Physician-assisted suicide: A perspective from advocates for people with disability
“Writing in the Editorial, Professor Suzanne McDermott states, “Almost all people at the end of life can be included in the definition of ‘disability.’ Thus, the practice of assisted suicide results in death for people with disabilities. People with disabilities have been recognized as a health disparity group (included in Healthy People 2010); they experience substantial discrimination in society, and yet they can live extremely high-quality lives.”
“I encourage you to read this important issue of Disability and Health Journal with an open mind…” continues Professor McDermott, “There will be many states in the next decade that introduce or consider the introduction of laws to legalize assisted suicide. The issues are complex and the evidence is not robust…We know there is another side to the debate, and this volume does not present the proponents’ arguments, which have been presented in other journals. We thought it necessary to focus on the unique perspective to the disability community.”
- Jennifer Lahl, MA, BSN, RN, is founder and president of The Center for Bioethics and Culture Network. Lahl couples her 25 years of experience as a pediatric critical care nurse, a hospital administrator, and a senior-level nursing manager with a deep passion to speak for those who have no voice. Lahl’s writings have appeared in various publications including Cambridge University Press, the San Francisco Chronicle, the Dallas Morning News, and the American Journal of Bioethics. As a field expert, she is routinely interviewed on radio and television including ABC, CBS, PBS, and NPR. She is also called upon to speak alongside lawmakers and members of the scientific community, even being invited to speak to members of the European Parliament in Brussels to address issues of egg trafficking; she has three times addressed the United Nations during the Commission on the Status of Women on egg and womb trafficking.