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Human Dignity Devalued by Euthanasia Advocates

Conservatives are not alone in opposing the slippery slope that is the growing trend toward advocating for euthanasia. The liberal periodical The Nation, as well as liberal disability advocates, are raising the alarm as well. The reality is that the lives of Americans with disabilities are being devalued:

Disability is something people are taught to hate and fear. And people with disabilities are frequently not given the resources they need to live or the assistance they need to participate fully in society. The poverty rate for disabled people is more than double that of nondisabled people. Further, the unemployment rate for disabled people is more than double that of nondisabled people. The responsibility for care that is shirked by the state frequently falls on families, who are overwhelmed. Instead of being given the resources they need to thrive, many, if not most, people with disabilities are treated like expensive burdens.

Diane Coleman, the president of Not Dead Yet, has muscular dystrophy and uses a wheelchair and a respirator. She says, “It is not the disabilities that ruin lives. It is the system and society that fails to support disabled people. It’s not religious, nor is it pro-life. It’s about going up against a ‘better dead than disabled mindset.’”

Coleman says medical professionals have devalued her life and others with disabilities. One member of her staff was told by his father that it would have been better if he’d died in the accident that made him a quadriplegic. Coleman said, “Those experiences are so well-known in the community.”

23-year-old Jules Good, assistant director of Not Dead Yet, said of her experience, shared by many others: “When I was 18, I got a pretty rough diagnosis. I was super depressed and attempted suicide. And when I went to my first counseling appointment with a new therapist, I explained my whole deal. And she looked me in the eye and said, ‘Yeah, I’d probably kill myself if I were you.’”

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