Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide: 2014 year in review.

Euthanasia - We can live without

By Alex Schadenberg
Executive Director - Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

In 2014 there were many great articles opposing euthanasia and assisted suicide. Here are some of the key articles published from different perspectives in 2014.

People with disabilities oppose euthanasia and assisted suicide.
●  January, Dr Kevin Fitzpatrick, a spokesperson for Not Dead Yet UK and the new Director of EPC International wrote an article - Legalizing euthanasia threatens people with disabilities

●  In February, Stephen Drake, the researcher for Not Dead Yet explained how the New Hampshire assisted suicide bill definition of "Terminal Condition" was broad enough to include anyone with a chronic condition.

●  In April, Jim Derksen, a founder of the Council of Canadians with Disabilities wrote an about euthanasia and eugenics - Not Dead Yet.

●  In June, John Kelly, from Second Thoughts wrote - Assisted Suicide: Just Too Dangerous.

●  In July, Baroness Jane Campbell from the UK wrote - Assisted Suicide could lure me to the grave.

●  In October Catherine Frazee wrote - Assisted suicide debate masks disability prejudice.

●  In November, Marilyn Golden from the Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund wrote -Assisted Suicide is Bad Medicine.

Depression, Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide.

Link to the full article.

New Jersey Senate Committee Shuts Out Disability Rights Community from Assisted Suicide Hearing

On the website of the New Jersey coalition opposing the state’s assisted suicide bill, more than half of the New Jersey state groups listed are disability groups.  Specifically, they are centers for independent living run by people with disabilities, and the statewide independent living council mandated by federal law to plan the state’s independent living services for people with disabilities of all ages.

Nevertheless, in a move that has outraged both national and state disability rights advocates, the New Jersey Senate Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens Committee last week announced that there will be a hearing on the assisted suicide bill (S 382), with witnesses by invitation only and no disability witness invited.

Link to the full article.

Assisted suicide is about disability-phobia, not "choice" or "dignity."

This letter was published in the Norwich Bulletin (Connecticut) on November 16, 2014

By Stephen Mendolsohn - Second Thoughts Connecticut.

Regarding your Nov. 6 editorial, "Terminally ill deserve a choice," safeguards in legislation are hollow and cannot be fixed. The Public Health Committee rejected two bills similar to Oregon's "Death With Dignity Act" allowing an heir and the heir's close friend to testify about the dispensing of the prescription and no witnesses at the death — a prescription for elder abuse.

Link to full article.

Facts on the ground prove a slippery slope is here

Published by True Dignity Vermont on November 24, 2014

“You don’t see people marching in the street demanding the right to be killed by a doctor,” Attorney and Award winning Author Wesley J. Smith told a packed conference room at Saturday’s East Coast Conference Against Assisted Suicide in Hartford, Conn., coordinated by the Family Institute of Connecticut and the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition.

“Suicide pushers are a small group. We look like America, they don’t,” Smith emphasized.

The “we” to whom Smith referred, are essentially anyone for whom legally sanctioned, assisted suicide poses a very real risk. The elderly, the frail, the mentally ill, those who face serious illness or disability of any kind– all eventually may be judged as “better off dead” in a culture where the solution to suffering is to kill the sufferer, Smith told the audience.

Link to the full article

Assisted suicide opponents meet in Connecticut

The Associated Press reported on the East Coast Conference Against Assisted Suicide today.

The Associated Press reported that:

Organizers say about 140 people have turned out for a day long conference on assisted suicide. 
The two-day event, dubbed East Coast Against Assisted Suicide, was wrapping up on Saturday in Windsor Locks. It was sponsored by several groups that oppose legislation legalizing the practice, including the Connecticut-based Family Institute of Connecticut and Second Thoughts Connecticut. 
Other sponsors included the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition and Second Thoughts Massachusetts. 

Link to the full article.

Disability Rights Organizations Oppose Assisted Suicide

This article was originally published on the Not Dead Yet blog on August 28, 2014

John Kelly in Connecticut

John Kelly in Connecticut

By John B. Kelly - the New England regional director for Not Dead Yet and the director of Second Thoughts Massachusetts.

Disability rights advocates and organizations have long opposed legalization of assisted suicide. In the mid 1990s, Not Dead Yet organized to oppose Jack Kevorkian’s assisted suicides, two thirds of which ended the lives of non-terminal, disabled people. Over the last 20 years, every major national disability rights organization that has taken a position on assisted suicide, firmly opposes it. In recent state level campaigns, disability rights opposition has been a key factor in stopping assisted suicide bills.

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