Disabled people from across the UK came together in Westminster on 3 June 2010 for the launch of a new campaign to ensure legislation prohibiting assisted suicide and euthanasia remains in place
The charter’s key points include:
- A recognition that disabled and terminally ill people should have the same legal protection as everyone else
- A commitment to support disabled and terminally ill constituents to access the health, social and other services that they need
- A commitment to oppose any change to the current law, which makes assisted suicide illegal
Campaigners point out that some people view disabled people’s lives as not worth living, contrary to the view of many disabled people themselves. High profile cases of disabled people who want the law changed to make assisted suicide easier are the exception rather than the rule, they say.
Baroness Jane Campbell of Surbiton, convenor for Not Dead Yet UK, pointed out that the likelihood of cuts in services across the country will create additional challenges for disabled people.
She said: “There have been two attempts to weaken assisted dying legislation in the past four years, with further discussions taking place in the Scottish parliament now. We face a bleak situation if calls for assisted suicide to be lawful are renewed whilst vital services are being withdrawn or denied.”
“Disabled and terminally ill people need help and support to live, not to die. We cannot allow others to speak for us; especially those who seek to offer us the choice of a premature death. It is not a choice – it is to abandon us”.
The launch of Not Dead Yet’s ‘Resistance’ campaign will include a new DVD funded by Care Not Killing that details personal stories of disabled people arguing for the right to life.
Supporters can sign up to the campaign’s aims at www.theresistancecampaign.org.uk