After The Norwich Bulletin endorsed California governor Jerry Brown’s move and recommended that Connecticut legalize assisted suicide, Cathy Ludlum, a resident of Manchester and member of Second Thoughts Connecticut (our coalition partner against assisted suicide), wrote in (emphasis mine):
Regarding your assisted suicide editorial, the writers assume that two requests separated by a waiting period would prevent inappropriate use of the lethal prescription. If only it were that simple.
What about misdiagnosis? If the doctor says you’re dying, and operating under that belief, you take your life, that’s it. Medical science is not perfect. What if the lab or the doctor made a mistake?
What about wrong prognosis? We have all known people who have outlived their life expectancy. I have a severe disability, and several times I have been deathly ill. My death would have surprised no one, but because of advocacy, I am still here.
What about coercion and abuse? If someone feels pressured to die, do you think that waiting two weeks will change anything?
People with disabilities are often discouraged from or even denied treatment. We can testify to the fact that true dignity has little to do with whether or not you can wipe your own butt.
Yet our highly relevant perspective is often ignored in the media, as this editorial shows.
Many people support physician-assisted suicide when you ask them quickly, but if they stop long enough to consider the implications, they often have second thoughts.
Cathy is one of the “Three Strong Women” of Connecticut we profiled earlier this year. We love how she lays bare the driving issue behind assisted suicide — disability phobia — without mincing words. Please share her words far and wide.