Resistance


This isn’t an easy topic to talk about.  But it’s one that definitely needs to be spread.

There are growing concerns that legislation regarding assisted suicide and euthanasia will be altered meaning that both of these will become legal.  Certainly the calls for this to happen seem to be intensifying.  Politicians from all the parties are calling for public services to be cut.  Add in the current economic climate and you have the reason why this may happen.

A lot of disabled people and their families rely on such services.  In fact, most do in some shape or form (for equipment, for care, for rehab etc). These services give independence, they give quality of life and they help people to be productive and contribute to society.  Without them it would mean a huge loss of independence and become a case of survival only for a lot of people.

It’s very likely that if assisted suicide were legalised it could come to be seen as a valid form of treatment – and a huge amount of vitality and knowledge and experience would disappear from our culture.

To use an example, an old friend of mine who also has CP was in hospital some years ago for surgery.  She was accidentally given an overdose of a medication, had breathing difficulties and ended up having to go on a ventilator.  When she recovered the doctors suggested she might want a DNR (do not resuscitate order) in case it happened again.

At that stage she was 19, a competitive swimmer and thinking of going to uni.  She had a lot to live for (and still does!) and what happened to her isn’t something you would expect to happen with CP which generally does not affect life expectancy.  If the assisted suicide or euthanasia laws had been different my friend could have had a very different outcome.  And we wouldn’t have met.

Not Dead Yet UK have set up a charter which they are asking all MPs to sign in order to reassure disabled and terminally ill people that this isn’t going to be the case.

You can do your bit by signing the petition which backs up NDY’s calls.  There is also an option on the site which allows you to e-mail your MP and ask them to sign.

Please think about doing this.  In fact, don’t think about it.  Do it – and then pass this message on.

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About Writer In A Wheelchair

Emma describes herself as mouthy and independent, something she's very proud of as it helps her to campaign on disability issues which she is very passionate about. She loves knitting, sailing, swimming and reading. One day she'll be paid to be a writer a goal she's determined to make happen. In the meantime she writes and rambles in many places online including her blog, http://writerinawheelchair.co.uk
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4 Responses to Resistance

  1. samedifference1 says:

    I am sorry to have to write this comment, to get commenting at this blog off to such a negative start, but I feel I must say that I can’t agree with your point about CP not affecting life expectancy. CP in itself may not, or so we are told, but its side effects unfortunately often do.

    I have CP myself, as do several of my friends. Two of them died much too young from the side effects of severe CP- one very recently. I’ve heard of others, though didn’t know them well, with CP who have died much too young.

    Among famous CP’ers there’s David Cameron’s son Ivan, who was severely affected and died last year aged just 6. Then there are the two Irish writers, Christy Brown and Christopher Nolan, who both died in their 40s.

    I see you have CP- none of this is intended to scare you, just as I don’t let it scare me. There was a time when I thought that CP wouldn’t, couldn’t, limit the length of my life or the lives of any of my friends. Unfortunately, I was wrong.

    None of this however means that I for one second support assisted suicide. I certainly don’t. If we know for whatever reason that our disability is going to shorten our life, that in my opinion is even more of a reason to enjoy the time we do have as much as possible.

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  3. Nicky Clark says:

    The piece and samedifference1 make excellent points. This is a contentious issue and one which will spark legitimate debate.I’m very torn on this issue from the point of my disabled children and my Mum who is in end stage Alzheimers. I think that the rights of the person must be paramount and worry that the law could and will be abused.
    Also my concern is that the wishes of learning disabled people who can be vulnerable to the exploitation of others wouldn’t be fully represented.Sadly the track record on this is very poor.

  4. 1) I did say “not generally”
    2) I don’t agree with your point that CP affects life expectancy. Ivan Cameron died following several seizures. The two writers of choking. People choke to death who don’t have CP and people have severe epilepsy and die who don’t have CP as well. It’s not the CP that causes these things although for some people it may make it more likely.

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