Disabled ‘edited out’ of assisted suicide debate
Mon, 15 Sep 2014
A disabled actress and comedian has raised concerns that people with a disability are not being included in the debate on assisted suicide.
Liz Carr, who has starred in BBC dramas, feels that disabled people have been “edited out of the discussion”.
She is part of a group of disabled anti-euthanasia activists called Not Dead Yet UK, who are campaigning against Lord Falconer’s assisted suicide Bill.
Carr endorsed concerns about the validity of safeguards in countries where assisted suicide has been legalised.
While visiting the Netherlands for a BBC radio programme on euthanasia, she was “stunned” to find that activists are pushing for “death on demand”.
The actress added, “extension is the absolute logical step, and it is what we see in every country where assisted suicide or euthanasia has been brought in”.
Referring to disabled opponents of Lord Falconer’s Bill, Carr added: “A lot of us know that this Bill is about us because the line between terminal illness and disability impairment is blurred.”
She continued: “What chance do people have who don’t have a voice, who don’t have support and the resources, when people label their lives as not having any quality or not worth living?
“This has everything to do with disability even if it feels to the public it isn’t at the moment.”
Carr believes that most people remain undecided about assisted suicide and thinks that they can be won over.
Her views are supported by the results of a poll in July this year which found that public opposition to assisted suicide grows dramatically when people are more informed of the arguments.
Overall opposition to assisted suicide rose from 12 per cent to 43 per cent as those surveyed considered increasing amounts of evidence about the nature of assisted suicide.