Press Release: Disability Rights Activists to Protest International Euthanasia Group Meeting in Chicago

September 17, 2014                             Diane Coleman 708-420-0539
                                                                       Gary Armold 773-425-2536

The disability rights group Not Dead Yet announced today that it would lead a three-day protest vigil against the World Federation of Right to Die Societies during the Federation’s biennial meeting being held in Chicago. The American group Final Exit Network is hosting the meeting, which runs from September 17-20 at the Embassy Suites Chicago. The group has scheduled a rally to open the protest vigil at 511 North Columbus Drive on September 18 at 12 PM.

”We are here to contradict the message of these groups that it’s better to be dead than disabled,” said Not Dead Yet president Diane Coleman of New York.

The meeting is being hosted by the Final Exit Network, an American group known for its use of “Exit Guides” to instruct and assist people with “irreversible physical illness, intractable pain, or a constellation of chronic, progressive physical disabilities” to kill themselves using “Exit Bags” filled with helium.

The 2012 PBS documentary, “The Suicide Plan,” included statements and video in which Final Exit Network leader Ted Goodwin admitted and demonstrated holding the person’s arms down to prevent them from pulling the Exit Bag off of their head.

“This is a collection of reckless suicide fanatics,” said John Kelly of Second Thoughts Massachusetts, whose group was instrumental in defeating assisted suicide bills and a referendum in that state.

The World Federation of Right to Die Societies was organized in 1980 to bring together the various groups in Europe and Anglophone countries which promote euthanasia and assisted suicide. The Federation last met in the United States in 2000, when it was also protested by Not Dead Yet in Boston.

“These are the people that we have seen in the news, people who condoned the suicides of the Belgian twins who were losing their sight, or of the woman who was afraid she would not be able to see a stain on her shirt.” said Amy Hasbrouck from the Canadian group, Toujours Vivant/Not Dead Yet, which is working to defeat Canadian initiatives that will be promoted at the conference.  Hasbrouck and other Canadians will be joining the Chicago protest vigil.

3 thoughts on “Press Release: Disability Rights Activists to Protest International Euthanasia Group Meeting in Chicago

  1. I didn’t realize how barbaric the Right to die agency is. After reading about their policy of holding a person down while having the so called “EXIT BAG” on their head is so atrocious it makes me want to join you in Chicago. I thank you for all your work on ridding these types of practices among others. Assisted Suicide should not be allowed just because someone becomes blind and is worried about not being able to a stain on her shirt or in any other case when there is a way to live, just differently before the trauma.

  2. Yes! You must protest this dangerous movement that attempts to glorify “suicide” and “assisted death” that contributes to the “final solution” which is the sanction of the involuntary euthanasia of the elderly, the disabled, the poor and the uninsured by the State to serve “fiscal” expediency. Is there any doubt that the elderly/disabled are targeted for savings in spending on end-of-life care by reimbursement protocols of Medicare/Medicaid that have been approved by the Congress and that reflect the principles of “managed care” and “managed death” for the profit motive. The Advantage Insurers who sell Medicare policies and who are also involved in Medicaid are said by The Center for Public Integrity to be stealing by deceit or mistake? 9 Billion dollars a year and Medicare doesn’t deny this.

    Is it really necessary to send the elderly/disabled to eternity or Hospice earlier than medically necessary to save Medicare/Medicaid?

    The danger to the elderly/disabled on Medicare continues and is increasing because there is no acknowledgement by the leadership, such as the IOM, of the danger of unilateral DNR code status that hastens death for fiscal expediency that may be epidemic in the United States.

    Keep up the good fight!

  3. Every one has the right to live a full life with quality health care, disabled or not! Anyone is an accident away from being disabled and a canadate to be euthanized, by choice or not if this law passes!
    I have struggled with my cerebral palsy all my life and I expect that with age I will struggle more, but I have a directive in place that says that I’m not to be starved or dehydrated or kilłed! I have lived a life full of friends, family, joys and sadness, but all ways to its fullest…with passîon, adventures and many falls! I worked as a teacher and counselor for 30 years; have a PH.D., travel, volunteer advocating and helping parents and other not to pity us, respect us and give us our rights to łive with dignity, respect, hope and faith!

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