Disability Rights Activists Protest Compassion and Choices President Visit

October 26, 2014


Not Dead Yet Colorado (970) 460-4035

Disability Rights Activists Protest Compassion and Choices President Visit

Boulder, CO – Disability rights activists from Not Dead Yet and ADAPT are protesting the visit to the West Boulder Senior Center of Compassion and Choices President, Barbara Coombs Lee. Coombs Lee is in town to give a presentation called, Death with Dignity: Colorado Next? as part of a national push to legalize assisted suicide.

“The legalization of assisted suicide puts me and others with disabilities at risk”, said Anita Cameron, one of the organizers of the protest, and a member of Not Dead Yet. “Due to our flawed health care system, it costs much less to kill me than to care for me. I’m at higher risk of abuse and coercion, so my ‘right’ to die evolves into my duty to die.”

The group says that there are no real safeguards in assisted suicide laws; all a doctor must do to achieve criminal and civil immunity is to state that he or she was acting in good faith that a patient was terminally ill and voluntarily sought assisted suicide. They also say that assisted suicide laws violate the Americans with Disabilities Act because people receive or don’t receive suicide prevention based solely on the status of their health, creating a double standard.

“We are not here to disrespect anybody”, said Dawn Russell, of ADAPT. “We just want to let Compassion and Choices know that we, along with a number of national disability groups oppose legalizing assisted suicide. It doesn’t give us choices. It devalues our lives. I don’t want to be pressured into killing myself, which is what this will come down to. I want to live!”