On July 21, the Winnipeg Free Press published an op-ed by Rhonda Wiebe (see below for brief bio).
The op-ed is a response to ‘ethicist’ Arthur Schafer. The newspaper published an op-ed by him on July 19 titled “Assisted-suicide slope not so slippery.” Schafer is a poor choice to deny the existence of slippery slopes. His name last came up on this blog in connection with his role in the Global News Live Blog event promoting the empowerment of parents and caregivers to be able to kill or order the deaths of children and adults with significant cognitive disabilities. In essence, Schafer wrote an article denying the existence of a slope that he himself is coating with grease.
Rhonda’s response is titled “It’s expensive to support the disabled — suicide kits are $39.95.”
The insidious bottom line is this — last I looked, a take-home euthanasia kit in Oregon cost $39.95. That’s a whole lot less expensive than providing someone with the supports they need to cope with the loss resulting from having a disability, and then providing them with the means to get on with the matters of daily living. It’s way cheaper to let people suffer, or cut back services so life is untenable, or subtly convince people with disabilities that they have lives that aren’t worth living. Imagine being inundated with the message that you have a right to end your miserable, burdensome, devalued life, because, really, it’s your choice. Unfortunately, some people with disabilities are starting to drink that Kool-Aid.
Please read the rest of the op-ed at this link. Taking a few minutes to go through the free registration and leaving a comment would be great, too.
Rhonda Wiebe is a disability rights advocate from Winnipeg, Manitoba. She co-chairs the ending-of-life ethics committee of the Council of Canadians with Disabilities, and serves on the Board of Directors of Not Dead Yet. She has lived with disability since the age of thirteen.