Assisted suicide promotes the idea that life with a disabling condition is not worth living.

By Alex Schadenberg, Executive Director – Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

A letter by Elizabeth Schiltz that was published in the [Minneapolis] Star Tribune on January 23 under the headline “Simply put, assisted suicide sends a message we shouldn’t want to send” was written in response to a pro-assisted suicide letter by a state Senator. Schiltz writes from the perspective of someone who “accompanied her mother through the final years of life with Parkinson’s disease.”

Schiltz writes from the perspective of someone who “accompanied her mother through the final years of life with Parkinson’s disease.”

Schiltz, speaking from a disability point of view, writes:

In the 2017 case of Myers vs. Schneiderman [where New York’s highest court found there was no right to assisted suicide], 11 disability-rights organizations filed an amicus brief opposing New York’s effort to legalize assisted suicide. They argued:

“By asserting that it is irrational for a non-disabled person to end his or her life, but rational for a disabled person to do so, appellants argue that the disabled person’s life is intrinsically less worthy of state protection than a nondisabled person’s life. …

“Central to the civil rights of people with disabilities is the idea that a disabling condition does not inherently diminish one’s life; rather, stereotypes, prejudices, and barriers preventing assistance with activities of daily living do so. In contrast, assisted suicide gives legal force to the idea that life with a disabling condition is not worth living.”

Thank you to Elizabeth Schiltz and groups like Not Dead Yet for speaking out against the discriminatory practice of assisted suicide.

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