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About Second Thoughts
In November of 2011, Massachusetts disability activists and organizations came together to oppose a referendum question that would legalize assisted suicide, to appear on the 2012 ballot. A steering committee of disabled people from across Massachusetts, with support from Not Dead Yet and the Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund, began to educate and organize the Massachusetts disability community to respond to this dangerous initiative. The group chose the name "Second Thoughts" because while assisted suicide may seem like a good idea at first, second thoughts show that instead of offering individual choice, assisted suicide is a discriminatory and dangerous practice.The media often show the debate on assisted suicide as between conservative "right to life" and religious groups on one side, and "liberals" who support individual choice on the other. Second Thoughts asks voters to look at assisted suicide in the real world:
- where insurance companies and health maintenance organizations try to limit spending on health care
- where disabled people face discrimination, architectural barriers and unemployment, and lack in-home services to enable them to be integrated in the community
- where many people think it's better to be dead than disabled
- where abuse and financial exploitation of elders and people with disabilities is at unacceptably high levels
- where people must fight to get adequate health care and pain relief
- where society rates dignity not by your character, but by your toilet habits, or a choice to kill yourself.
- where the wisdom, contributions and experience of elderly, ill and disabled people are thrown aside, then they are told they're a burden.
John Kelly (Director)