Disability rights leaders and cancer surviver opposes assisted suicide

Alex Schadenberg

Alex Schadenberg

By Alex Schadenberg, Executive Director, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

In 2015, 26 states have considered legislation to legalize assisted suicide and all of them have defeated that legislation. Disability rights groups, Not Dead Yet, the Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund (DREDF) and Second Thoughts are successfully leading the opposition to assisted suicide.

An article by Danielle Ohl and published by McClatchy DC  examines one woman's experience with cancer while explaining why disability rights leaders oppose assisted suicide.

The article begins with Chastity Phillips, a woman who is living with chondrosarcoma, a malignant bone cancer, since 2002 and now has Lupus. Unlike Brittany Maynard, Phillips chose to be treated. From the story:

Doctors told Chasity Phillips in 2002 that she had a 50 percent chance of surviving surgery. 
Her choices were certain death, her doctors said, or surgery to remove part of the tumor. 
She chose the surgery. Still, the return of her cancer was likely. Doctors told her she would have six months to a year before it grew back, requiring more risky followups.  
But 13 years later, Phillips is 38 years old and thriving, despite two very severe medical conditions.

Phillips developed a healthy philosophy about her possible mortality:

“There’s a certain freedom that comes with dying,” said Phillips, who lives near New Orleans. “You really don’t have to deal with your annoying cousin. You really don’t have to go on that family trip. You can eat ice cream for breakfast.”

The article then examines the disability rights community opposition to assisted suicide

Link to the full article