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Assisted dying assisted suicide

A Collection of Updates

In the past few days, there has been a flurry of posts on Twitter and Facebook alleging that Not Dead Yet UK are in league with faith groups or their organisations. This old chestnut, like so many others, is factually incorrect.  We have certainly worked alongside other campaigners some of which are faith groups when lobbying against a change in the law on assisted suicide. We have always made it clear that our relationship with these other groups does not mean that we support their values or agree with their position on a range of other issues. Some supporters of Dignity in Dying are accusing us of supporting anti-gay propaganda. This is entirely untrue and absurd in the extreme.  

These are worrying times for disabled Canadians and those with life-threatening conditions. The Canadian government is discussing enacting legislation which will allow assisted suicide. We’ve posted a couple of links to keep you updated on the situation

Canadian government introduces bill to legalize assisted suicide, euthanasia

Bill C-14

There is some good news! An attempt  to allow assisted suicide in Maryland in the USA has failed after a concerted campaign against it.  Campaigning clearly does help. Senator withdraws Assisted Suicide Bill

 picture of Liz Carr on stage in a golden wheelchair rehearsing
Liz Carr on stage in her golden carriage!

As many of you will know our very own Liz Carr is in rehearsals for her exciting new show Assisted Suicide: The Musical.

This is a must see and you can book tickets by visiting Assisted Suicide:The Musical

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Assisted dying assisted suicide Blog Care Not Killing Disability Disability portrayal

Disability, Assisted Suicide and the Film Industry

On 10th February, the BBC aired a disturbing documentary entitled “How to Die: Simon’s Choice”. The documentary followed Simon Binner a 57-year-old with motor neurone disease in the months before his assisted suicide at a Swiss suicide clinic last October.

The disturbing documentary has rightly been criticised by Care Not Killing, who said that it “risks skewing what people think about assisted suicide and sidelines alternatives, such as hospice and palliative care. It gives the impression that if you’re disabled or terminally ill your life is somehow worthless and you should kill yourself. Suicide is the biggest killer of young men in this country and the more it is normalised, the more people will think of it as a way out”.

This programme was yet another example of disability portrayal which promotes the idea that death is preferable to being disabled. There is nothing new in this; the film industry has been trotting out this message for years, who can forget Born on the 4th of July with Tom Cruise!

Dominick Evans a wheelchair user, who describes himself, as an “activist, filmmaker and speaker” has recently published an interesting article which discusses disability portrayal and assisted dying.

Picture of Dominick Evans
Dominick Evans

Dominick a New Yorker says, “I believe that if Hollywood showed more disabled actors, particularly wheelchair users, who we never see, and the stories were more reflective of the disabled experience, then people would believe disabled lives were worth living. There is a huge difference between a debilitating illness, such as brain cancer, in the end stages, and a person with a disability who is not dying. You can find success, love, fulfillment even if you happen to use a wheelchair. It is not the end of the world, and these films need to stop scaring people into thinking it is. We cannot change the narrative about disability when these kinds of films continued to be made”.

You can read the full article “Hollywood promotes the idea it is better to be dead than disabled”  by clicking here Dominick’s artcle

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