Is the Not Dead Yet UK campaign by disabled people right to oppose assisted dying legislation?
KAREN SHOOK – Disability equality adviser
They were right to protest against the defeated Assisted Dying Bill. You only have to look at medics’ attitudes towards disabled babies – that they will have a low quality of life – to know they would take the same view of the end of life. Some people who want to die would prefer to live if they had the support.
EVE RANK – Inspired Services
I think they are right to campaign against this bill. I am completely against euthanasia or helping people to die in any way. Disabled people have valuable lives and to give people the choice of getting help to die gives out the wrong message about the worth of disabled people. I don’t think it should be encouraged. Everybody has a quality of life and this should be respected.
LEN SMITH – Gypsy activist
I’m a lifetime opponent of capital punishment for many reasons, but one is that even one chance of executing an innocent person is just too much to contemplate. It seems to me that the possibility for chicanery in assisted suicides poses similar horrors. Apart from that, it is a step closer to making euthanasia acceptable and should be opposed.
ANGIE LAWRENCE – Single mother
In principle, I agree with assisted dying for the terminally ill. And disabled people have just as much right to assisted dying as anybody else. But I would be cautious about defining disabilities in relation to terminal illness. Care needs to be taken in defining what “terminally ill” really means, without taking away a person’s choice.