Thursday, January 25, 2024

John Kelly Provides Written Testimony Opposing Assisted Suicide

John Kelly, Boston Globe Photo
There is no way to contain eligibility to a narrow set of people. Especially when thousands of disabled Americans now live with conditions that in some states are seen as “worse than death.” Anorexia nervosa and diabetes can now qualify as terminal conditions. Once death is accepted as a positive outcome of medical care, it inevitably gets offered to more and more people.

The problem for us disabled people is that we are already treated badly in the medical system. As medicine has focused increasingly on patient “quality-of-life” as a barometer of life-worthiness, death has been re-characterized as a benefit to an ill or disabled individual. Most physicians (82%,  a 2020 Harvard study found) view our “quality-of-life” as worse than non-disabled people.

Thursday, January 4, 2024

Jesse Bethke Gomez Regarding Physician Assisted Suicide

In my healthcare career in service to people with apparent, and non-apparent disabilities and to older adults, I am deeply concerned about why legislation to legalize physician-assisted suicide in Minnesota is especially harmful to people with disabilities and also to older adults. The proposed bill would exacerbate many complex problems in healthcare, and would result in the devaluation of people with disabilities and older adults.

Physician-assisted suicide is opposed by the National Council on Independent Living, the National Council on Disability and the American Medical Association. In my role as Executive Director of Metropolitan Center for Independent Living, we provide services to people with apparent and nonapparent disabilities in advancing independent living. I join these national organizations and the Minnesota Alliance for Ethical Healthcare in opposition to this harmful legislation that has the potential to place in great risk people with disabilities and older adults.