Media Advisory: Disability Groups Respond to Compassion and Choices' Advocacy for Assisted Suicide Legislation in Connection With Brittany Maynard's Tragic Illness

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Not Dead Yet, Second Thoughts and Disability Rights Education & Defense Fund are responding to Compassion and Choices' public relations campaign to advocate for assisted suicide legislation in connection with Brittany Maynard's tragic illness. Compassion and Choices is an assisted suicide advocacy group.

[N]ot every terminal prognosis is correct, not everyone’s doctors know how to deliver expert palliative care, and not everyone has a loving husband and family.

Response from Disability Rights Education & Defense Fund, Not Dead Yet and Second Thoughts:

"Once again, Compassion & Choices, formerly the Hemlock Society, is pushing legalization of assisted suicide by exploiting an individual terminal prognosis. Disability advocates are deeply sympathetic to Brittany Maynard, and all people suffering a terminal, serious or chronic illness. Legalization of assisted suicide often looks acceptable when the focus is solely on an individual.

"However, not every terminal prognosis is correct, not everyone’s doctors know how to deliver expert palliative care, and not everyone has a loving husband and family. A closer examination of the issue reveals the immense harm legalization of assisted suicide poses to vulnerable people as well as society as a whole.

"Assisted suicide legislation was rejected this year in Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Connecticut due to bipartisan opposition from a broad coalition of disability rights organizations, medical professionals and associations, palliative care specialists, hospice workers and faith-based organizations. Assisted suicide has only been passed by voters in Oregon and Washington, and by the Vermont legislature."

The following experts on the issue of assisted suicide, as well as health care and disability rights policy in general, are available for press communications.

Marilyn Golden
Senior Policy Analyst
Disability Rights Education & Defense Fund (DREDF)
Berkeley, CA
(510) 703-0696
mgolden(at)dredf(dot)org

Diane Coleman
President/CEO
Not Dead Yet
Rochester, NY
(708) 420-0539
dcoleman(at)notdeadyet(dot)org

John Kelly
Director
Second Thoughts
Boston, MA
(617) 536-5140
john(dot)b(dot)kelly(at)verizon(dot)net

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Diane Coleman
Not Dead Yet
+1 (708) 420-0539
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