Assisted Suicide Facing Disability Rights’ Opposition

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By Nick Reisman

At the state capital, the debate over [assisted suicide] aid-in-dying takes center stage.

Governor Andrew Cuomo is backing legislation that would allow the terminally ill to end their own lives—setting up a potentially controversial close to the legislative session.

But opponents, including disability rights’ groups, are skeptical. Alex Thompson at the Resource Center for Accessible Living says there is the potential that vulnerable populations can be taken advantage of.

“It’s going to create the worst pressure on people who may not able to advocate for themselves and that directly relates to the economic power of certain populations—people with disabilities, people of color—all different marginalized communities,” said Thompson.

Kathyrn Carroll, a policy analyst at the Center for Disability Rights, is also concerned about the effect the measure could have.

“It creates this double standard for people in terms of whether they are offered suicide prevention services or assisted suicide,” said Carroll. “The reality that many people with disabilities face on a daily basis is that people just assume our lives are not worth living and they’re just not quality lives.”

Source: “Aid-in-Dying Bill Receiving More Support,”

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