Why Do Disability Rights Organizations Oppose Assisted Suicide Laws?
March 4, 2015 By
By Diane Coleman, JD
People are sometimes surprised to learn that all of the major national disability rights groups that have taken a position on assisted suicide oppose bills to legalize it. Even some people with disabilities ask, how can that position be squared with the values of consumer control and choice?
One way to answer that question is to consider who has choice and control under assisted suicide laws? Anyone could ask their doctor for assisted suicide, but the law gives the authority to doctors to determine who is eligible. Doctors make the determination that a person is terminally ill and likely to die within six months, that the person is mentally “competent”, and that the request for assisted suicide is “voluntary” and “informed.”