70% of disabled fear pressure to die if assisted suicide legalized: UK poll
LONDON, May 13, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) – A survey conducted recently of disabled people in Britain, commissioned by the disability group Scope, found that 70 percent are “concerned about pressure being placed on other disabled people to end their lives prematurely” “if there were a change in the law on assisted suicide.” More than a third were worried they would personally experience such pressure.
Concerns about the dangers of legalized assisted suicide were shared equally by young people and those in older age groups.
Fifty-six percent of respondents believed any relaxation of the law would be “detrimental to the way that disabled people are viewed by society as a whole.”
Richard Hawkes, Chief Executive of Scope, said, “Our survey findings confirm that concerns about legalizing assisted suicide are not just held by a minority, but by a substantial majority of those this law would affect.
“Disabled people are already worried about people assuming their life isn’t worth living or seeing them as a burden, and are genuinely concerned that a change in the law could increase pressure on them to end their life.”
The news comes as legal experts from a government-appointed think tank have issued a report warning that should assisted suicide become legal in Britain, lethal drugs could become easily available over the counter.
As pressure builds in Britain’s parliament to legalize assisted suicide, and with the Director of Public Prosecutions refusing to prosecute cases of assisted suicide, concerns are growing among the disabled community that their lives are seen as less valuable by the legal and medical communities.
Alison Davis of the disability rights group No Less Human welcomed the survey, saying it “disproves the constant claim by the misnamed ‘Dignity In Dying’ lobby that most disabled people support assisted suicide.”
Pressure to legalize assisted suicide, or as the euthanasia lobby calls it, “assisted dying,” she said, tells the world that disabled peoples’ lives are “considered, by themselves or others, to be not worth living.”
“Such people need support to live, not encouragement to believe that their suicidal thoughts are rational and right.”
Anthony Ozimic, communications manager for SPUC Pro-Life, told media, “Disabled people, including young adults, are increasingly alarmed by the celebrity-driven push for legalizing assisted suicide. Disabled people want help to live well and die naturally, not lethal injections or poison-pills.”