This site now acts as an archive only. For the latest news, opinion, blogs and listings on disability arts and culture visit

Disability Arts Online

> > Crippen

Crippen continues the debate around assisted killing (Mercy Killing)

"I just received a furious message from actor Nabil Shaban, best known to the public for playing Sil in Dr Who. Nabil is better known amongst activists as a ferocious advocate against war and for disability equality, in particular the right to live in equal status to others".

This is how Clair Lewis started her journal last week, and follows on ... "Nabil Shaban ACCUSES the British media, and that includes the BBC, of pursuing an identical propaganda exercise as Doctor Josef Goebbels with his notorious pro-Mercy Killing movie 'I Accuse' ".

Nabil goes on to say that, as history has shown, this was preparation for public acceptance of State-sanctioned euthanasia. He adds: "Ray Gosling was not brave, he is a murderer and by bragging about it on air, he is putting disabled people and ill people's lives at risk."

Read the full article by Clair and Nabil by clicking here


Assisted Living

An email is also circulating regarding a meeting to mobilise further the campaign for assisted living. Recipients included Baroness Jane Campbell and other leading lights of the disabled people's movement.

Here is the message it contains from disabled activist Deborah Sowerby: "Some of us disabled activists based in London are trying to mobilise against the increasingly overwhelming clamour for mass 'mercy' killing. Are you aware of anyone planning/doing anything on this? Are you up for a smallish planning meeting in the next couple of weeks? We've been offered a room for free. Look forward to hearing from you."

Clair and Nabil have updated Deborah about any activism they know of, as listed in there other blogs and we all have her permission to share this query further. Therefore If you know anyone interested please draw attention to this message. And please support this meeting if you can. I'll keep my ear to the ground and post anything I hear regarding developments.

Deborah Sowerby recently commented on this piece in Humanist Life regarding Terry Pratchett, 'Shaking hands with death - Terry Pratchett gives the Dimbleby Lecture'. To access the link to the article, please click here

Deborah says: "Many disabled people live (as in 'life') day in day out with these issues and questions. Many have done so from birth. I say from birth because birth is when the assisted dying 'question' is first raised, framed in terms of (you've guessed it) kindness and compassion. We don't get into questions such as what would the baby choose. No, these things are decided by others...

Nowadays the focus has shifted to the other end of life. But the arguments are the same - not based on fact, reality or experience but fear and ignorance. Oh, and economics as well. Money. Resources. This clamour for easier (assisted) suicide takes place against a backdrop of economic catastrophe where the cost of assisted living is unaffordable,fact.

So, kill the useless eaters, but let's not call it killing. No need.Simply keep going on about the TERRIBLE drain on the public purse and,in the same breath, keep saying how AWFUL it is to be old/disabled/in pain/dependent on others. By constant association (conflation) the two ideas merge.

Now we have one problem. Brilliant. We know what the problem is and who to blame. It's a short step to identifying the solution: reduce costs and relieve suffering in one go. Job done.

That takes care of the miserable old people dribbling on the mat. But how about that sweet little baby gurgling in the crib? What sweet little baby gurgling in the crib?"

If you want to get involved or support this meeting please contact Deborah Sowerby direct at or contact Clair or Nabil through this blog. Thanks.


New Crippen web site

The new Crippen web site was recently launched. Please let me know if you have any access problems with regard to this new site. To visit the new Crippen web site please click here


Crippen's profile

You can access a profile of Crippen on this web site along with other disabled contributers.
To access the Crippen profile page please click here  

Posted by Dave Lupton, 20 February 2010

Last modified by Dave Lupton, 22 February 2010

Crippen looks at the continued horror of life for disabled people in Afghanistan

My on-line work takes me to areas all around the world where I'm asked to create images of disabled people facing oppression in all of its many forms and manifestations. Most of us in the West may be faced with limited access and be struggling to live on a reduced income. However this is a walk in the park compared to some situations I hear about concerning our disabled brothers and sisters in the third world.

Take Afghanistan for example. The rights of disabled people in that country are not even upon anyone's agenda as political infighting and the continued horrors of war is waged. Funded by the bottomless war chests of the United Kingdom and America this has caused starvation conditions for many disabled people there.

Two brave Afghanistanies tried recently to raise people's awareness of the plight of disabled people in that country. One is a cartoonist and the other is the editor of a national newspaper. They have since been arrested and are now believed to be incarcerated within one of the many new political prisons that exist there. Their crime was to create a caricature of the countries puppet ruler Hamid Karzai and to publish it along with an article about disability in Afghanistan.

Fahim Khairy is a young Afghanistan journalist currently living in America. He asked me to create a cartoon to accompany an article he is writing about the corrupt use of monies sent to Afghanistan in order to aid the people effected by the continued war, especially the growing number of disabled people.

Here's the cartoon. Please feel free to circulate it to as many of your on-line contacts as you can and demonstrate that disabled people in the West care about our disabled brothers and sisters in all parts of the world, and especially in Afghanistan.

Thank you.


New Crippen web site

The new Crippen web site has been launched and can be found by clicking on the following link. Please let me know if you have any access problems with regard to the new site. Please Click here to visit the new Crippen web site.


Crippen's profile

You can access a profile of Crippen on this web site along with other disabled contributers.

To access the Crippen profile page please click here


Crippen on Facebook

Crippen now has a fan page on facebook. Click on this link to access it.

Posted by Dave Lupton, 15 February 2010

Last modified by Dave Lupton, 19 February 2010

Crippen looks at the access problems of Kidderminster railway station

Members of Disability Action Wyre Forest (DAWF) are angry at the fact that the lifts to the recently built footbridge at Kidderminster Railway Station are only open between 6am and 7pm, effectively creating a curfew for Disabled travellers.

This is due to “safety issues” a spokesperson for the station explained: “When there is no staff at the station (when the booking office is closed) the lifts aren’t in use. This is in case anybody got trapped in the lifts if they happened to malfunction and there was no-one there to help them.”

Mark Lawley, Disabled activist and DAWF Chair say visits to the station are made “very difficult” and are “causing major problems” for Disabled passengers. He explained that if someone with mobility problems arrived at the station on the Worcester-bound platform in the evening not knowing the lift was closed, they would be “stuck”.

He added: “It doesn’t encourage people to use the train if they are going to find it difficult to get off the platform when they get to the station.”

Ironically, the long-awaited bridge, unveiled last spring, was intended to improve disabled access at the station.

“We were delighted when the lift first opened and we presumed it would be opened 24/7,” Mr Lawley added.  “It feels like this is one step forward and three steps back now.”

Posted by Dave Lupton, 14 February 2010

Last modified by Dave Lupton, 14 February 2010

Crippen looks at history in respect of the Assisted Suicide debate

Unsurprisingly Assisted Suicide is still in the news with another ruling that let a mother who aided her daughter to end her life, walk away from a murder charge. Why the daughter who had ME was 'bed ridden' for over 17 years, was just one of the issues that wasn't addressed during the recent court appearance.

The author Terry Pratchett, who was recently diagnosed with Alzheimer's has also come forward to advocate changes in the law that will make assisted suicide legal. He has also
recommended the setting up of tribunals to decide who should 'qualify' for this method of ending their life.

For many Disabled people, the ease with which public opinion and now the law is sliding towards a society in which assisted suicide is the norm has serious implications with regard to our standing as viable members of the community. It was only seventy years ago that Germany passed similiar laws which resulted in the T4 programme and the extermination of hundreds of thousands of disabled people.

What next, we ask? Laws for the forced sterilization of disabled people similiar to that which were implimented in the United States. Between 1907 and 1939. More than 30,000 people in twenty-nine states were sterilized, many of them unknowingly or against their will, while they were incarcerated in prisons or institutions for the mentally ill.

"But you're taking this out of all proportion" is the response that we are used to hearing when addressing these issues. Try telling that to the 275,000 disabled people who were killed quite 'legally' in Germany during the 1940's.

Our mate George has also started a debate on the subject. Click here to join in.

Also read Clair Lewis' well written essay on Heresy Corner. Click here for the link.

And click here for Jude Stephenson's FaceBook article.

Posted by Dave Lupton, 1 February 2010

Last modified by Dave Lupton, 4 February 2010