Unsurprisingly Assisted Suicide is still in the news with another ruling that let a mother who aided her daughter to end her life, walk away from a murder charge. Why the daughter who had ME was 'bed ridden' for over 17 years, was just one of the issues that wasn't addressed during the recent court appearance.
The author Terry Pratchett, who was recently diagnosed with Alzheimer's has also come forward to advocate changes in the law that will make assisted suicide legal. He has also
recommended the setting up of tribunals to decide who should 'qualify' for this method of ending their life.
For many Disabled people, the ease with which public opinion and now the law is sliding towards a society in which assisted suicide is the norm has serious implications with regard to our standing as viable members of the community. It was only seventy years ago that Germany passed similiar laws which resulted in the T4 programme and the extermination of hundreds of thousands of disabled people.
What next, we ask? Laws for the forced sterilization of disabled people similiar to that which were implimented in the United States. Between 1907 and 1939. More than 30,000 people in twenty-nine states were sterilized, many of them unknowingly or against their will, while they were incarcerated in prisons or institutions for the mentally ill.
"But you're taking this out of all proportion" is the response that we are used to hearing when addressing these issues. Try telling that to the 275,000 disabled people who were killed quite 'legally' in Germany during the 1940's.
Our mate George has also started a debate on the subject. Click here to join in.
Disability Arts Online