Medical aid-in-dying laws pose no risk to vulnerable populations, including those living with disabilities
- Bob Joondeph, Former Executive Director, Disability Rights Oregon (DRO)
One of the, probably most fundamental right that we support as an agency is the right to make your own decisions whenever you're competent to do so. And that leads us to stand here in support of this bill.
- James Jackson, Disability Rights New Mexico
EIGHT FACTS YOU NEED TO KNOW
1. The medical aid-in-dying and disability rights movements share important core values: autonomy, independence and self-determination.
2. Medical aid-in-dying laws protect people with disabilities from coercion and exploitation through strict eligibility requirements and safeguards.
3. A person with a disability is only eligible for medical aid in dying if they are terminally ill with six months or less to live. In addition, the person has to be an adult, able to make informed healthcare decisions and able to take the medication themselves.
4. No one can get a medical aid-in-dying prescription unless and until at least one qualified healthcare provider and one independent witness confirm that the person requesting it is not being coerced to do so.
5. Coercing someone to use medical aid in dying is a felony punishable under state criminal laws.
6. Medical aid in dying is a practice proven by decades of experience in authorized jurisdictions. There is not a single substantiated case of abuse or coercion nor any civil or criminal charges filed related to the practice. — not one. Currently medical aid in dying is authorized in 11 jurisdictions.
7. Two out of three people living with a disability support medical aid in dying according to surveys in Connecticut, New Jersey and Massachusetts ( CandC.link/polling).
8. Activists in the disability community — like the organization Us for Autonomy — are some of the strongest supporters of medical aid in dying as an option.