Ouch weblog: individual blog entry
27 Jun 07, 11:03 PM - Overseas Euthanasia
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police are investigating Eric MacDonald of Nova Scotia for bring his wife to Switzerland for an assisted suicide.
Elizabeth MacDonald, 38, had a severe form of multiple sclerosis that left her in a wheelchair, unable to move. As well, her throat was beginning to paralyze.
Her husband said she feared becoming trapped in her own body and had tried to commit suicide herself a year ago.
I found this article from a buddy on LiveJournal, who says he hopes that Canada legalizes euthanasia soon. I used to feel the same way myself until I started reading the blogs of other crips who are severely disabled. Now I know that society prefers to euthanize the severely disabled, because it takes less work than actually helping them LIVE. If we kill 'em off early, they won't be a huge drain on the system and a burden on society, right?
I never knew that forced euthanasia had been a problem for the disability community. You see, even though I'm severely disabled, I'm still 'normal' in the eyes of society. I walk, though with a cane and limp. I have no physical irregularities or deformities. I don't have any intellectual or learning disabilities. Until I started using a cane, most people didn't even know I had a disability. My parents were never told to put me in an institution, or leave me on a mountaintop. I read stories of forced euthanasia and forced sterilization of PWDs and am horrified. This is actually news to me.
Personally, though, I always viewed euthanasia as a nice escape route if things got too bad. I've had some very painful periods where I knew I couldn't go on living that way for life. I still feel that way. I don't know how I feel about legalized euthanasia anymore, but I still believe wholeheartedly in good old-fashioned suicide. I'm fortunate that my religious beliefs don't dictate punishment in the afterlife if I take that option.
My main fear is that if assisted suicide becomes legal, every person who becomes newly disabled will run off to a euthanasia clinic and off themselves. I'm probably exaggerating, but I really hope that the laws would be quite stringent. I would hope that someone would have to live with a disability for at least a couple of years before being eligible for euthanasia. A couple of years with rehabilitative services, occupational therapy and assisted independent living can make a big difference.
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