Disability activists from the Albany area donned bright pink Not Dead Yet t-shirts, carrying leaflets and signs to voice strong opposition to legalization of assisted suicide at a press conference held by proponents of this year’s bill.
Image description: Blond woman with glasses holds sign saying “Assisted Suicide = Deadly Discrimination” with a skull drawn below the words.
Image description: Two men wear bright pink t-shirts, with the words “Not Dead Yet” visible on one man, who is using crutches. The other man holds a sign which says “Assisted Suicide World’s Cheapest Healthcare”.
Local television news covered the press conference and protest, and included brief interviews with Kathryn Carroll (pictured above) and Gregg Beratan, who are from the Center for Disability Rights (CDR), in the news video. CDR’s policy position on the issue is here.
The Staten Island Advance also covered the story in Should terminally ill in N.Y. have access to aid in dying? The coverage included some key issues of concern:
Diane Coleman, president and CEO of Not Dead Yet, an advocacy organization in Rochester, cited several issues with the legislation.
Coleman said that obstacles in obtaining quality health care could lead individuals to opt for aid in death.
“There are a lot of issues getting quality care,” she said. “It gives them an easy way out.”
“That’s just reality,” she continued. “That our insurance companies are going to do the cheap thing over the right thing.”
Coleman also cited a lack of oversight after a prescription is given to a patient as one of the many issues with the bill, arguing that they can be coerced into opting for aid in dying.
“The bills themselves do not include any type of independent witnesses at the time of ingestion,” Coleman told the Advance. “There’s no way to know.”
On the same day, the New York Alliance Against Assisted Suicide issued a press release launching the Alliance’s new website, noting that it “that will enhance its ability to work against the legalization of physician-assisted suicide in the Empire State.” Not Dead Yet and the Center for Disability Rights are part of the NY Alliance. As CDR’s Director of Advocacy Stephanie Woodward said in the release:
The new website, NoSuicideNY.org, offers readers the latest news on the physician-assisted suicide debate in Albany; talking points to equip allies for effective advocacy; and video testimonials from terminally-ill persons, disabled people, and others whose life experiences have led them to speak out against doctor-assisted death. Significantly, the website also includes an action alert that allows New Yorkers to e-mail their legislators about this important issue.