisted laws throughout the US. Plaintiffs are all organizations with members who have disabilities, individual persons with disabilities, and/or organizations that advocate for persons with disabilities.

The California court case effectively expresses how assisted suicide laws undermine protections and equality for people with disabilities in America and clarifies why disability rights groups must remain united in opposition to assisted suicide.

Editor’s note. This appeared on Mr. Schadenberg’s blog and is reposted with permission.