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Assisted dying assisted suicide Disability Meacher Bill

Lies, Damned Lies and Statistics

In a recent quote, DiD suggest that 88% of disabled people support assisted suicide. We asked for the data to analyse the reliability of the claims. Zeynab Al-Khero our researcher concluded the data set is small and has a number of other flaws.

The research data was based only based in Scotland and involved a total of 243 people who identified themselves as disabled. Without a clear definition of disability, DiD cannot claim the poll is the view of disabled people nationally. If we look at the term ‘disabled’ the study is based on only 87 people. It is estimated that Scotland has a million people who define themselves as disabled. The DiD survey could hardly be described as “statistically significant”.

It’s also worth noting that this was an online survey. Glasgow Disability Allowance’s COVID research showed that 60% of disabled people were experiencing digital exclusion. This means those who were able to complete the DiD online survey are not representative of the vast majority of disabled people who are disconnected from peers, services and supports.

Baroness Campbell of Surbiton- Founder NDYUK said, “We always knew this was not a true reflection about how disabled people feel about the legalisation of assisted suicide. The numbers in this survey aren’t robust enough to make general statements about what disabled people do or don’t want.

Not Dead Yet have over 2000 disabled supporters, and more join our campaign every week. I think this speaks for itself. Not one organisation of or for disabled people actively campaign for a change in the law. Why do you think this is?”

We remain extremely concerned that any change to the current legislation opens the door to new risks for disabled people, as demonstrated by the changes in the law in other jurisdictions around the world (e.g. Canada and the Netherlands.)

Disabled people want properly resourced help to live, not to die. Assisted dying legislation, as proposed by Baroness Meacher, is ‘paving legislation’ in other words paving the way for future widening of the criteria to people whose medical diagnosis and prognosis are not terminal. For example, disabled people with physical, sensory, or mental health and learning disabilities.

You can help fight this attempt to change the law on assisted suicide by contacting your MP. If you need our help to do this, contact us at admin@notdeadyetuk.com

 

 

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Assisted dying assisted suicide Meacher Bill

Evidence of a Slippery Slope?

Supporters of our campaign to resist a law change on assisted suicide have continually expressed real concerns about the concept of  “a slippery slope”. The idea that once assisted suicide is permitted for one group it isn’t long before it’s extended to include other groups and that this is a bad thing. Our opponents have argued that this is simply not true, that a slippery slope does not exist.

Let’s briefly examine what has been happening in Canada.

In December 2015 – the Quebec Province in Canada (a regional government) passed the Act Respecting End of Life Care, which permits Medical Aid In Dying (MAID).

June 2016 – The law was extended to other Provinces and Territories, making Quebec’s law legal across the whole of Canada. It prioritises mentally ill and vulnerable people and those who have a grievous or irremediable medical condition, including people with an incurable illness or disease, and disabled people.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Euthanasia_in_Canada

In March 2020 – the Canadian courts (nationwide) extended the law to include the following:

  • Removal of the requirement that death should be reasonably foreseeable
  • Only one independent witness to request for MAID
  • A personal or health care worker may be a witness
  • Removal of 10-day period for reflection
  • The waiver should be given in advance

On 17 March 2021 – the Canadian legislature expanded MAID to a broader group of people:

  • A person does not need to have a fatal or terminal condition to be eligible for MAID.
  • Mentally ill patients can give an advanced waiver to sign off for MAID before they are compromised by their condition.

https://www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/services/medical-assistance-dying.html

The numbers of people assisted to end their lives in Canada are consistently growing year on year:

https://bit.ly/3glUlmp

The Canadian Government now propose that in March 2023 it plans to give patients with mental illness alone and no other underlying issues the option for a MAID.

Within six years the scope of the assisted suicide legislation in Canada has been amended twice with further amendments planned. More people are now eligible, the death rate is increasing and the protections have been weakened we’d call that a “slippery slope”.

 

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Assisted dying assisted suicide Disability

Noel Conway Dies

It was announced on Friday that Noel Conway has died. We send our sympathies to his family and friends at this sad and difficult time.

Mrs Conway said he had died at home on Wednesday after deciding with his family to remove his ventilator.

She said his carers “ensured that Noel had a painless and dignified death, demonstrating empathy and concern for us all”.

Mr Conway who had motor neurone disease campaigned to have the law on assisted suicide changed. He argued that he wanted to decide on the time and manner of his death and that being assisted to die would ensure this wish. His appeal was defeated in 2018.

Baroness Campbell said “We were sad to hear of the death of Mr, Conway but pleased to hear that he died peacefully with his loving family, supported by palliative care. NDYUK campaigns for proper health and social funding and support for people at the end of their  life.”

 

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Assisted dying assisted suicide Disability Do Not Resuscitate Meacher Bil

A Message for DPOs

We are writing to seek your support in opposing the legalising of Assisted Suicide, which will soon be debated in both the UK and Scottish Parliaments. Although, over recent years, there have been several attempts to pass legislation to make Assisted Suicide legal in the UK, these have been overwhelmingly defeated. The UK Supreme Court also ruled against legalising assisted suicide.

The Covid-19 pandemic has been a stark reminder of how disabled people are already denied life-saving support based on their impairments. How, then, can we even contemplate legalising Assisted Suicide at this point, when we are routinely denied the resources and support to assist us in living with dignity and respect?

How can you help? At the moment, we are simply asking that your organisation signs up to the statement below. Then please email us back confirming that your organisation is supportive of this. (info@notdeadyetuk.org)

“We add our support to the growing number of disabled people’s organisations, both nationally and internationally, who oppose Assisted Suicide.  At a time in the UK when disabled people are recovering from the effects of the pandemic and facing massive cuts to social care support services and benefits, we need support to live, not assistance to die.”

Finally, below are links to some articles about why many disabled people object to legalising Assisted Suicide and how Covid 19 has highlighted the fact that the lives of disabled people are increasingly deemed to be of less value within our society.

We’re told we are a burden. No wonder disabled people fear assisted suicide; https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/jun/01/disabled-people-assisted-dying-safeguards-pressure

6 out of 10 people who have died from COVID-19 are disabled; https://www.health.org.uk/news-and-comment/news/6-out-of-10-people-who-have-died-from-covid-19-are-disabled

Disabled people like me fear legal assisted suicide: it suggests that some lives are less worth living; https://blogs.bmj.com/bmj/2019/02/06/disabled-people-like-me-fear-legal-assisted-suicide-it-suggests-that-some-lives-are-less-worth-living/

Doctors Issuing Unlawful ‘Do Not Resuscitate’ Orders For Disabled Covid Patients ‘Outrageous’; https://www.forbes.com/sites/gusalexiou/2020/06/23/unlawful-do-not-resuscitate-orders-for-disabled-covid-patients-outrageous/?sh=66aea2f26cf1

 

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Assisted dying assisted suicide

Sunday Times to campaign for law change!

We understand that the Times and Sunday Times are supporting the latest attempt to change the law on assisted suicide.

They are backing a private member’s bill put forward by crossbench peer Baroness Meacher. The bill is scheduled to have its first reading later this week.

We would ask all of our supporters to raise their concerns by contacting the Editor of the Sunday Times.

Here is an extract from the newspaper article published on May the 23rd.

“Assisted dying is a delicate and sensitive issue. Some people are strongly in favour of it becoming legal in the UK, as it is already in a growing number of countries. Others feel strongly that it should not. Everybody, however, should agree that this is not an issue to be swept under the carpet indefinitely, and today The Sunday Times is launching a campaign to legalise assisted dying in this country.”

You can read more here https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/assisted-dying-bill-aims-to-stop-unbearable-suffering-bb966pt8n

 

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Assisted dying assisted suicide

BMA survey published in June 2020

Several of our supporters have mentioned their concerns about the recent RCGP poll which although it maintained its opposition to a change in the law on assisted dying the overall support was reduced.

A majority of GP’s voted to oppose any change in the law as against those supporting a change (47% to 41%) but the 47% had apparently dropped from 77% in 2013. Campaigners for assisted dying are capitalising on the fact that if you take account of the votes for a position of neutrality (11%), the proportion supporting the status quo is actually in the minority.

The RCGP has stated they will not have another poll for five years unless there are ‘significant developments’ on the issue.

The British Medical Association (BMA) are planning their own poll which they will report on at their conference in June later this year.

It is clear that we must take every opportunity to ensure that doctors understand our vigorous opposition to a change in the law on assisted dying.

  • Is your GP aware that you have serious concerns about a change in the law on assisted dying?
  • Have you discussed how vulnerable you feel?
  • Have you discussed the damage that could be caused to the patient/doctor relationship if assisted dying was legalised?

For more information about the recent RCGP poll follow these links: –

https://www.rcgp.org.uk/about-us/news/2020/february/royal-college-of-gps-remains-opposed-to-change-in-the-law-on-assisted-dying.aspx

https://www.bmj.com/content/368/bmj.m708.

 

 

Categories
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

Categories
Assisted dying assisted suicide

BMA votes against supporting assisted suicide

You may already be aware that at their meeting on the 21st of June 2017 the BMA voted by 198 to 115 to continue their opposition to assisted suicide. While this provides some comfort to us, we must not lose sight of the fact that those who want to change the law continue to use every device available to them to resurrect the debate. Baroness Meacher recently reminded the House of Lords that problems associated with assisted suicide as set out by Supreme Court *are still not fixed” and there is yet another call for a Royal Commission.

In a recent article in the Guardian Newspaper http://bit.ly/29xHVaf  the Kings Fund suggests that we should look at the evidence coming out of Oregon and the Netherlands which indicate that there has been a major increase in the numbers of people using assisted suicide. Linking this to the BMA’s recent decision, the article points out that in Oregon, “There is “doctor shopping”, whereby people whose doctors won’t participate in assisted dying (and two out of three won’t) seek lethal drugs from other doctors who are willing but have never met them before and know nothing about them beyond case notes. One such doctor issued no less than 27 prescriptions for lethal drugs in 2015 alone”.

The article also makes the point that is better to learn from other people’s mistakes than from your own. Very good advice!

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Assisted dying

A Picture of English life under Queen Mary Tudor 1550

Translated in 1953 by CV Malfatti

This manuscript circa 1550 contains the following interesting account of assisted dying!
 “There is also another merciful treatment that they are accustomed to use on sick people, as follows; when anyone is given up by doctors and there is no remedy for his illness, the nearest relatives take a pillow, put it on the patient’s throat and sit on it, thus causing him to be suffocated this is done by the father to the son as well as by the sons of the father, and, as they have full faith in the doctor’s judgement, that the patient cannot be saved from suffering in any other way they think to please God by freeing him from pain, this kind of merciful action is not to be found among all sorts of people, but only among those of low standing in certain parts of the country remote from the sea, where some barbarous customs still persist owing to their being little contact with the outside world.”