Thursday, March 14, 2019

Disability rights and assisted suicide

 Evidence seems to suggest that people who ask for assisted suicide do so, in many instances, not to relieve pain, but because they are having trouble facing disability. By allowing assisted suicide in these cases, are we sending the message that life with disability is not worth living. Disability groups see this as an example of ableism, a prejudice against those with disabilities, and because of this disability rights groups are almost unanimous in opposing assisted suicide.


bmiller said...

Part of the reason they have trouble facing their disability is because they are being told they are a too much of a burden.

These groups also oppose abortion, because they see the handwriting on the wall. Most people choose to abort their offspring because they want to avoid the burden.

Starhopper said...

I am opposed to medically assisted suicide on practical, not moral grounds. I fear that once it becomes legal for the elderly or the infirm to end one's life, it would in short order become incumbent upon them to do so. And from there it is a short step to state mandated murder of children with birth defects, the mentally handicapped, and the medically burdensome.

That said, Here is an interesting question on the subject. Those people who leaped to their deaths out of the World Trade Center upper story windows to avoid being burned alive - ought they to be considered suicides? Should we say no, because their imminent (and painful) death was inevitable? If so, then what is the difference between them and a patient in agony with a terminal illness? I believe there is a difference, but can't put my finger on it.

William said...

Jumping prevented further pain immediately without causing death at first, and death was coming within minutes regardless. The analogy would be with giving a pain reliever to the terminally ill patient knowing it would probably hasten the death somewhat.

bmiller said...

I agree with William. I suspect their intent was not to choose death over life, but to avoid the immediate and certain death they were faced with. Maybe in their terrified state of mind they even thought they might avoid death by jumping.