How About the Right to Cry for Help?



July 14, 2012

Amy Hasbrouck, from the disability rights group Not Dead Yet writes an excellent op-ed in the Montreal Gazette on the recent B.C. court ruling that threw out Canada’s laws on assisted suicide and euthanasia. Hasbrouck ably demonstrates that the decision is laden with discrimination towards those who suffer from disabilities. Here are a couple of excerpts from her article titled, How about the right to cry for help?

It’s one thing when a random guy walks up to you on the street and says, “I’d rather be dead than be like you.” It’s quite another, though, when a Canadian judge says of individuals who may experience such suffering (physical or existential), unrelievable by palliative care, “that it is in their best interests to assist them in hastened death.” Same message, only the judge uses bigger words.

To put it simply, if a non-disabled person wants to commit suicide, she’s considered irrational and mentally ill, and is treated for depression, or maybe even locked up to prevent her from hurting herself. But if a disabled person wants to kill herself, she’s told she’s making a reasonable choice, and not only has the right to do so, but is even helped to complete the act so her death is guaranteed where most other suicide attempts fail.

The entire article is excellent. Read the whole thing here.

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