Not Dead Yet in the U.K. - Disability Coalition Opposes Assisted Suicide Bill

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Disability activists in the U.K. have formed a coalition to voice opposition to Lord Joffe's bill to legalize assisted suicide in the U.K. Not Dead Yet (UK) is a sister organization to the ten-year-old disability rights group in the USA that has been organizing opposition to assisted suicide, euthanasia and other forms of medical killing for the past decade.

Not Dead Yet (USA) is pleased, proud and honored to announce the formation of a new network of disability activists in the U.K.

Not Dead Yet UK (NDYUK) launches on May 12th, 2006, when members of of the group, some of whom have terminal illnesses, will be explaining their objections to the proposed legalization of assisted suicide. The "Assisted Dying for the Terminally Ill Bill" is being sponsored and promoted by Lord Joffe.

Jane Campbell convened NDY UK, seeing the need for an umbrella group for the many voices in the disability community expressing fear and opposition to assisted suicide legislation. Thus far, public discussion of the issue has omitted or marginalized the disability perspective and has been dominated by medical and religious professionals.

According to Jane Campbell, speaking on behalf of NDY UK, Joffe's bill is "damaging and dangerous to terminally ill and disabled people. We oppose this Bill because it singles out terminally ill and disabled people for legalised killing, based on our medical condition or prognosis."

She further adds that if Joffe and "other people of influence" really want to help old, ill and disabled people, they should "turn their attention to campaigning for proper health and social care support services so we can live the life we have left, with dignity."

Diane Coleman is the founder and president of Not Dead Yet in the USA, which just celebrated its tenth anniversary. Coleman says she is encouraged and heartened by the formation of this sister organization.

"The pro-euthanasia movement is an international one. This is the first step in the formation of a concerted international resistance to that movement from the 'target' population - those of us with disabilities, terminal or not, who pro-euthanasia advocates say would be better off dead. As the targets of these policies, we deserve a central role in this policy debate. Moreover, as our perspective as insiders in the health care system becomes more widely understood, it should be no surprise that we choose the role of resistance."

For more information, contact:

NDY UK:

Tracey Proudlock, 07921 776361

Jane Campbell, 020-8391 4160

http://www.livingwithdignity.info/ndy_home.html

NDY USA:

Diane Coleman or Stephen Drake

708-209-1500, exts. 11 & 29

http://www.notdeadyet.org

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