Disabled in the UK: "Stop trying to kill us off!"

This eloquent and poignant letter appeared in The Guardian. The whole thing is so well stated that I hope Ms. Campbell won't mind if I post it in it's entirety.

Jane Campbell Tuesday May 9, 2006 The Guardian


Assisted dying is not a simple question of increasing choice for those of us who live our lives close to death. It raises deep concerns about how we are viewed by society and by ourselves. I have a severe form of spinal muscular atrophy, and require 24-hour assistance. Many people who do not know me believe I would be "better off dead". Even more argue: "I couldn't live like that." And some suggest that advances in genetic screening should be used to enable parents to choose whether to have a child with disabilities.

Assisted Dying for the Terminally Ill, Lord Joffe's private member's bill, which will be debated in the House of Lords this Friday, feeds into that lack of knowledge (some might call it ignorance, others prejudice) by endorsing such views and legalising the killing of terminally ill and disabled people. The bill has the backing of the Voluntary Euthanasia Society (recently renamed Dignity in Dying) and, according to their polls, the support of the British public.

Yet it has failed to get the endorsement of a single organisation of disabled people. Three major national charities have condemned it, and leading campaigners have united under the banner of Not Dead Yet UK to make the voice of disabled people heard. The very people the bill is intended to help, the terminally ill and disabled, are frightened by what it seeks to achieve.

Read the rest at Marlowe's Shade




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