Author Archives: Maria

Star-Tribune: Legalizing Assisted Suicide No Answer for People with Disabilities Like Me

Hands_Shutterstock_32544181

Source: Star-Tribune 

By Jean Swenson

“I’d rather be dead than disabled.”

I remember feeling that way several months before I became severely disabled. In 1980, I had taken a group of teenage girls to see a young quadriplegic named Joni Eareckson Tada, who painted beautifully by holding a paintbrush in her mouth. Though inspired by her talent, I remember telling the girls, “I could never live like that.”

A few months later my neck was broken in a car accident, and I became a quadriplegic, paralyzed below my shoulders. I would spend the next year and a half in various hospitals and rehabilitation centers, dealing with medical problems and learning to live with a spinal cord injury.

Read more ...

Albuquerque Journal: Physician-Assisted Suicide Too Risky

Elderly holding hands

Source: Albuquerque Journal

By Dr. Gregg Schmedes

Amidst a surprise presidential election, our neighbors to the north have approved physician-assisted suicide, by a margin of 2-to-1. While I applaud the intention of Coloradans to relieve suffering, let’s examine what they’ve actually done.

Physician-assisted suicide allows terminally ill patents to ask a doctor to prescribe them a lethal dose of sleeping pills. The danger of physician-assisted suicide lies in the financial benefits enjoyed by those involved in somebody’s death.

For example, Stephanie Packer, a terminally ill Californian and mother of four, recently pursued chemotherapy treatment from her insurer at the request of her doctor. She was denied. Instead the insurer offered a $1.20 co-pay for a handful of life-ending pills. If physician-assisted suicide comes to New Mexico, let’s expect our hospitals and insurers to follow suit.

Read more ...

Orlando Sentinel: In Doctor-Assisted Suicide Neutrality is Not an Option

Stock Photo

Source: Orlando Sentinel

By Dr. Frederick J. White

While deeply committed to effective relief of the pain and suffering of the terminally ill, the American Medical Association has long held a position that I share — that physician-assisted suicide and euthanasia are “fundamentally incompatible with the physician’s role as healer, would be difficult or impossible to control, and would pose serious societal risks.”

But now the AMA is studying whether to retreat from that position into the mirage of moral neutrality. State medical societies in Colorado and Maryland have recently done so, abandoning authority, agency, principle and position in one fell swoop. But the wink and nod of neutrality is beneath the demands of this issue and the dignity of the medical profession.

Read more ...

RecordonLine.com: Give Us Better Care for the Living, Not Assisted Suicide

jj-hanson

Source: RecordonLine.com

By J. J. Hanson, President, Patients Rights Action Fund

Assisted suicide bills have been failing consistently in progressive states like New York, Massachusetts, Maryland and Connecticut. New Yorkers are seeing through the euphemisms and misinformation of proponents. Articles like Bonnie Kraham’s call what Jack Kevorkian did “care.” Assisted suicide proponents claim that this is only for the terminally ill. Seventy-five percent of Kevorkian’s 69 victims were not terminally ill and five of them had no physical ailment whatsoever.

Regardless of a person’s health or disability status, suicide is always a tragedy and when a doctor prescribes an overdose of 100 pills paid for by insurance it’s not medical care.

Read more ...

The Guardian: Legalizing Assisted Suicide is Dangerous for People with Disabilities

assisted-suicide-1

Source: The Guardian

By Liz Carr

If I said I wanted to die, the press, celebrities and the public would support my choice, seeing it as rational and understandable. Hell, they would probably set up a go-fund-me campaign to help me make it happen.

Yet when a healthy, non-disabled person wants to kill themself it’s seen as a tragedy, and support and prevention tools are provided. If nothing else convinces me that to legalise assisted suicide is not a safe option for many of us then this does. Suicide is not seen as socially desirable – so why is assisted suicide seen as compassionate when it’s for ill or disabled people?

Marieke Vervoort, the 38-year-old Belgian Paralympian gold medallist, is only the most recent disabled person to announce that she is considering euthanasia, saying her “body is exhausted”. She is not imminently dying. Yet no one seems to be trying to persuade her that life is worthwhile. Would Usain Bolt be met with the same reaction if he announced his decision to end it all after his last Olympics?

Read more ...