Second Thoughts - Disability Rights Advocates Against Assisted Suicide

Blog > Medical science v. Medical practice

Submitted by Amy Hasbrouck

If someone dies in pain, it's not a failure of medical science, it's a failure of medical practice. No one should go into the hospital without an advocate at their side to assert and defend their interests. People with disabilities are very familiar with the kinds of problems that can come up in hospitals. The Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund has done a great series of videos documenting some typical health care experiences of people with disabilities.

Medical personnel often don't respect patients' knowledge of their needs, they may be ignorant of palliative care or overburdened, or they focus only on cure rather than comfort. In addition, the system is always pushing for the cheapest treatment option. Without a knowledgeable, assertive advocate, bad things happen.

Another common experience for people with disabilities is described by Bill Peace in this powerful article about a late night visit during a hospital stay not long ago.

All this to say that, when we say people with disabilities are the population most directly affected by assisted suicide, we know what we're talking about.

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