Media Advisory: Disability Rights Advocates Oppose NY Assisted Suicide Bills

NDYLOGO horizontal

As the work of the 2016 New York State Legislature begins, disability rights advocates are working to educate policy makers about the practical dangers inherent in bills to legalize assisted suicide.

New York based groups that oppose these bills include the New York Association on Independent Living, the Center for Disability Rights, the Regional Center for Independent Living, Not Dead Yet and United Spinal Association.

“Every major national disability organization that has taken a position on assisted suicide opposes legalizing it,” says Diane Coleman, president of Not Dead Yet, a national disability group based in Rochester, New York. “This includes ADAPT, the National Council on Independent Living, and the Disability Rights Education & Defense Fund (DREDF), among others.”

As DREDF’s Marilyn Golden said, “If this bill passes, some people’s lives will be ended without their consent, through mistakes and abuse. No safeguards have ever been enacted or proposed that can prevent this outcome, which can never be undone.”

The NY proposal is based on the law that was passed by public referendum in Oregon. While proponents claim that Oregon is a successful experiment, the evidence indicates otherwise.

For opinion pieces from disability advocates published by the Syracuse Post Standard, Democrat and Chronicle, Wall Street Journal, New York Times and other outlets, go to the op-ed links on the Not Dead Yet website.

The disability rights opposition to legalizing assisted suicide is an essential part of the discussion which should be included in coverage of the issue. Contact information for spokespersons available for interviews in Albany this week are listed below:

Albany Contacts:

Meghan Schoeffling
Policy Analyst
New York Assn on
Independent Living
W: 518-465-4650
C: 914-417-8651

Denise Figueroa
Executive Director
Independent Living Ctr.
of the Hudson Valley
W: 518-274-0701
C: 518-225-2625

Adam Prizio
Manager of Govt. Affairs
Center for Disability Rights
W: 518-320-7100
C: 603-867-4910

Rochester Contacts:

Diane Coleman
Not Dead Yet

Bruce Darling
Center for Disability Rights