In Canada this week, the issues of assisted suicide and euthanasia were argued before the Supreme Court. Here’s some of the coverage/commentary published before the date of the arguments (10/15):
Dave Hingsburger is a respected – almost revered, and for good reason – voice in the disability rights community. He missed a presentation at a parliamentary luncheon at Ottawa to speak on assisted suicide. He took his notes and took to his blog – Rolling Around In My Head – to give us “Bias, Bigotry and My Life“:
Two days after becoming a wheelchair user, someone said to me, “I don’t know how you do it, I’d rather be dead than in a wheelchair.” That was the first time that this was said to me. It was not the last. This attitude is increasingly present in our society, movies love plots where newly disabled people beg for death and are subsequently relieved of the burden of life. This attitude, the one that death is preferable to life in a wheelchair – who guarantees that my doctor, my surgeon, my specialist does not have this prejudice? Who assures that prejudice against the poor doesn’t lead to worse health care – oh, right, NOBODY. “I’d rather be dead than in a wheelchair,” if you’ve said it, if you believe it, I don’t want you to be my doctor, I don’t want you having anything to do with decisions about my life. — Read the rest, from the beginning, here.
Catherine Frazee is a disability rights activist, disability studies scholar and writer – to name but a few things people might want to know about her. Earlier this week, she wrote about what’s at stake for her and other disabled Canadians in “Assisted suicide debate masks disability prejudice.”:
But when I tune in today to watch the webcast of the case, I shall be standing not with Dying with Dignity, but with millions of Canadians with disabilities and their families — ordinary Canadians who have laboured for decades to secure a vision of equality, dignity and liberty that includes us all.
It’s that history that won the day in Canada’s internationally regarded Charter of Rights and Freedoms in 1982. It’s that history that is at stake in this debate. — Read the rest – from the beginning – here.
Tom Koch is an author, lecturer and researcher – and a friend and ally of NDY and other opponents to assisted suicide/euthanasia. The CMAJ blog published an analysis Koch wrote of central issues in the Supreme Court debate over assisted suicide. Here’s an excerpt from “The Law and physician assisted dying: who owes what, to whom?”:
For most Canadians, the October 14 arguments at the Supreme Court in Ottawa will be about medical “aid in dying,” what the Dutch bluntly but accurately call physician assisted or directed termination. But what is really at stake in Carter et al. versus Attorney General et al is Canadian law itself, the meaning of its guarantees, promises, and injunctions. In effect, lawyers for and against “aid in dying” are asking the Supreme Court’s justices to interpret two sections of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. –Read the rest of this excellent analysis here.
This is not a comprehensive list – over the next day or two, we’ll share other important coverage and writings from our community and its allies.