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Self-determination for disabled is paramount

Ray DeBlasio Norwich

Publication: The Day

Published 05/18/2013 12:00 AM
Updated 05/17/2013 05:12 PM

I write in reference to the assisted suicide legislation op-ed, "Not all people with disabilities oppose assisted suicide legislation," (May 12).

As a disabled person I feel very strongly that it is important that each of us, disabled or not, have a choice when it comes to end of life decisions.

I understand the disability community's objection to assisted suicide legislation given the historical marginalization and discriminatory practices this group has had to endure. I do not, however, view assisted suicide legislation as a current or eventual path to further targeting the disabled.

Self determination has been a goal for many disability advocacy groups and end-of-life decisions fall into that category.

The legislation if written clearly and distinctly with strict ethical and legal criteria should be viewed as an option for those who choose to and are eligible to utilize it. The key word here is choice. If assisted suicide is legalized, it is an option for those who want it and is an individual informed decision.

The disabled are just as capable of making that decision as anyone else and deserve to have this important choice.

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