Paralympic legend fears for vulnerable if end-of-life protections are removed

Paralympic legend Tanni Grey-Thompson has warned that some disabled people might feel the “only choice they have is to end their lives” if the UK legalised assisted suicide.

In an interview on Sky News’s Sunday Morning with Trevor Phillips, Baroness Grey-Thompson said those who don’t receive enough personal care could feel pressured to die.

She highlighted that there is “no organisation of or for disabled people who is supportive of a law change” and “there are really big consequences if we change the law and our relationship between an individual and society fundamentally changes”.


The former Paralympian debunked claims that assisted suicide is necessary to prevent “terrible deaths” because everyone “should have access to specialist palliative care”.

She highlighted that once you allow those deemed to be terminally ill to receive help to be killed, in practice the law becomes applied much more widely.

no organisation of or for disabled people is supportive of a law change

“In Canada now, if you’re anorexic you can request it, if you’re diabetic you can request it, if you’re poor you can request it.”

Grey-Thompson emphasised that in such situations, the consequences for those who believe they “don’t have a choice are really severe”.


In the Republic of Ireland, a disability group told the Oireachtas earlier this month to prioritise the “right to live” over the “right to die”.

Peter Kearns of the Independent Living Movement Ireland described the Oireachtas’s decision to fund a discussion on assisted suicide rather than disability support as “a worrying development”.

He warned that in other parts of the world where assisted suicide had been legalised, “disabled people frequently speak about feeling hopeless, ‘having nothing to live for’ or feeling they would be ‘better off dead'”.

The Oireachtas Joint Committee on Assisted Dying is due to make recommendations on the issue by March.

Also see:

Majority of UK doctors would not facilitate assisted suicide

SNP Minister opposes Scots assisted suicide Bill as ‘unsafe for the disabled’

Psychiatrist: ‘Canada must stop the runaway train of euthanasia expansion’

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