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. (

“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;

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;

Doctors Issuing Unlawful ‘Do Not Resuscitate’ Orders For Disabled Covid Patients ‘Outrageous’;


Assisted dying assisted suicide Disability Meacher Bill

Now is Not the Time

Assisted suicide legislation is a threat to disabled people’s lives, independence and peace of mind.

We recognise that there is a range of views amongst disabled people as a whole on this issue, and we can see the argument for having a sensible, rational debate about assisted dying. But not now.

In every jurisdiction where a form of assisted suicide has been legalised, the numbers dying have increased over time. Once assisted suicide is law, society has endorsed it as an option, equal to that of life. Those who had never considered it will be told that it is an option. Their families, friends, health and social care professions will all know it as an option too.

It is hard enough already for those of us with terminal illnesses and disabilities to get the support services we need to live active, independent lives. The COVID pandemic has made that harder and bought into sharp focus the value society places on us. Many of us have lost health and social care support over the last year. And 6 out of 10 COVID related deaths have been disabled people.

For essential support to become merely the alternative option to assisted suicide terrifies us. That is why no organisation of terminally ill or disabled people has sought a change in the law.

We need help to live – not to die. That means investment in palliative care, pragmatic solutions to social care provision and continued financial support for our world-class NHS.

These are the issues our parliamentarians should be concentrating on, rather than the Pandora’s Box of assisted suicide which might help the few, but at the expense of the many.

Assisted dying assisted suicide

COVID-19 – A call to action

To all NDY UK members and supporters

We are picking up some worrying COVID -19 practices that discriminate unfairly against disabled people. As a result, we are asking you to consider the four bullet points below and take action:

Everybody, we need to act fast –  We need a firm pledge that we will be treated fairly and equally at this difficult time.

  • Write to your GP and ask them not to join in with the Do Not Resuscitate / Advance Directives drive, which has seen some GPs call patients asking them to forfeit hospital treatment if they get pneumonia. Explain that contacting patients individually in this way, at this time, places unfair and discriminatory pressure on people who may be in a vulnerable situation because all do not have appropriate services and support.
  • Consider writing to either your GP, local CCG, Simon Stevens CEO of NHS England or your local MP, asking them to advocate fairly for all patients to have their treatment assessed alongside everyone else, based on current clinical assessment and judgement which has been subject to thorough scrutiny by the Health Ethics Commission, EHRC and patient’s/disabled people consultative groups.
  • Please remind anyone you write to from above that the Equality Act and the Human Rights Act must be adhered to when assessing disabled people for healthcare during the COVID19 period.
  • Please write to the Chair or CEO of NICE to Oppose the use of their current Frailty Score in relation to Coronavirus. The NICE Frailty Score has not been a collaborative exercise involving disabled people’s organisations or patients groups, it is highly divisive. This is not the time to bring in guidance on who is worthy to treat and who isn’t. Hospital doctors already use their clinical judgement in terms of whether a treatment will have a benefit to the patient or not. We do not approve of any additional, arbitrary guidance based on age or disability.
  • In all exchanges regarding COVID 19, please do not ask for special exemptions for different disabilities in terms of medical treatment at this time, as all lives are of equal value.
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