Here’s one form of social prejudice that scares me silly – The legalisation of physician assisted suicide.
- When someone without a disability expresses suicidal ideations, they are offered support and therapy. People say "there’s something worth living for".
- When someone with a disability expresses suicidal ideations, people say they understand. Too often, people with disabilities are helped towards death instead of support and therapy.
Isn’t that the ultimate discrimination? "You have a disability, I understand why you want to die, let me help"…
Ok, so not everyone feels that way. Still, with 52% of the US population who would prefer to be dead than disabled, there is a large segment of the population who would see it as natural that someone with a disability would want to die.
If we look at one of the best known proponents of "mercy killings", Jack Kevorkian, we see that there is a bias towards killing people with disabilities. Kevorkian admitted through his lawyer that he had killed or “helped to die” 100 people (in 1998). This number went up to 130 from Kevorkian’s own claims. He is often portrayed as an advocate for the "terminally ill" – yet the majority (more than 60%) of people Kevorkian helped die were not terminally ill.
And Kevorkian is one of many people who do/did so-called mercy killings.
I’ve already written about this topic (see Euthanasia and Opposing The Legalisation Of Physician Assisted Suicide), but it’s such an important issue, it was worth repeating.