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Assisted dying assisted suicide Disability

GP’s are being surveyed on Assisted Dying – Time to Act.

The Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) is in the process of consulting its 53,000 members as to what its stance should be on whether there should be a change in the law on assisted dying.

The College last consulted its members on the issue in 2013. The result, announced in February 2014, was that the College should not change its stance, and as such, its current position is that it is opposed to any change in the law on assisted dying.

Professor Helen Stokes-Lampard, Chair of the RCGP, said: “Assisted dying is an incredibly emotive issue that polarises opinions. “It has been nearly six years since we asked our members as to whether we should support a change in the law on assisted dying – since then, it is possible that views within our membership have shifted. “As such, RCGP Council has decided that the time is right to conduct this consultation, and we will be issuing further details of how we will do this in due course.”

GP’s have until 13th December to submit their answer.

We are aware that just about everyone has a view on this and just about everyone has been asked what their opinion is. Everyone but us, the people who could be most affected.

Baroness Jane Campbell states, “Most disabled people oppose assisted suicide. We do not want it. We campaign against it. We are frightened by attempts to change the law, thereby weakening or removing the protection that we currently depend upon. Protection that is provided to everyone by Section 2 of the Suicide Act 1961. We do not wish to be treated differently because we are terminally ill or disabled. Those seeking to change the law do not do so in our name. In fact, we are so fearful of a change in the law that we established Not Dead Yet UK to oppose all attempts to legalise assisted suicide. We find efforts to propagate the euphemism “assisted dying” sinister and alarming.”

There is still time for you to influence your GP’s decision.

If you are visiting your surgery or in touch via other means ask your GP how they intend to vote on this crucial issue.

Please make sure that you tell your GP that you are against a change in the law.

 

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Assisted dying assisted suicide Disability

Vince Cable causes real concern

Responding to the news that the Royal College of Physicians has adopted a neutral stance on assisted dying, Liberal Democrat Leader Vince Cable said “As someone who has recently been persuaded of the merits of allowing properly regulated assisted dying with safeguards, it is reassuring that many medical professionals are also making the same journey.

“Opinion is changing and it is now overdue that legislation should come forward to address this important social issue.”

We believe that Mr Cable’s faith in so-called “safeguards” is misplaced. Furthermore, all previous debates in parliament have rejected changing the law in part because safeguards were not safe.

We are calling any LibDem members of NDYUK or if you have some leverage or connection, to please contact the LibDem party and Vince Cable MP and explain to them why this is not a good idea.

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Assisted dying assisted suicide Disability Entertainment

Assisted Suicide – The Musical

Disabled activist, actor and comedian Liz Carr has chosen the spectacular world of musical theatre as the backdrop to exploring the complex and controversial subject of assisted suicide in her new show Assisted Suicide: The Musical.

On September 11th 2015, MPs voted overwhelmingly against legalising assisted suicide. Opinion polls would have you believe that the majority of the UK population believe it’s a humane choice to legalise assisted suicide for terminally ill or disabled people but Liz and many other disabled people disagree.

Confronting the lack of creative work exploring this most topical taboo, she is joined by director Mark Whitelaw (Duckie, Ursula Martinez, New Art Club), composer Ian Hill (Duckie) and a cast of performers to express an important but often unheard perspective.

Here are further details of dates, times and venues

Assisted Suicide: The Musical Written by Liz Carr Director Mark Whitelaw, Composer Ian Hill,

July Previews

Ahead of the premiere at Unlimited Festival at the Royal Festival Hall on September 10th and 11th, (http://unlimited.southbankcentre.co.uk/events/assisted-suicide-the-musical) we warmly invite you to the preview of Assisted Suicide: The Musical by Liz Carr.

 

Chats Palace, London, Friday 22 and Saturday 23 July , 7.45pm. £12/8 (concession)

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/assisted-suicide-the-musical-preview-tickets-26581199082

Colchester Arts Centre,  Wednesday 27 July, 8pm. Pay What You Can Afford.

http://www.colchesterartscentre.com/events/performance/assisted-suicide-the-musical/?spektrix_bounce=true

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Assisted dying assisted suicide Disability Disability portrayal

The debate continues

So after the initial brew ha that followed the premiere of  the film Me Before You the battle to protect the rights of vulnerable disabled people goes on. Those who campaigned so vocally at the premiere deserve our thanks and it seems their efforts attracted  a great deal of mainstream and social media attention. Catherine Garrod, a NDYUK supporter, posted  a Twitter update showing that our protest attracted 2,300 retweets, 1,900 likes, 236 replies 404,200 impressions, 11,800 visits to our profile page (up by over 1000%!) 837 mentions in the past 2 weeks. Our top tweet received 178 retweets and 20,000 impressions.  So the word is getting out there!

Alison Wilde a Senior Lecturer at Leeds Beckett University, whose research is centred around on screen representations of impairment and disability, with a focus often placed on gender and audience interpretations has posted an interesting and informative piece about the film.  Alison Wild Blog

Alongside all of this the recent decision to allow assisted suicide in California reminds us all that the fight must continue. Kathleen Palmer, an opinion writer for the Washington Post, in her piece “Freedom to kill, permission to die” writes “Perhaps I read too many dystopian science-fiction novels during my formative years, but there’s something disturbing about asking doctors to help their patients die.” you can read the complete article at Freedom to Kill Permission to die

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Assisted dying assisted suicide Disability Disability portrayal

“Me Before You” Film panned by Not Dead Yet UK

The latest blockbuster to come out of Hollywood called ‘Me Before You’ is seen as a gross misrepresentation of the lived experience of most disabled people. The film is based on the best-selling novel of the same name.  A young man becomes disabled, he falls in love with his ‘carer’ and they have a fantastic year together but despite her protests, he decides to end his life at Dignitas so she can move on and he is no longer a burden to her.

A critique of the book by Crippled Scholar can be found at http://bit.ly/25bbRf6

Not Dead Yet UK is deeply concerned to see yet another film which casts non-disabled people as disabled people and shows the lives of disabled people as not worth living.

The film premiered at the Curzon in Mayfair at 7pm on the 25th May.

Further coverage of the protest and concerns around the film:

This film did not raise the issue of medication intake and cost of medication.

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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